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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For those of you still cross-shopping, thought I'd share my experiences after a few weeks with a new 2015 Kia Soul+, which I selected over the HRV as a better "fit" for me personally.

It was both hard and easy to buy another Soul. It was hard because I'd followed the HRV/Vezel for many months and was really hoping for a better car. It was easy because once we drove them both, the winner by a wide margin (for us and our needs) was just really obvious.

I offer the following purely as information for those still considering various cars - absolutely, positively no insult or provocation is intended to anyone who's already chosen or purchased an HRV - it was the better car for you, and that's all that matters! This is NOT intended as an antagonistic posting.

OK, on to our experience report as new owners...

We were blown away by what we got for our money. We spent $18,000 (including delivery) for a 2015 Soul Plus with automatic and the audio package with voice navigation and roadside assistance for life. That was $3,500 off list. No dealership games. We did the whole transaction online and spent 15 minutes at our dealer signing papers.

We got the awesome Kia warranty. 5 years bumper to bumper warranty, and 10 years limited power train warranty. Not that we expect to need it, as we put 90,000 miles on our last Soul, and since the Soul won reliability, design, and retained value awards last year.

We got an 8" touchscreen display with KNOBS for volume and tuning (you can still use touch). That's right, knobs! Those round things you can turn. And voice control, which is really cool And navigation. And rear camera. Of course, the usual steering wheel controls too - and touch if you want it. Oh, and an App store coming soon for the UVO system - cool! We love all the gadgets on this car. Including the ability to have our phone navigate us back to the parking spot.

We have auto climate control, but only single zone on our package. We didn't get heated seats, which was one thing I loved about the HRV EX. Other than the sunroof, I think the HRV EX has an awesome standard feature list. On the Soul, heated seats that would have required another package and another $1,000.

We have very slightly greater cargo space than the HRV. But what's cool is that we have it in a car that is 6" shorter. We love that, as we like short cars. That's six inches less of car to get into a tight parking spot.

We scored one of the best-liked infotainment systems in the industry, as opposed to one of the most loathed. HD radio. Sirius. Infinity. Pandora. A bunch of other stuff.

We have all kinds of cubbyholes around the car, which my "lots of stuff" spouse really likes. She literally filled a medium cardboard box with all the stuff she had stashed in the last car. Oh, and comfy armrests - but not the clever HRV cup holder, which is really cool.

We have tons of headroom, as we were able to buy a nicely loaded car without a sunroof. For us, the sunroof was a deal killer on the HRV EX.

We have a rear passenger section that's totally comfortable - not claustrophobic like the HRV EX (I'm only 5'9", and I felt trapped back there). Nice square doors for ease of entry. We carry adults, not kids. Adults like easy entry.

We have a 164 horsepower engine, as opposed to 141 in the HRV. And more important to me, 151 torque vs 127 - so the engine rpms can stay low and quiet. And it's all beautifully matched to an automatic with sport-shift and selectable performance modes (I'm a 6-speed kind of guy, but I easily accepted this automatic). The power difference is huge for us - the HRV just felt sluggish and incredibly noisy going up a hill. The Soul moves out snappily, and does it quietly.

We have pretty good fuel economy, averaging just under 30 in mixed driving. I think you'd get less in the city - the HRV definitely wins here by a few MPG.

It's wonderfully quiet. And the interior is very upscale. No cloth doors - which kind of freaked us out about the HRV. The HRV was an odd mix of expensive and cheap feeling inside - a bit of both. I do think the HRV had a cleaner interior design - very Germanic and sparse.

All in all we're overjoyed with our new Soul Plus - we still smile every time we get into the thing. I think in a few years Honda will iron out the very few soft spots in the HRV, and we'll definitely look at it again.

Hope this helps those of you still cross-shopping. To everyone who already bought an HRV - congratulations! I really liked a lot about the HRV when I test drove it, and I think it's the best choice for a whole lot of whole lot of people who have different priorities than us. Viva la difference!
 

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Thanks for detailed report Scooter. Gonna put the Soul on my list. I'm a bit behind in Soul expertise. Is this a recent redesign or is that due shortly?
 

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Thanks for detailed report Scooter. Gonna put the Soul on my list. I'm a bit behind in Soul expertise. Is this a recent redesign or is that due shortly?
Recent... maybe 1 to 1.5 years ago (IIRC).

Okhick, I know you mentioned not needing AWD, so this wouldn't matter for you, but one of the biggest pitfalls of the Soul is that is isn't offered in AWD. That, the poor fuel economy and the looks are probably the three biggest reasons people would choose something else over the Soul.
 
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Excellent review... thanks! I have yet to check it out, but it's on my list to do while we wait for the HR-V to get here.
 

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Recent... maybe 1 to 1.5 years ago (IIRC).

Okhick, I know you mentioned not needing AWD, so this wouldn't matter for you, but one of the biggest pitfalls of the Soul is that is isn't offered in AWD. That, the poor fuel economy and the looks are probably the three biggest reasons people would choose something else over the Soul.
Thanks for info. Scooter has possibly oversold it a bit, but I am intrigued.Sounds like a Golf but without the maintainance ,reliability issues and better infotainment. That purchase price would allow buying the extra fuel for years. Right about the looks. Negative with me too. Also I like to trade often and depr. Can get ugly with Korean cars. (Speaking from experience).
 

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Not to hurt anyone's feelings...Every car has its strengths and weaknesses. There is not one driving pattern and habit for all drivers. What feels comfortable to one may not feel comfortable to another. This being said, I LOVE the way the HRV drives. The lack of interior storage will force me to stop being a pack rat. One of my consideration about buying a new vehicle is the dealer network. A factory warranty is fine, but if the manufacturer does not have a large dealer network, the warranty means nothing. Likewise a large dealer network practically guarantees more readily available parts. Honda, along with Toyota and Nissan, has almost as large of a dealer network in the United States as any of Detroit's Big Three. Kia/Hyundai has a national dealer network on par with perhaps Mazda or BMW. These are just my observations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes to all the observations listed above. While we love our new Soul, we're not blind to its flaws...

1. For those of you who prefer AWD to snow tires - the Soul just isn't on your list right now. FWD only for now. But my advice would be to re-assess your desire for AWD. AWD has become the modern myth - as in you think you need it (you don't). Any professional winter driver will trade AWD for snow tires in, oh, a millisecond. AWD gets you going. Snow tires get you going AND get you stopped - think about it...

2. Probably 80 percent of the planet Earth considers the Soul design to be homely. Can't help you there. The HRV is way less polarizing.

3. For those of you wondering about the promised Soul redesign with optional AWD and Hybrid and 220 HP and better fuel economy - suddenly nobody knows when or if it will appear. We considered waiting, but we wanted a new car NOW.

4. I think it was Bicepeak who drove a Soul Base? If so, he can echo my thoughts on this. Don't waste your time test driving a base Soul with the 1.6 liter and 130 HP - unless you have a secret desire to emulate a snail.
 

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Great review! ;)

Love the Kia Soul, but not an option until they get AWD, better gas mileage, and do something about the depreciation.

For those of you still cross-shopping, thought I'd share my experiences after a few weeks with a new 2015 Kia Soul+, which I selected over the HRV as a better "fit" for me personally.

It was both hard and easy to buy another Soul. It was hard because I'd followed the HRV/Vezel for many months and was really hoping for a better car. It was easy because once we drove them both, the winner by a wide margin (for us and our needs) was just really obvious.

I offer the following purely as information for those still considering various cars - absolutely, positively no insult or provocation is intended to anyone who's already chosen or purchased an HRV - it was the better car for you, and that's all that matters! This is NOT intended as an antagonistic posting.

OK, on to our experience report as new owners...

We were blown away by what we got for our money. We spent $18,000 (including delivery) for a 2015 Soul Plus with automatic and the audio package with voice navigation and roadside assistance for life. That was $3,500 off list. No dealership games. We did the whole transaction online and spent 15 minutes at our dealer signing papers.

We got the awesome Kia warranty. 5 years bumper to bumper warranty, and 10 years limited power train warranty. Not that we expect to need it, as we put 90,000 miles on our last Soul, and since the Soul won reliability, design, and retained value awards last year.

We got an 8" touchscreen display with KNOBS for volume and tuning (you can still use touch). That's right, knobs! Those round things you can turn. And voice control, which is really cool And navigation. And rear camera. Of course, the usual steering wheel controls too - and touch if you want it. Oh, and an App store coming soon for the UVO system - cool! We love all the gadgets on this car. Including the ability to have our phone navigate us back to the parking spot.

We have auto climate control, but only single zone on our package. We didn't get heated seats, which was one thing I loved about the HRV EX. Other than the sunroof, I think the HRV EX has an awesome standard feature list. On the Soul, heated seats that would have required another package and another $1,000.

We have very slightly greater cargo space than the HRV. But what's cool is that we have it in a car that is 6" shorter. We love that, as we like short cars. That's six inches less of car to get into a tight parking spot.

We scored one of the best-liked infotainment systems in the industry, as opposed to one of the most loathed. HD radio. Sirius. Infinity. Pandora. A bunch of other stuff.

We have all kinds of cubbyholes around the car, which my "lots of stuff" spouse really likes. She literally filled a medium cardboard box with all the stuff she had stashed in the last car. Oh, and comfy armrests - but not the clever HRV cup holder, which is really cool.

We have tons of headroom, as we were able to buy a nicely loaded car without a sunroof. For us, the sunroof was a deal killer on the HRV EX.

We have a rear passenger section that's totally comfortable - not claustrophobic like the HRV EX (I'm only 5'9", and I felt trapped back there). Nice square doors for ease of entry. We carry adults, not kids. Adults like easy entry.

We have a 164 horsepower engine, as opposed to 141 in the HRV. And more important to me, 151 torque vs 127 - so the engine rpms can stay low and quiet. And it's all beautifully matched to an automatic with sport-shift and selectable performance modes (I'm a 6-speed kind of guy, but I easily accepted this automatic). The power difference is huge for us - the HRV just felt sluggish and incredibly noisy going up a hill. The Soul moves out snappily, and does it quietly.

We have pretty good fuel economy, averaging just under 30 in mixed driving. I think you'd get less in the city - the HRV definitely wins here by a few MPG.

It's wonderfully quiet. And the interior is very upscale. No cloth doors - which kind of freaked us out about the HRV. The HRV was an odd mix of expensive and cheap feeling inside - a bit of both. I do think the HRV had a cleaner interior design - very Germanic and sparse.

All in all we're overjoyed with our new Soul Plus - we still smile every time we get into the thing. I think in a few years Honda will iron out the very few soft spots in the HRV, and we'll definitely look at it again.

Hope this helps those of you still cross-shopping. To everyone who already bought an HRV - congratulations! I really liked a lot about the HRV when I test drove it, and I think it's the best choice for a whole lot of whole lot of people who have different priorities than us. Viva la difference!
 

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A friend of mine was pretty set on the Soul last fall until he acquired a used car from a different friend who had their second child and needed to get a minivan ASAP. I rode with him on his test drives of the Soul+ and was impressed with all the bells and whistles on the interior, even that full roof window (forgot the official name). I think he was looking at the Soul! or whatever the middle range was that wasn't quite as tricked out inside but had the larger engine. It very much reminded me of when Scion first came out and you could really trick out the interior with some flashy features. I see tons of them around the city, in a few body styles, but I don't know the generations but that tells me they just keep on ticking. If it had AWD I might have given it consideration but I really had to stick to my guns on the roof rail situation after seeing what an add on rack did to my doors. Seems like a perfect car to add in a 2 car household where you have one more rugged vehicle to get to the mountains on rough roads or in snow, and the Soul for running around the city and commuting with a much lower payment.
 

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I liked the Soul when I checked it out. My wife is not a fan of the look so it's pretty well a no go. Here's what I had to say last week.

I can see why there is interest in the Kia Soul. I checked out a loaded SX. Lots of room and very well laid out. 5 year bumper to bumper warranty and lacking for nothing in the tech. and creature comfort departments. The style is a bit funky so we'd have to get wife approval. What really surprised me is that the Soul - DOES NOT COME WITH A SPARE TIRE Couldn't believe it. There is space but no spare. I told the salesperson this would be a deal breaker and that he should talk to his parts dept., put a package together, and call me back. He did and for $400 plus tax they would put in a space saver on a steel rim, jack and wrench. They are now considering adding this to their dealer installed options.
 

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Yes to all the observations listed above. While we love our new Soul, we're not blind to its flaws...

1. For those of you who prefer AWD to snow tires - the Soul just isn't on your list right now. FWD only for now. But my advice would be to re-assess your desire for AWD. AWD has become the modern myth - as in you think you need it (you don't). Any professional winter driver will trade AWD for snow tires in, oh, a millisecond. AWD gets you going. Snow tires get you going AND get you stopped - think about it...
I 100% agree. I would take snow tires in a heartbeat, just wanted to make it clear to others that the Soul won't match apples to apples with the HR-V if they are looking for AWD.
 

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Can You Do Me A Favor?

We spent $18,000 (including delivery) for a 2015 Soul Plus with automatic and the audio package with voice navigation and roadside assistance for life. That was $3,500 off list. No dealership games. We did the whole transaction online and spent 15 minutes at our dealer signing papers.
Can you tell me what the TrueCar website shows for your area on a Soul built exactly like what you bought? In my area of Texas I'm seeing $19,744. I'm curious how you got another $1700 off to be able to purchase it for $18K.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
>> Can you tell me what the TrueCar website shows for your area on a Soul built exactly like what you bought.

I'll send the pricing details to you privately. Pretty much no magic there, except I qualified for $500 as a military veteran.
 

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OK.

>> Can you tell me what the TrueCar website shows for your area on a Soul built exactly like what you bought.

I'll send the pricing details to you privately. Pretty much no magic there, except I qualified for $500 as a military veteran.
The price I'm seeing is with $500 Kia cash. Now I'm even more intrigued as to how your price was obtained. I'll look out for a PM from you.
 

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Yeah same here; just doesn't seem as refined as the HRV.

I just wish it had the AWD option and better gas mileage, along with Honda ownership costs. ;)

I liked the Soul when I checked it out. My wife is not a fan of the look so it's pretty well a no go. Here's what I had to say last week.

I can see why there is interest in the Kia Soul. I checked out a loaded SX. Lots of room and very well laid out. 5 year bumper to bumper warranty and lacking for nothing in the tech. and creature comfort departments. The style is a bit funky so we'd have to get wife approval. What really surprised me is that the Soul - DOES NOT COME WITH A SPARE TIRE Couldn't believe it. There is space but no spare. I told the salesperson this would be a deal breaker and that he should talk to his parts dept., put a package together, and call me back. He did and for $400 plus tax they would put in a space saver on a steel rim, jack and wrench. They are now considering adding this to their dealer installed options.
 

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Yes to all the observations listed above. While we love our new Soul, we're not blind to its flaws...

1. For those of you who prefer AWD to snow tires - the Soul just isn't on your list right now. FWD only for now. But my advice would be to re-assess your desire for AWD. AWD has become the modern myth - as in you think you need it (you don't). Any professional winter driver will trade AWD for snow tires in, oh, a millisecond. AWD gets you going. Snow tires get you going AND get you stopped - think about it...

2. Probably 80 percent of the planet Earth considers the Soul design to be homely. Can't help you there. The HRV is way less polarizing.

3. For those of you wondering about the promised Soul redesign with optional AWD and Hybrid and 220 HP and better fuel economy - suddenly nobody knows when or if it will appear. We considered waiting, but we wanted a new car NOW.

4. I think it was Bicepeak who drove a Soul Base? If so, he can echo my thoughts on this. Don't waste your time test driving a base Soul with the 1.6 liter and 130 HP - unless you have a secret desire to emulate a snail.

That wasn't me that test drove the Base Soul. But here is the spooky part.....While I was checking out the CX-5, I saw a Base Soul sitting in the used car area. It did impress me with it's very useable layout. I never mentioned this visit in the forum and yet you knew I had...ooooOOOOooo!



But seriously, do the rear seat backs recline in the upper levels?
 

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In a perfect world there would be a car that looks like the HRV on the outside but has the interior bells and whistles of the Soul. It's mind-boggling all the features Kia gives you for car in the price range. Shame on Honda for not competing better in this area.

So here's the problem for me: I know that I will spend most of my time INSIDE a car and will only see the exterior when I'm walking up to it, but how a car looks from the outside does matter to me. The Soul just seems too boxy, too cheap looking. Oddly enough I kind of liked it when it first came out but now that I've seen so many on the road the design doesn't do much for me. I don't think it's a car design that has aged well. I think the Kia Sportage looks nicer so if that has the same features as the Soul I wouldn't mind checking that out.

One option I am considering is just leasing a Soul for 24 months. My local dealers are offering a $179 per month lease deal. Then in two years I can either stick with the Soul or get a 2018 HRV.

Anyhow thanks for this post Scooter. I appreciate posts from people who ended up not getting an HRV. Who knows, that might be me in a few months.
 

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Agree, but due to the following, it is not an option:


  • Ridiculously low fuel economy

  • NO AWD

  • Ownership costs, particularly depreciation, that in the long run your basically throwing your money away with little if any value left in the vehicle.
The Soul just seems too boxy, too cheap looking.
 
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