I live in northern Michigan where the average annual snowfall in my city is almost 150 inches…I don’t know if you are good with numbers, but that is a lot of snow. That is over 12 feet of snow, and this year we had record breaking snowfalls. We have to literally shovel our roofs because of the enormous amount of weight from the snow. There are days when we can’t leave our house, but for as boring as it can be stuck inside, the days we do have to go out in bad weather are so much worse.
If you don’t have a reliable vehicle that can handle the weather, you shouldn’t be on the road. However, it isn’t exactly practical to drive a snowplow everywhere, and it is difficult to find a vehicle that can make it through the snow while still providing enough room for a car seat, a dog that waits by the front door when he hears car keys and the daily necessities of groceries, bags, sleds, and everything else. As such, I was pleasantly surprised that the 2017 Kia Soul Turbo exceeded my winter driving expectations.
At its highest trim level, the Kia Soul Turbo has 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and offers a 26/31/28 mpg. I’m certainly not drag racing anytime soon, but I do like a vehicle that has some oomph under the hood, and the Soul Turbo is pleasantly responsive to my lead foot. The ride is smooth and effortless even on the un-groomed dirt roads that surround our house. It also has optional high-intensity discharge headlights with auto leveling that adjusts while you drive! In the backwoods where we live, it is important to have good headlights as to avoid the abundance of wildlife that dart out into the road.
While drivability is number one on my list, the heating features a vehicle has to offer is a very close second. The Soul Turbo in the two highest trim levels known as the + and the ! offer optional heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, heated outside mirrors, and a heated back window with timer (and a wiper!) There are plenty of mornings I have to go out when it is below freezing, and the air is so cold it makes exposed skin hurt. I have to go out and shovel my way out of the driveway so a vehicle that offers heated features in all the right places is absolutely amazing to me! It means less time scraping and de-icing windows as well as less time for the interior to warm up so I can get the family in the car sooner and maybe, just maybe, be on time for once.
The backseat has enough room for my group of rag-tag passengers. I can easily fit my son’s car seat and our 90 pound dog in the back, along with the suitcase of toy cars my son insists on bringing everywhere. The 60-40 split-folding rear seat gives me more room in the back for hauling. From sleds and fishing poles to play pens and bags of salt, my vehicle has to accommodate my ever changing daily needs.
Living in an area with such treacherous terrain in the winter, it isn’t uncommon to see cars stuck in ditches, buried in snowbanks, and much worse. With a family to keep safe, I want a vehicle that is loaded with safety features. The Kia Soul Turbo comes standard with
- Dual Front Advanced Airbags
- Dual Front Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
- Full Length Side Curtain Airbags
- Side Impact Door Beams
- Hill Start Assist Control
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System
- Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children
The Soul also has smart active safety systems to help sense difficult driving conditions and adapt accordingly. Traction Control System helps prevent the wheels from spinning when you accelerate. The Vehicle Stability Management allows for more control while steering in difficult driving conditions, and the Electronic Stability Control helps me stay on course by increasing stability. The last thing that crosses my mind when I am driving in bad conditions is what settings I need to change on the car. I am thinking about who is in the car with me, if I should stop, how much further I need to go…all of this is racing through my mind as I assess the road white knuckling the steering wheel. I want a car that guides me and anticipates what it needs to do to better handle the road.
Beyond its amazing features, I love the Soul because it is so different than what you normally see on the road. Its funky design stands out, and the beautiful red accents on the car grab your eye. A sporty design gives it a fun feel without sacrificing the functionality needed to transport a family. The Soul Turbo is proof that buying a vehicle is one of the few areas in life where being adult doesn’t mean that you have to be boring.
Kia’s constant progression within the auto world is a testament to its customer dedication. They understand that cars need to be more than just transport from A to B. Our vehicles are what we rely on to get to the jobs that support us, and they take our families back and forth to school and practices. The car we choose to drive is important because it aids us in our day to day lives and has the possibility to make our lives easier, safer, more enjoyable, and the world more accessible. Kia designs cars for people, real people. They don’t create cars for commercials or magazine ads. They don’t add useless bells and whistles to drive up costs and persuade people into buying a name. If you are looking for an affordable vehicle that is filled with tech, on trend and reliable no matter where you may roam, the 2017 Kia Soul Turbo is definitely worth looking at.
Thank you Kia for providing me with a Kia Soul Turbo to test drive. All opinions remain my own.