Some people might think it unfair to judge a vehicle strictly from the driver's seat after only a couple of days of rental driving, but look at how we buy them. We can do all the market research we want, but in the end, for most us it comes down to a 20 minute test drive and a 2 hour negotiation.
My opinion of the 2011 Kia Soul is not a good one, with all due respect to those who design and build them. Look, no one's NOT buying a car because of anything I say, except me. I won't be buying a Kia Soul. Here's what I thought.
Great - It's got a GREAT turning radius, so if you're into u-turns and mall parking, this is the vehicle for you. Hello soccer moms, I'm talking to you. Pick up your child from school, make the u-turn and drive three blocks back home before you load up and head another few blocks to the soccer field.
Good - Funky interior design with all the knobs and buttons in all the right places. I think the ladies could use a place for their purse.
Room to Grow - Look, this is a pure chick-mobile, but I don't think the average mom-driver is going to like the fuel economy. It's not good for a car this size. The combined city/highway mileage on this drive was 11 litres per 100 km. Heck, my 1996 Thunderbird with a massive 8-cylinder under the hood gets the same on the highway.
Would I buy one? I don't know how it is in the snow, so I can't promise I'd buy one even if hell froze over. Not for me, not for my wife. Next time I'm offered one at the rental counter I'll be asking what's the second choice. Sorry Kia. I'm not a Soul-man (who didn't see that coming?)
Watch my One-Minute Review here: