Last weekend, I spent my first period of quality time with our long term Kia Soul. Being a twenty something (well, I’m 20) I’m just the sort of person Kia is aiming its new soft-roader/mini MPV crossover at.
But being a twenty something, I always have to watch the pennies and this is where the Soul’s biggest fault in my eyes comes in with its rather disappointing fuel economy figures.
Over the weekend, I did around 350 miles travelling from Teddington to Norwich and back, with a return trip to Great Yarmouth thrown in the middle. This cost me £50 in fuel, a return of around 32mpg. I was hardly spirited with my use of the throttle so this figure could have been worse if I really was going for it.
This figure backs up the 34mpg we achieved when road testing this very Soul earlier this year, so my experience of it wasn’t just a one off. In a car of its size and 1220kg weight, the 124bhp, 115lb ft 1.6-litre petrol engine just feels too underpowered to make the Soul a sensible economic choice for its target market, especially when you could get a new Fiesta for similar money.
On the motorway, the engine is noisy and a bit unrefined and you have to turn the radio up to make the cabin a more pleasurable place. On the subject of the radio, however, the sound quality is excellent and you can even pick up Radio 4 LW without any interference.