Ha ha, no, actually this is NOT a new Keithmobile – the faithful Keithmobile-D (my Mitsubishi Outlander) is still around, and we can’t have more than one Keithmobile at a time, now can we?
However, this IS a new car – our first “second” car – and since we still have the Outlander, that kind of makes this “Amanda’s car.” And boy, does it suit her!
This is a 2011 Kia Soul – which you might recognize instead by it’s insane TV commercial featuring a bunch of singing (rapping) hamsters. Yeah, that car.
Specifically, this is a Soul+ (because apparently Kia felt that using names or even letters for trim levels was too boring, so instead we get symbols – there’s the “+”, the “!” and… the “Sport.” Real creative there.)
You can look up all the particulars online if you care, but suffice it to say that this is the perfect second car for us. The Soul is a nice cruising car – comfy and quiet on the highway, with good gas mileage and a kick-ass sound system (8 speakers, including a subwoofer) which also has a true iPod connection (that is, not only can you play your iPod, but the info about what song is playing shows up on the radio’s screen, and you can skip songs using the steering wheel mounted controls).
Most amusingly, the upgraded audio package includes what can only be described as “mood lighting.” There are LED lights around the speakers in the doors which can glow in one of 5 different colors (red, blue, yellow, green, purple) – and they can either just cycle through the colors slowly, or they can “pulse” in time to your music!
I drove this car a while back as a rental, and thought that it might work well for us as a second car, and after doing some research, we decided that it would be perfect. It sits 4 people comfortably and has ample space in the back (especially with the seats folded down), plus it has that nice “not too high, not too low” driving/seating position which we like.
Oh – and that spine-shattering stiff ride I talked about in my original review of this car? Well, apparently Kia listens to what people say, because they’ve definitely fixed it in the 2011 model. The ride is firm, but not nearly as bad as it used to be. So kudos to Kia for fixing that one big problem!
The Soul is not all-wheel-drive, however, so it will probably spend some time sitting in the garage come winter, but for most of the year (at least around here) it will do quite nicely. And it’s nice to finally have 2 cars in the family!
Truthfully though, the Kia Soul is a very nice little car – not too big, but not too small, either. If you’re looking for a practical car with a bit of style that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, you can’t go wrong with one of these. Hey, I bought one, after all!