Although its cubelike form suggests in any other case, the Kia Soul EX has higher dealing with than we anticipated, making it extra enjoyable to drive than one may assume. Credit the great dealing with to a correctly tuned chassis and competent steering, the mix of which provides the Soul the type of physique management that encourages extra exact lane modifications, faster on-ramp speeds, and the occasional jaunt down a favourite wiggly highway.
It gained’t be confused for a sizzling hatch, however the Soul EX gives a connectedness and composedness that’s largely absent amongst its opponents, such because the Nissan Kicks, Toyota CH-R, and Hyundai Venue. This truth didn’t escape our judges finally 12 months’s Car of the Year, lots of whom applauded the Soul’s dealing with. Car of the Year visitor choose Chris Theodore mentioned, “It has deceptively good handling abilities, perhaps masked by the high seating position, which accentuates body roll.” Ed Loh famous that it’s “surprising how much speed it will carry through turns with absolute calm and no stress.” The Soul’s dealing with prowess was additionally known as out in our current comparison test with three aforementioned opponents, by which its superior driving dynamics contributed to a primary place end.
During that comparability, MotorTrend contributor Derek Powell mentioned, “The Soul has astonishing ride quality that belies its price point. The steering, in particular, is fantastic.” It’s honest to say that the Soul gives a reassuring stage of driving efficiency when pushed, which, for probably the most half, simply isn’t present in related automobiles. At velocity, the steering is weighted properly and is nimble and direct, serving to level the car precisely the place the motive force intends to go. And though the competent dealing with may contradict the Soul’s unconventional form and its function of meant operate, it’s a welcomed addition and makes the Soul better than the sum of its components.
Yet the Soul’s respectable dealing with and quick wheelbase additionally contribute to a experience high quality that may generally be lower than splendid. Big pavement cracks and highway bumps are inclined to transmit shudders by the chassis. Driving over a patch of tough highway or surprising undulations can jostle the entire automotive and ship shivers and shakes reverberating by the seats. The perpetrator is probably going a spring price and low-profile tires that, on this EX trim, mix to make for a stiff and busy experience that enables the motive force to really feel each bump alongside the best way. The suspension lacks a suppleness that will surely be welcomed by most drivers (and their passengers). It could be fascinating to see how a lot the experience may enhance by quickly swapping to the 16-inch wheels from the Soul LX. The taller tire sidewall is likely to be simply the repair wanted to easy issues over contained in the cabin.
Read extra about our long-term 2020 Kia Soul EX:
- Update 1: Is the 2020 Kia Soul Designed to Look Like a Range Rover?
- Update 2: 5 Simple Joys That Make the 2020 Kia Soul EX So Good