Since we've already driven the Soul with this engine, let's focus on the Maxx specifics rather than on driving impressions.
Suffice to say the comments from our original first drive in the 1.6-litre diesel are still valid - the Soul rides quite firmly, and the larger alloy wheels do it few favour in town where speed bumps and potholes send a nasty thud into the cabin. The steering's devoid of feel, but its weight can be adjusted to suit the driver, although once you cycle through the three settings it becomes clear that the added resistance in 'Sport' does nothing to enhance the driving experience, but the 126bhp diesel motor is competent.
On the inside is where it matters with the Maxx, and first impressions are good. There's leather trim in places, and soft-touch plastic furnishings in others, with contrasting stitching adding a touch of style to the cabin. The switchgear is nicely damped, and like the Connect Plus model, the Maxx is heavily laden with standard kit.
The Maxx's part digital instrument cluster works well, replacing the rounded screen and dials of lesser models. It displays journey, economy and a variety of other data to the driver, and is well integrated - though the option of a digital speedometer would be a welcome addition.
Kia's panoramic sunroof is nice touch on the Maxx, shedding light on what could be a relatively dark cabin. It's controlled by a one-touch button up by the rear-view mirror, and opens and closes quickly. The only downside is a slight reduction in rear headroom, but the boxy roofline means most tall passengers will still be comfortable in the back.
Other luxuries, like the front heated seats and climate control, make it feel great value, but it's hard to see why you'd want such things on what is designed to be a fun, accessible compact crossover. What does stand out is Kia's eight-inch touchscreen navigation and infotainment system. It's larger than most offerings in this class, and presents clear information and decent graphics, with a rapid response to driver inputs.