Our summer quest for a new vehicle continues this week with the Kia Soul 4u SX. Although we drove the Soul a short while ago, we decided to re-visit it as a potential purchase after we saw the SX version at the auto show back in February of this year. I asked Kia if they would be kind enough to let me have it for an extended period of time – 3 weeks to see just how much we would like it. They graciously agreed, but one of my fellow journalists did what we all fear when driving company cars.. he or she got in an accident rendering the vehicle unavailable for yours truly. Fortunately, that gave me the opportunity to drive the Sorento for two weeks and we thoroughly enjoyed that, but this left us with just one week to evaluate the Soul.
When my wife first laid her eyes on the Kia Soul at the auto show, right then and there she wanted one. I was intrigued, but not overly thrilled at owning one (I don’t have a vehicle of my own – that’s what road test vehicles are for). To stop my ears from bleeding because of my wife’s incessant nagging, I asked the Kia PR department for one to test at the earliest possible moment. That time has now arrived. I wasn’t enamored with the Soul’s mediocre 142 horsepower (106 Kw) and the look is certainly “different.” I am however, interested in any vehicle that can be purchased at such a reasonable price and wanted to know how useful it could be. Within just a few minutes of driving it, my whole attitude towards it changed. The only “cheap” part of this vehicle is its price – everything else is better than you’d expect from a vehicle with a base price of just $15,495 Cdn. First Impressions I don’t dislike the look, but it’s completely …
While the base Lancer without the lower body kit and rear wing is no dog, the GTS adds enough looks and pizzazz to make it a far more attractive car. But it’s not just different in the looks department – for 2009 the GTS got a bigger engine and therefore becomes a completely different car from other Lancer models.
The Mitsubishi Lancer was last redesigned for the 2001 model year, so needless to say it was long overdue for a facelift. Not a moment too soon, with 2008 came the all-new model, and it’s a looker. Based on the 2005 Concept-X show car, many of its features were retained for the actual version available to the public. While not as sexy as the top range GTS, the base model preserves 99% of the good looks that make this compact car stand out in the crowd. It’s also got far more content and safety features than you’d expect in a car in this class and price bracket. In a sea of “blah” generic econoboxes, the Lancer gets people’s heads twisting for a second-glance.
Having grown up in the UK for the most part, the Mini has always been an integral part of the road-scape for me. Although it had a bit of a cult following over here in North America, there were numerous versions of the Mini in Britain and Europe. From the familiar and traditional 2-door version to a station wagon (Clubman), to a panel van version and a pickup – the mini was everywhere. The Post Office had what seemed like millions of them and they seemed to be standard issue for every traveling salesman. And let’s not forget the movie “The Italian Job” – it just wouldn’t have been the same if they’d used VW Beetles, would it?