With a wheelbase of 100.4 inches, the height of a 5ft-3inch human, width similar to that of The Good Car Guy's height, and length of The Good Car Guy plus Yao Ming, the new Kia Soul sounds large. Put another way, the new Kia Soul has a wheelbase just 2.4 inches longer than that of the new Honda Fit. The Soul and the Fit are equally lengthy but the Soul is 3.4 inches taller and more than 3.6 inches wider.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Thus, the new Kia Soul should be about as easy to park as Honda's small hatchback, a constant GoodCarBadCar.net favourite. More importantly, with a little extra height and a little extra width, the Soul should be able to find more space for people and their stuff inside.
Why is this important? Well, the Kia Soul will offer more horsepower than the Honda Fit (probably not a direct or terribly indirect competitor, either) in both standard and optional trim but will more than likely weigh more than the Honda, too. Korean cars are typically a smidge heavier than their dimensions would lead us to believe while Hondas are usually a little lighter than their dimensions suggest. With excellent down-the-road dynamics, Honda's hatchback has made a name for itself as the enthusiast's choice in a segment auto enthusiasts avoid with passion. The Kia Soul has ignited some excitement from all parts of the consumer audience with attractive styling and a potentially awesome cargo/fuel economy ratio.
It was because of this excitement that The Good Car Guy thought it necessary to bring to your attention that the Soul isn't a large vehicle - and that's a very good thing. Kia appears to have hit the proverbial sweet spot in North America right now. Automobile owners still want space but are fearful that gas prices will strike them in their gut again, right where their Ford F-150 resides. If people can have their space with fuel efficiency while looking cool, they'll be excited.
That's not to say that the Honda Fit doesn't cut muster anymore. After all, The Good Car Guy likes the second-generation even better than the first, and the first generation was one of twelve cars labelled by GoodCarBadCar.net as the cars The Good Car Nation should drive in 2008. Kia seems to have taken the Fit's game up a notch, however. Expect fuel economy to come down slightly from the Fit's impressive 27/33mpg, but not so far as to wish you were back in your lumbering SUV.