COAL:2012 Kia Soul – Clear Decision

Getting ready to wash it.

Hard to believe a car I’d driven in 2016 had made such an impression on me.  When I grew sick of issues with the ’09 F150 I knew what I wanted.

Back in 2016, during my adventure, I’d rented a car for a few days to find something suitable to drive home.  When I arrived, they offered me a Nissan Sentra or something similar.  Having a 6’7″ father in law, I had asked if they had anything else.  They did – a red Kia Soul.  Liking the shape of it, I took it.

The rental was red.  My car is red.  Honest, it was a coincidence!

I really liked everything about it.  It felt solid, and had lots of room.  Easy to maneuver, good on fuel, peppy.   Logically laid out controls, nice orange/red backlighting on the switches.  Loads of room for my father-in-law, too.  I couldn’t fault a single thing about it.  It made a good impression on me.

The day I bought it.

Fast forward to January 2018.  I’d fixed the rocker panels on the F150, and I’d noticed some spots on the box starting to bubble and lift.  When it was cold, I could hear the exhaust manifolds leaking again as well.  Not wanting to drop another $2000 getting the manifolds done for the second time in two years on a truck that was going to need the box fixed, I figured it was time to trade it in.  I don’t have the patience to deal with tire-kickers.  Having had such a good experience with the Soul in Vancouver, it was the only thing I really wanted.  I had a price range in mind, so I looked locally – but there wasn’t much in the area…two white base-model Souls with the base 1.6 engine, and no cruise control.  No thanks.  A dealership in the Annapolis Valley had three there to pick from, so after speaking to the salesman, I made the 5-hour trip.  One was newer, and outside what I wanted to spend, and the second one was a base black model.  No thanks to that – too hard to clean.  The red one was a mid-range model, the 2U – which was nicely equipped with power windows and remote locks, cruise, AC, heated seats, Bluetooth and steering wheel controls, aluminum wheels and a roof rack.  It also had been rust proofed from new, and always serviced at the dealer.  They gave me a good trade on the truck, and the difference in price wasn’t much.  The dealership treated me well.

No snow tires yet.

It’s about as perfect as I can ask for.  It’s roomy, easy to get in and out of, and good on fuel.  I love the looks, both inside and outside.  It isn’t all over the road in the wind, and it handles pretty well.  As far as snow goes, it’s good too – better than a lot I have driven – though I think the high ground clearance helps.  Brakes grab really well, and it’s peppy.  The 6-speed transmission shifts well, too, with no abrupt shifts or flaring between gears.  The engine is a little noisy when it’s cold, but once it warms up it’s quiet enough.  Fuel economy is OK – it averages between 25 in the winter and 30 in the summer.  As far as driving it, you sit upright in it, and all of the controls fall well to hand.  All of the switches on the dash, and the radio, are backlit in an orangey-red hue, which makes them really easy to see at night.  The cluster has backlit white numbers with red needles – not bad either.

This past summer.

I’ve had it just about a year now, and I still love it.  We’ve used it for weekends away, and for hauling stuff too – it’s good enough for the three of us, but ask one of my daughter’s friends to go and add their stuff, and it’s too small for going away – we’ve had to use the CR-V.  Another foot or two added on the back of the cargo area would make a world of difference.  I much rather it to the CR-V for comfort and driving, but the CR-V beats it in space and fuel economy.

Travelling back woods roads to see the fall colours.

Kia sure has come a long way in the past number of years.  This is a well-made car, and has given me no trouble in the year I’ve had it.  When it’s time for another car, it’ll probably be a newer Soul.  It does everything I want in a form factor I love.

Well, we’re up to date – at least for now (January 2019).  I’ll continue with the weekly writeups on some other items – the tractors Dad and I have had, and his classic cars, perhaps, as well.  I hope you all have enjoyed it as much as I have had reliving the memories of cars gone by.