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Boar with a backpack. Test new Kia Soul

Since the debut of Soul ten years ago, disputes have not subsided: is it worth it to rank it as a crossover? Well, in fact: it does not have a full drive, and the trunk of the first generation was just mockingly small: 222 liters – less than the Matiz. In the second generation, it grew to 354 liters, although this too little. To top it all off, the ground clearance was only 153 mm. That is no advantage over any hatchback of a similar class. If you do not take into account the design.

But how not to take it into account? Boar with a backpack on his back! If you believe the representatives of Kia, its creator Mark Torpey himself described the style of Soul when in 2006 he showed the world the concept of this model (Peter Schreier, responsible for all of Kia’s design achievements of the past 12 years, had finished the production version).

With the change of generations, Soul switched to the K2 platform (common with Ceed, Cerato and Rio), while the dimensions have not changed much, and the characteristic silhouette is exactly the same as it was. Boar with a backpack on his back is still with us.

It doesn’t catch the eye, but the model still made a half-step towards the crossovers: ground clearance increased to 180 mm (in the most powerful version – up to 170 mm), trunk volume – up to 364 liters (+10 liters compared to the second generation). But otherwise, for all the main technical characteristics of the car did not receive any upgrade.

And the Koreans did not set such a task. When you get acquainted with the new Soul live, it is immediately clear what the main emphasis was made on: the creators of the novelty tried to make the exterior and interior even more advanced in many nuances. It is logical, since the buyers of this model loved her first of all with “eyes”.

Have you seen these headlights? Yes, they also like tuning pads. And cool! Squared to be more expressive. This has already happened that automakers borrow ideas from the world of tuning. Remember, at the beginning of the “zero” taillights were popular under the common transparent cap, inside of which were separate round “lights” on the mirror substrate. And this method was then adopted by Lexus. Or maybe it was someone else who invented it, but everyone picked it up. Who will now disassemble? And it does not matter. The main thing – the idea went to the people. So it is here.

In the radiator grille of the new Soul – a scattering of “diamonds”. Mercedes CLA was the first to get something similar in 2013, but for more mass models this move is still not beaten.

Behind the lanterns surround the glass of the fifth door with a giant ring. Freshly. In general, if you do not belong to the haters of Soul of the first and second generations, then the third may fall in love with you.

The lines of the body and the interior supposedly should create sensations of visualization of sound waves. This is perhaps a somewhat contrived image. But in the cabin we are met by the most natural color music: in time with the audio accompaniment provided by Harman / Kardon, inserts on the doors begin to pulsate in different colors. I am sure it will impress passengers, especially passengers. True, the dynamic backlight can be seen only in the dark and this function works only in the parking lot. That is, the chip was invented precisely for the length of time that the car had already stopped, but people had not yet come out of it. Twilight and music. What do you think they do? I think at least kiss. Hussars – be silent!

Some whistles and blinkers, as well as ryushechek and frills, of course, is not enough for market success, so the Koreans have a more reliable trump card in the sleeve: “The new Soul is the most equipped crossover in the segment,” say the brand representatives. Seat ventilation, wireless charging, cool multimedia and a full range of security systems (lane holding, active cruise control, emergency auto brakes) are really good for such a car.

There was no version with the most popular engine on the test – the base 1.6 (123 hp), which accounts for 60% of sales, is understandable: the older configurations with it are not available, and just the most interesting lies in them. “Full stuffing” is possible only with a 2.0 engine (150 hp), and we tested this version first.

When you sit down in a compact Korean crossover, for which almost 1.7 million rubles are being asked, you just want to start exposing the fakes. Pulls a finger in the flaws and say: not for Senka hat. However, no, even if it becomes sad from this price, I didn’t manage to find a specific “flyhide” here. Materials are not inferior to any of the competitors, ergonomics are correct in a European way. And if the previous generation could be reproached for certain gaps in equipment, now they have been eliminated: dual-zone climate control has appeared, the steering wheel and the windshield have been heated over the whole area, the top multimedia interface with a 10.25-inch screen is better than the some premium brands.

If you want to name some frankly annoying detail, then I recall only a paradoxical limitation: on the move it is impossible to pick up a new device via Bluetooth – they say, for security reasons. Why deprive the passenger of this opportunity is a mystery.

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