If your Kia Soul were one of the various special editions, you would get the concept car experience and the full drama of the cabin design. But where does that leave the simple Soul 2? In shades of grey, mostly - although the hard plastics of the doors and dashboard do fit well and have high-quality textures. And if you open the glovebox or the smaller compartment above the stereo, you are greeted by uterine bright red internals.

Bold red LCD display graphics and instrument needles continue the theme, and the white-on-black dials, set in an oval pod, are ultra-clear. Between you and the pod is a thick-rimmed, leather-covered steering wheel with stereo controls, which adjusts for rake but not reach.

Matt Burt

Matt Burt

Executive Editor, Autocar
The five-inch drop down to the boot floor from the load lip is very annoying. It makes picking up heavy items difficult

That apart, the driving position is easy to tailor and, being high-set in SUV fashion, it gives a great view of the road ahead from your comfortable and adequately supportive seat. The view aft is not so good, hampered by the rising waistline, very thick rear pillars and a narrow rear window.

The high roof means that there’s plenty of headroom, and rear passengers get generous legroom and foot space, too. Their seats’ 60:40-split backrests flip forward on to the cushion below, but that’s it for folding; the resulting load platform is high and far above the level of the boot floor. Top-spec Souls get a removable false floor that matches the level of the folded seats.

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You do get an interface for an iPod or anything using a USB or jack-plug connector, though, and the optional rear parking camera displays its image on a section of the interior mirror. The silvered surface reappears when you stop reversing – very neat.

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