Sunday, July 26, 2009

New Something

Meet the new member of our family:
You may remember it from such commercials as this:

Or my personal favorite (they may look the same, but the music is different):

It is a 2010 Kia Soul + and it is our very first new car! Wahoo! It was so fun test driving and deciding on a new car (and a little stressful too).

We test drove the Kia Soul first, which REALLY set the bar high! We were so impressed with it (and to think that Jeff first thought it was ugly and now he loves it!). We loved all of the room it had inside and all of the details that this car had compared to the others in its class. But to let you know that we did do our research and test drove other cars, here is what else we test drove: After the Soul, we test drove the Nissan Cube, which is a similar car but EXTREMELY gimicky. Every reason the salesman (who we were not impressed with) told us to try to sell us on the car was an aesthetic reason, nothing to do with how good the car is except the style of engine it had. The car, standard, came with almost nothing in it. To get it up to the level of the Soul +, we had to add a ton of options to it which made the price WAYYY out of our range (over $20k!!!). We were NOT impressed. We also test drove the Nissan Versa, which is a hatchback. We weren't impressed there either. The price was high for the type of car it was compared to others in its class. It didn't have a whole lot inside and the interior felt very cheap to us.

We also test drove the Toyota Yaris, another 5 door hatchback. There was nothing WRONG with this car, it was just that it didn't have what the other cars we were interested in had (there were more cars, and I'll get to them in a minute). We also test drove the Honda Fit, which we liked, but again, it didn't have the room that other cars had. I realize that they are both good cars that will last and that Kia doesn't have that reputation, but I do think that Kia's cars have gotten A LOT better over the past few years. I know quite a few people that have Kias and LOVE their Kias.

Now for the competition... we test drove the Scion XB and XD (both made by Toyota). They were fantastic and real competition for the Kia Soul. Everything that the Kia had, they also had. However, they are a "pure priced" car, which means there is no negotiating on the price, Toyota policy. The price it is listed as is the price that it is. The Scion XB was our favorite of the two Scions, as it matched the Kia Soul with features, etc. However, it was high enough to be just out of our price range. The Scion XD was a great car and matched the price of our Kia, however it was a lot smaller than the Kia. We liked it but not as much as the Kia.

We got him talked down to a price that was comfortable (thank you to everyone who gave me advice on negotiating! I feel we did good for our first time. There is definitely room for improvement, but we did alright for our first time).

Why we loved the Kia Soul + (and why I keep putting a + sign next to the car name):
(I'll explain the latter first): The Soul comes in 4 categories: the Soul base model, which only comes in manual, the Soul + (plus), which has a lot more features standard in the car and comes in manual or automatic (and we are both automatic drivers), the Soul ! (exclaim), which had an interior we like, 18inch alloy wheels, but not too much more than the +, and the Soul Sport, which had an ugly interior (red and black! strange) but had some cool aesthetic features, like aluminum wheels, a sunroof that came standard, a rear spoiler, etc.

Now for why we loved it:
The Kia ran very smoothly and quietly (which actually ended up being pretty big when we test drove it!).
It has equal or higher saftey ratings than every single car that we test drove.
It came STANDARD with bluetooth in the car, so I can talk on the phone through the car!
It is extremely roomy inside the car. It is a cross between a hatchback and an SUV. It isn't as big as a crossover, but it is all but as big. the seating is like SUV seating, the seats fold down to leave A TON of room for storage, and there is even a decent amount of room when the seats are up, it had the most storage when it came to the glove compartment (enough to fit a 15" laptop if we wanted!).
The seats folded flat on the floor (instead of the trunk still being further down when the seats folded down.
The gas mileage was a lot better than what we have been getting with our cars (and no, neither of our cars qualified for the cash for clunkers program. Boooo)
The warranty.
Power windows and locks.
You can control the radio from the steering wheel.
A consol between the two front seats (you wouldn't believe how many cars came without a console or without armrests for the passenger! It was very annoying!)
There is definitely more but I can't think of them.

I went online to a few major websites that have done reviews or have consumer reviews and the only bad reviews it got was from people comparing the interior to a luxary car, which it is not. Otherwise everyone who has owned it loved it. Kia releases their cars in Korea first, to flatten out any bugs that may come up in the car before releasing it to the US.

We love the car and hope that it will love us back! We definitely needed a new car! We replaced Jeff's car, but for now it will be OUR car, not just his. It will become pretty much his car after I get a new one next year, but for now it will be our car. His car was giving us a lot of issues. It would just shut off when we were stopped, we've had a lot of radiator/heating issues with it lately, we just had a major engine issue this winter. It had no AC and only 3 windows went down (and none of those include the driver's window, making it terribly uncomfortable for the driver). You had to pull on a wire with pliers to get the hood open. There were other reasons I am sure. As you can see, it was time for a new car. We were ready to have a car that we could rely on!

And heck, we got the hamster car! That is what alerted us to it in the first place!

(Oh and props if you made it this far in this post! It was long and I didn't intend for it to be this long!)


Rachel said...

That is very cool! Congrats on the new purchase! Sounds like it has some really neat features. I'll have to keep that in mind when I start searching for a new car later this year... But I think I've got an eye out for the Prius...

Melissa said...

Yay! I am excited for you! I remember when we got our first new car and I was so proud-- we still have it 5 years later and still love it.

Domestic Princess said...

We're going to be looking for a new car soon. Thanks for the reviews on your test drives.