This Kia has more “Soul” than a sneaker!

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"2012 Kia Soul"

So…I got the opportunity to test drive a 2012 Kia Soul for a week.

I want it back. *insert sad face*

Isn’t it as cute as all get-out? It’s sporty and sleek and funky and just the right size. Love, love, love it. And then…I opened the door and saw this and peed my pants a little:

"2012 Kia Soul Interior"

Yes. That’s a houndstooth design. And, yes, I am a sucker for houndstooth. Seriously. It’s so funky retro. And, as you can see, the interior of the Kia Soul is a good size, with an ample backseat that has plenty of leg room. In fact, the front seat has plenty of leg room as well. W had no issues with it, and being 6’2″ with legs that go on forever (no, I’m not describing a woman).

As I started driving the 2012 Kia Soul, I started noticing more and more of them on the road. However, I couldn’t get any of them to cooperate with my effort at developing a kinship or Kia Soul brotherhood. The head-nod thing? They totally weren’t into it. This Kia Soul driver refused to do it…

"2012 Kia Soul"

Oh well…I’m confident it can catch on. Let’s move on to more awesomeness. The music system in the Kia Soul is wonderful…great sound, and it has built-in satellite radio! Giddy up! It has a screen that utilizes buttons along with “touch” capabilities. It’s fabulous.

See that little compartment with the button at the top? That’s where your sunglasses go…and, truth be told, the sunglasses are basically the only thing that don’t come with the Soul.

"2012 Kia Soul Radio"

By the way, I was not listening to Keith Urban (not that there’s anything wrong with that…). I was trying to navigate the system when I happened to take this picture. No judgments! But you can also use the buttons on the steering wheel to control the radio, among other things…

"2012 Kia Soul"

There are tons of other things I love about the 2012 Kia Soul, though, like the back-up assist system. Oh man, how I love the back-up assist. It has to be the finest invention ever.

In fact, when they took the Kia Soul back (that was a sad day) and I had to go back to driving my old car (OK, it’s a 2007, but still), I felt as though I had forgotten how to go in reverse. Anywho, I am a huge fan of back-up assist. Huge.

"2012 Kia Soul Backup Assist"

The Kia Soul also has a super cool shifter that looks like it belongs in a race car. Oh, and it has two outlets for chargers (yay!) as well as a USB port so you can hook up your iPod, mp3 player, whatever. Yes, I know, awesomesauce.

"2012 Kia Soul"

Let’s see what else is there…hmmm…oh, I love the bottle holder in the door. That’s genius. I mean, there are also cup holders between the front seats, should you prefer that option. But, if you’re like me, my cup holders tend to be like junk drawers in my car and I can hardly fit a beverage in there. Don’t judge me!

"Kia Soul 2012 Cup Holder"

Let’s see. What else do you want to know? Well, the 2012 Kia Soul gets great mileage (26 in the city, 34 highway), so that’s pretty important. Also important, it rides very smoothly. The Soul has a lot of get up and go, which isn’t something you automatically expect from a smaller sized SUV-type vehicle. But it’s true…it’s surprisingly peppy and has more power than you would expect.

Don’t misunderstand, though, the Soul is not overwhelming in any way. It actually “fit” us perfectly. Like a glove, actually, all the way around — size, style, power, performance, and amenities.

"2012 Kia Soul Trunk Space"

The trunk is not excessively large, but that’s not much of an issue for me. And, the Kia Soul has a luggage under-floor tray, so that helps. Of course, if you need to put something big in the Soul, the back seats do fold down, so you always have that option available.

The 2012 Kia Soul is sporty, fun, and trendy. One fun (and, yes, funky) aspect that I thoroughly enjoyed was the stereo speakers that lit up along with the music. In fact, the last night I had the Soul, this is what I was greeted with when I went out to check on the car:

"Kia Soul"

Of course, how could these party animals resist taking advantage of the funky Kia Soul, what with the kick-butt stereo system and the color-changing speakers? (Don’t worry, I didn’t let them drive.)

"Kia Soul Speaker Lights"

One of the best things about the Kia Soul is that its versatility means it is for everyone…my teenaged kids thought it was fantastic, we middle-aged (Whoa, when did that happen? Ugh.) adults thoroughly loved it, and my mom (who is 22 years older than I am) was impressed as well. You’ve found yourself a pretty cool vehicle when it spans generations who all think it is a car for them.

I could write about the 2012 Kia Soul forever. It’s that darn sweet. And cool. And smooth. And funky. I mean, I forgot to mention it has a sun roof which is delightful. And that I love the key (I know, little things make me happy)…it’s a remote with a panic button and a little button that flips the actual key out of its case or hides it away inside the case for safe keeping…see?

"Kia Soul Key"

The Kia Soul is a wonderful car and it comes along with the fabulous Kia warranty, of course. And the Soul starts at $13,900. You surely can’t beat that. Not even with a stick.

I was not compensated for writing this review. A big thank you to Kia for allowing me to test drive their fabulous Kia Soul for a week. My opinions are 100% honest and 100% mine.

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  1. James Salzmann says

    Outstanding summation of the many features and intangibles that the Soul has to offer. I never really has given a vehicle of this class much thought for my self but your descriptions about the loads of available features; top crash scores; user-friendly controls; ample passenger space; funky style; and low price; have swayed me to actually consider test driving and possibly purchasing this vehicle. Thank you for your honesty. OUTSTANDING!!!!

    • says

      I am also a fan of Kia. Of the two cars I’ve bought from a dealer, BOTH were Kias (an Optima and a Sportage). And, as much as I liked THEM…the NEW Kia Soul, with its design and features and whatnot? Blows them away. It’s like a horse of a different color. A sleek, fast horse with great safety features.
      Kristin recently posted..12 Weeks of Summer Vacation #GiveawaysMy Profile

  2. says

    Having seen the new Soul and read your review, you have changed my opinion of this car. Kia gives a definite bang for your buck on this stylish and economic model. The Soul looks great, inside and out. Your honest review really made quite an impression! Thanks Kristin!!

  3. says

    I am not loving the outside design, but the houndstooth seats are adorable, and it’s awesome that the Soul comes with usb ports. The back up assist looks pretty cool too!

  4. Amanda Odair says

    OMG first off I am not sure I would of given it back! LOL Second nothing wrong with listening to Keith baby! and Third wow this seems like a dream!!!!! Off to go drive one not really but a girl can dream right???? instret my sad face :(

  5. says

    Wonderful review! I have never seen the inside of a Kia, very nice and sporty on the outside, too! I agree, the back up camera is such a necessity now!

  6. says

    My father just bought one of these. He loves it. I am not a fan of the design. Anyway, I borrowed it one day without asking how to put it in reverse (it’s a manual.) I rolled it out of my driveway. I finally got ahold of my brother and he told me how to do it. Haha!

  7. says

    I just leased a new car last month. I was deciding between the Kia Sorrento and the Toyota RAV4. I took the Toyota based on money alone. If money were no object I would have taken the Kia hands down! LOVE Kias!!! Great review!

  8. Teresha says

    My husband just bought a Soul after his Honda Civic of 12 years finally kicked the bucket. It’s a great car and is deceptively roomy on the inside for a compact car, both car seats fit with room to spare. I want to switch with him!

  9. says

    I’ll admit I’ve always thought of Kia’s being “cheap” cars but after reading your review, I’m more inclined to check them out when we finally decide to replace our SUV. It’s taken me a while but I’ve learned that an expensive price tag doesn’t always equal quality. :)

  10. says

    My boyfriend wants the kia sportage so bad but he owes too much on his truck right now. I LOVE all the features in the soul, but am not crazy about the shape. But then again I hated how the Suzuki sx4 looked online and ended up buying it! Inside features and Gas Milage totally outweigh outside shape in my book!

  11. Candice M says

    I have the 2011 Soul I am in Love!! It totally doesn’t feel like you are sitting in a box, people are surprised when I finally get them to sit in it by the room, I just gave the dealer a hard time cuz it didn’t come with a dancing hamster LOL

  12. Chelsea says

    I love my Kia Soul! Everytime I see one on the road I beep and they completely ignore me! Lol. I would have bopped my head if someone did that to me. It’s funny

  13. says

    Hi Kristin,

    I had to check out your Kia Soul review. Your right! They are such fun cars. I wasn’t sure I was going to like my review 2012 Kia Soul! But I fell in love with it. It gets good gas mileage, it is a SAFE car and the stereo system ROCKS! What’s not to love.

    GREAT review and I love your pictures!
    Leslie from Leslie Loves Veggies

    • says

      Thanks so much, Leslie! I do love this car…and I didn’t really think I’d be “wowed” by it at first. I am, however, a Kia fan, and have owned two Kias so far. I think they’re great. And, they’re getting way, way better — even though I loved them to begin with!

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