The 10.4 m turning radius feels better than that number suggests and the wheels-at-the-corners stance makes the Soul a joy to park and maneuver in all but the ugliest of Costco melees. The tallness of the Soul impacts handling somewhat but you’ll find it surprisingly agile – even fun in some instances. Ride quality is a little wanting with some harshness especially over decent bumps and pot holes and the Soul takes more time than it ought to settle back down after a big rise.

There’s a generous 532 L of storage capacity with all seats in place and that balloons out to a very handy 1,402 L with them folded. You might be surprised as I was to learn that the seats don’t fold flat, in fact they’re angled quite high and that really affects the usability of the cargo space. The one bonus is an underfloor storage tray big enough for a small emergency kit, a tool kit or even a laptop computer. Still, if the Soul’s seats folded completely flat the boxy shape would make it one of the most practical and useful small rigs on the road. As it stands it falls ever so slightly short.

Warranty:
5 years/100,000 km; 5 years/100,000 km powertrain; 5 years/unlimited distance corrosion perforation; 5 years/100,000 km roadside assistance

Competitors:
Chevrolet Trax
Honda HR-V
Nissan Juke
Scion iM
Subaru Crosstrek

With the new crop of sub-compact SUVs popping up like daisies, the Kia Soul could consider itself one of the first of a breed. It offers excellent storage, funky city looks and solid driving dynamics – but fails to offer the one thing by which the rest of those units justify their existence: all-wheel drive. As a front driver, the Soul is a niche offering whose raison d’etre is pure form. If Kia sees fit to add AWD (and fix the seat fold thing), the Soul could lead the mini-CUV revolution.

Pricing: 2016 Kia Soul
Base Price: $25,995
Options: $200 – paint
A/C Tax: $100
Freight and PDI: $1,725
Price as Tested: $28,020

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