In other words… March 11th, 2010

Colin JangBy Colin Jang
Kia BUZZ Editor

Hello everyone. In this post, we covered the Soul Rock & Forte 5DR spy shots. If you have any opinions on Soul & Forte 5DR, we will collect and pass your comments along to our product manager. That will really help them understand customer needs! When you leave your opinion, please let us know your country as well, since options might vary by region.

▷ Test: Cosas de Autos probo el Kia Soul
Posted by Meteoro on Cosas de Autos Blog(Feb 26, 2010)

Cosas de Autos Blog
The blogger posted a test review of the Kia Soul Rock equipped with a 1.6 l CVVT engine and a 5-speed manual transmission. He mentioned that the design has its own identity and complimented the quality of the stereo system. He added that parking is easy with the sensor camera mounted side view mirror, and that the electric power steering is excellent. Overall, he noted that the car is easy to drive.
Thank you, Mr. Meteoro for your kind review in detail. We designed the Soul to become an iconic symbol of Kia’s design identity. There are various special versions of the Soul depending on the market with distinctive options. We hope lots of customers in Argentina enjoy Soul Rock. Below is a video clip of the same name which we introduced last year on Kia BUZZ.

▷ Kia Forte hatch during winter testing
Posted by Mark Kleis on Leftlane(Feb 27, 2010)

The blogger posted a spy shot of the Kia Forte 5-door hatchback. He analyzed that Kia has used disc brakes for both the front and rear as opposed to following the segment norm of placing disc brakes just in the rear. He added that the illuminated markers add to the upscale style of the car.
We have seen lots of blogger interest in a 5-door Forte (known as Cerato in some regions) in the blogosphere. The Forte 5-door will be added to the Forte family later this year and will feature a sporty European hatchback exterior & interior styling with 6-speed manual/automatic transmissions, while sharing the same engines with the Forte sedan. It will also have a full-flat folding rear seat to optimize utility. Forte 5-door will be suitable for drivers who want sporty European styling & utility. When it launches in the market, the Forte line-up will be completed and satisfy customers’ various needs and lifestyles.
  • Bob Bioletti

    I am looking forward to more pix of the new Forte hatch. Now have a 2009 Rondo EX V6 and previously a 2006 Sportgage FWD V6 so am sold on Kias. The Sportage was excellent as is the Rondo. Of course I’d like better fuel economy which the hatch would have over the Rondo. The only annoyance with my Rondo is the over aggrsseve throttle tip-in which makes city driving not smooth and inconsistent shift patterns at times. Hopefully the Forte hatch would be smoother.
    Features I’d like to see on the Forte hatch.
    -Split and fold flat rear seats are a must.
    -Fold flat forward front passenger seat.
    -2.4 litre engine or other with chain driven cam system.
    -Body rub bars to help against door dings.
    -Interior lights on with remote unlock and then theatre dimming.
    -Sliding visors.
    -Dead pedal for left foot.
    -Cargo area light on with open hatch.
    -Open/closed control on vents.
    -Driver seat hieght adjustment and seat cushion tilt feature.
    -Tinted glass.
    -Roof rails.
    -Bluetooth and aux/mp3 input.
    -Tilt and telescoping steering wheel.
    With these features I might have to let my Rondo go before its time!!

    Thanks for the opportunity to have input on Kia vehicles.

  • HyundaiSmoke

    Considering what’s going on with this Forte Hatch, this can replace both Spectra 5 and Rondo. I think its sweet KIA. I know many people like Rondo, but a Good C-seg Hatch with optional 2.4L is good enough. Rondo should have been Spec-5 in the first place.

    People say its big, but to me it sure looked like a C-Seg Hatch even though it was based on the D-seg Platform. Spec-5 was nearly the size of Rio 5. Thus, a Larger hatch was needed.

    Thanks KIA for providing that. Forte seems to be popular with Young men in the US from my observations.

  • Boris

    Most Kias in UAE come with only one standard airbag and an option for an additional front passenger airbag. And because of this, many times, it hard to convince friends to buy a Kia.
    I request you to please offer all available airbags and safety features on Kias and preferably, as standard equipment.

  • Dave

    How about navigation, push button start, CHROME DOOR HANDLES, and automatic temperature control? Power seats? Right now, we own a Kia, but are afraid. We want a Forte, but the lack of features is seriously pushing us away.

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  • Greg

    I can’t wait for the Theta 2.0L engine, leather seats, and navigation option in the Soul!

  • Lou

    The New 2010 SOUL
    12,000 miles now.
    the things that stand out is styling , standard features , sunroof, stereo , steering wheel mounted controls for radio and cruise , handling is good around town. quality of build is good

    things KIA needs to work on
    more adjustable for the drivers seat tall drivers need more room , telescoping steering wheel[to go along with a seat that will adjust further back] ,
    four wheel drive addition , road noise,a six speed or a better ratio 5 spd . and MPG could be a bit better then it is (2.0) hwy above 70 is only 26 to 28 below 70 and it’s around 31 this is the first car i owned that did not do better then the sticker rated MPG!
    the worst thing about this car is the driver posistion for anyone over 6′

  • BernardP

    I’m the happy owner of a Forte SX Sedan with 6MT. Based on the following pic from

    For my taste, the C-pillar on the 5-door is a miss: much too massive, too much metal/not enough glass, wrong rear window angle: the C pillar clashes with the lines of the rest of the car. Mr. Schreyer should have a second look at the Audi A3 for inspiration ;-)

    My Forte Sedan looks like a small Audi. The C-pillar makes the 5-door version look like…well…an older Kia, or a Toyota Venza. Sorry.

    But it’s probably too late already to change the styling, as it is about to be released.

  • Bill Wilson

    I would say Bob B has it about right. Would only add climate control, sunroof & available upgraded sound system. Really looking forward to this vehicle

    Bill W

  • Bill Chesters

    Hi there, Ive owned my Soul1 for about a month now and really like it. Ive had about 12 brand new cars in about 25 years….from simple estate cars to top of the range Sports Coupes. All supplied with my career.
    this is the first new car Ive bought myself and as Im retired (early!)cost was important as well as image. I did a fair bit of market research before deciding on my Soul. I love the feel, the looks and the quality and I still haven’t seen another one on the road.
    One area of disappointment? Why is the rear parcel shelf omitted on the Soul1? The most basic security is to hide your valuables away!Now anyone can peep in the window and see what Im carrying. Even the cloth cover would be better than nothing at all.Its a really poor decision by KIA and is false economy.
    Other than that Im really pleased with my choice and have recommended it to others!

  • niels harms

    For the soul. The new 2 liter motor from the forte and a 6-speed auto.

    For the forte a 6-speed auto for better fuel mileage and a more touchable, velour like upholtery. Also the trip computer for the ex.

  • Ellen C.

    USA..I am employed at a Kia Dealership as the Internet Sales Manager and I just bought my Soul! I love it as I knew I would. The one thing that concerns me is quality control. You send out surveys or call the customer after the purchase to rate the dealership, why not the factory? My drivers side seat belt was installed backwards. As I try to buckle myself in, I have to twist it around and I’m sure it affects the safety. I am planning on having my techs fix it. This is an important safety item in the construction of the vehicle and I cannot believe it was missed during the inspection process. If it was something my dealership neglected, they would have received a poor score. So far everything else is great. I only have 500 miles on it so far, but like I said, I love it!

  • Kevin. W

    My girlfriend and I loved the Soul 4U Titanium so much that we bought another. This time a Soul 4U Denim. Only grip I have it the omission of an Ipod cable. Why Kia would force the owners of their new vehicle to have to fork out $40CDN for a cable just seems greedy. Sadly this is a feature that will not be used by either my girlfriend or I in our Soul’s>

  • Mike Gordon

    I bought a Soul Plus automatic 3 weeks ago. I’m very happy so far. The best features are the high seating position, excellent visibility, peppy engine, responsive transmission, precise steering and all the interior details. I haven’t checked the gas mileage yet. I would improve on the contrast on the radio display. The driver’s seat should go back a bit more. The ride is excellent with the 16 inch wheels.
    I like this car as it is. However, if the factory would install the larger, 2.4 liter engine and a 6-speed automatic trans. with paddle shifters, the Soul could become an icon and take its place alongside the Mini Cooper S, the Mazdaspeed 3, and the Volkswagen GTI. It has enormous potential, with its small footprint accompanied by lots of room inside (for a car only 161 inches long). I’ve driven all the Civics and the small Scions, the small Mazdas, and none of them made an impression on me. Then I drove a Soul and bought one the next week. Bear in mind, I didn’t need another car – we had three for the two of us – but I got the Soul only because I enjoyed driving it more than the others: Tacoma, Accord, and VW GTI.

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  • Thanks for the great feedback everyone… we have our work cut out for us to get all this back to our personnel.

    Ellen C. – I will ask our After Sales team at Kia Motors America to give you a buzz/email. I’m also surprised that was missed during inspection since quality is a main priority for all the vehicles out of our plants – anywhere in the world. Thanks for the feedback.

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  • Love my Kia Soul! I’ve had it about 4 months. I like smaller cars and had been looking for something easier to get in and out of and I found that with the “up high” feature of the Kia Soul. A concern of mine is that underneath the doors looks unfinished. My Soul’s color is Dune and when you look at the car from the side, it looks uneven (raggady). What can I do about this? I think if it was painted black and not the color of the car would be better. Can something be installed that would hide this flaw? Also, my inigition switch does not light up and when I use my remote sart at night, it’s hard to see the writing on the switch when inserting the key. When I purchased the Exclaim, I thought it had the lighted switch, but this one didn’t. Can that be installed on my car? Overall, I think I made a great choice in the Kia Soul.

  • BK

    After months of research my husband and I finally bought a Soul. We’ve had it a week and love it! I have to agree with Bill though, the only drawback is the missing parcel cover. I liked that feature on a lot of the other Kias and was disappointed it didn’t come with our Soul.

  • Mike Gordon

    We have a Soul plus automatic which we got about a month ago. I’m very happy with this small SUV but I have a question regarding the stereo system. I called the selling dealer and the Kia toll free number but they don’t have an answer. Our car DOESN’T have the upgraded audio system, but I’d like to install the center speaker only, without the sub woofer or the secondary amplifier. It looks like all we have to do is remove the dash panel where the center speaker fits and plug in the new speaker. My question is: is there a wiring harness with a speaker plug already installed in the Soul Plus?
    Otherwise the installation of a new wiring harness would be way too difficult and costly. I hope someone from the factory reads my post and can offer an advice. There is nothing wrong with the current audio system, but I think the addition of a center speaker would be an improvement. I don’t mind paying for it, but I don’t want to rewire the entire car, that could create numerous problems.

  • @Boris & @Dave — Indeed, different (standard) features are available on our vehicles in different markets. A lot of this has to do with demand, pricing and regional difference (i.e. Saudi Arabia doesn’t need heated seats as standard but Sweden might think they’re necessary).

    Your comments help us and our partners/distributors make the best decisions for consumers in each country. Thanks for your feedback, @everyone!

  • Gary Head

    I’m in the US by the way.

  • Greg

    I’m waiting for the new Optima to arrive at my local dealer. Having followed the progress that Kia has made over the past 10 years, both in features and reliability, it is on my short list.

    In my first posting, I critiqued the wheel covers shown on the 2011 Optima pictured on this website. Since the 2011 Optima will be a family sedan as well as having a sporty image, I’m hoping that there will be choices of wheels/wheel covers to reflect each buyers personal taste.

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  • franck

    Un frenchi, très content de ma soul, super sympa, le seul problème, les barres longitudinales ne sont même pas en option, dommage, beaucoup de gens les veulent en France.

  • franck

    A frog, very pleased with my soul, super nice, the only problem, the longitudinal bars are not even optional, damage, many people want them in France.

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  • David

    I would like to see the 2.4L GDI engine mated to the 6-speed AT introduced into the KIA Soul in the U.S. market. Let’s face it, the current powertrain offering is dated, especially in today’s market. Not only would it offer better performance; but, it would also return better gas mileage too. This pretty much seems like a no brainer to me.

    An All Wheel Drive option would be nice too on the higher models. This car has some good ground clearance, making it a viable option in areas subject to nasty weather. But the AWD would make this a really practical option for those needing versatile traction without buying an SUV.

    And in a more general sense, BRING ON THE DIESELS IN THE U.S. MARKET! For the life of me I cannot figure out why auto makers absolutely refuse to do this. I know that I am not alone is this because there are tons of posts on forums complaining about it too. It would be particularly viable in the CUV/SUV segment. Sure the GDI returns great performance and efficiency. But a diesel would do better. Some auto maker just needs to be a pioneer in adopting it here instead of being a follower.

    One more thing along the diesel line. I see hybrids popping up from most of the big auto maker’s line-ups. The strong point of hybrids is their city efficiency (MPG). Whereas the strong point of diesels is their highway efficiency (MPG). So the question begging to be answered is why not a diesel hybrid?

  • Billy Cowan

    Will you offer start/stop technology which is cheaper than full hybrid architecture to keep costs down, either the Bosch or the French hydraulic system to
    improve the mileage numbers.

  • Sam

    I am currently looking for a new car to replace my 10 yr old Honda Civic..

    Will HIDs ever be available on the Soul? My other car, MX-5 Mazda roadster has HID and I will never go back to regular headlights as I have found HIDs to be
    very effective in nighttime driving..

    All the best

    Bridgman MI USA

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  • Daddyohsoul!

    would like to see an audio firmware upgrade to allow iphone 3gs to be useds as an ipod and still function as a bluetooth phone.

  • Suz

    Love your hatchbacks–Soul, Sportage, and Forte Hatchback. The back window and side windows are too small. They make the interior look dark and the view in the back and sides seems obstructed. Larger windows can help avoid accidents.
    I agree with BenardP: “For my taste, the C-pillar on the 5-door is a miss: much too massive, too much metal/not enough glass, wrong rear window angle: the C pillar clashes with the lines of the rest of the car.”
    The six-speed transmissions will be good too — even better gas mileage.

  • Charles

    I have an AST degree in automovtive tehcnology. I’m a former ASE certified technician. I test drove the soul. The ride is very harsh. I like comfort in any vehicle I drive.

    As far as ALL of your models go: You’re obviously catering to a crowd that like gadgets and gizmos. Heated and cooled seats, heated steering wheels, blue tooth, panoramic sunroofs, no cloth option in the 2011 optima EX???

    What Kia is not addressing while spending all of this money on face painting is the quality of the underpinnings. I floored a new LX optima recently on a test drive. You should NOT hear that much engine noise coming into the passenger compartment. When I went to turn on the light for above the visor mirror the headliner and the light assembly deflected quite a bit. This tells me the headliner is not attached very well and the light is just attached to the headliner.

    The drive line in the new optima didn’t instill confidence in me. I can feel the difference between a quality built drive line and one that isn’t. Also why do you all require people to provide documentation when fliling a warranty claim? Either you have a great warranty and product or you don’t. I’ve been reading way to many posts of people who had their warranty claim denied.

    Toyota doesn’t do this. In fact, if you’re a little beyond your warranty they’ll still do the work under warranty. I’d rather have short warranty and never use it than a long one that is worthless or I always have to use. You guys are making some strides. But you’ve got a long way to go still. The WSJ sitll doesn’t recognize you all as a tier one car company. And the reasons I’ve mentioned above are a big reason why.

    Stop trying to put lipstick on a pig. Build a solid car first. Then we’ll worry about heated and cooled seats and a heated steering wheel..?? Seriously?

  • Texas Soul convert

    After driving a Hyundai Sonata for nearly 4 years before it was totaled, I decided to try again with a 2011 KIA Soul +. I call it my little go-cart as that is what I feel like I’m riding in most of the time. I find it to be an adequate daily driver with plenty of room in the vehicel for myself, my wife, our two grandkids and their stuff. For the price I was not expecting Cadillac comfort and it is a bit noisy and harsh on bumpy roads. Regardless I find it to be quite a good value and hope to enjoy it for many years to come.

  • @ Gary

    We are pleased to hear that you are happy with your Soul. :-) And also we appreciate your kind and detail feedback about Soul. We will definitely pass these to Product Manager, R&D center to inform your concern.


  • Al C.

    I am thoroughly impressed with Kia’s current product line. I am interested in the Soul and Scion XB, but waiting for the first company to put out a 5 / 6-speed auto. With the aerodynamics of a box, I’m hoping a better tranny would help the fuel economy ($4.10 a gallon in San Diego and that is Costco Gas).

  • Samuel_C_Curtis_III

    I am currently  looking at the Soul ! as my next car purchase/

    However, as a dog owner ( Irish Setter – 70lbs ) I would prefer the Soul ! have the option
    to come in a higher cloth material verus leather.  Leather does not hold up well when
    one has a dog in their family.  Having the option of have a higher durability cloth
    material in the Soul ! would be idea along with heated and cooled seats as this option
    is available in the VW GTI premium option. 

  • Speedoswimmer3


    I am also looking at the Kia Soul for my next possible car purchase.  The main reason I am
    considering this car, is its practicallity and versatility..

    I would like to see the following “Premium’ options available on the Soul ! :

    1.  All wheel drive (AWD)
    2.  Electric hatch opening function via FOB and dash buttom, whereby the hatch closes and
    opens electronically….  ( This feature is available on the new Explorer and Lexus SUV )
    3.  I would prefer more ‘mature’ special editions, targeting the mature crowd, for example,
    Eddie Bauer Edition, LLBean Edition, Orvis Edition etc.  These editions would offfer unique
    options not available on the other Soul models.
    4.  I would prefer ( as noted in a previous post ) a higher cloth trim seating ( perhaps GORTEX) for ruggness and for dog owners for example.
    5. Xexon lights for the Soul, as an option, would be nice.
    6.  Buit in roof rack that can be used for bikes, kayaks etc ( offter on the LLBean Edition as noted above in this post )
    7.  Passenger front seat should be able to fold down flat to enhance the Soul’s versatility ( example to haul a tall grandfather clock, etc. )
    8.  Finally, front sport seats with side bosters and adjustable lumbar feature should be a
    premium option for the Soul

    All the best,