The insistent urgency of the alarm shatters my shallow sleep like so many rocks thrown through the window of a fresh morning. Yet in truth my sleep’s fitful unrest has given me precious little perchance to dream. After all, how could I truly take a business class return to the Land of Nod when I knew what was awaiting as soon as the sun made its sneaky creep over the horizon’s lazy threshold. Clothes are thrown on with a careless speed that would make Gok Wan gasp. A breakfast is ingested with a vainglorious velocity that would cause a wolf blush. All functional actions seem to happen at the breathless and breakneck of a Buster Keaton DVD jammed on four times fast forward. At last I leave the house with the urgency of a diarrhea wracked cheetah and there in front of me is the reason for all this early a.m. hurrying and harrying: a perfect shape draped in ravishing red paintwork sits four square on the driveway. Oasis said Dig Out Your Soul. No need for digging Noel, my Soul is right here before me.
That’s right, the sensuous steed that stirred my slumbers is Kia’s new family friendly funkster, a tantalising take on the age old question of how to make a B/C-segment five door sing with a little more zing. The Soul’s style certainly takes that eternal question mark and drop kicks it into a week on Thursday; you won’t mistake this kid karting, dog dropping, teenager toting, bicycle barracking , windsurfer whisking multi-tasking marvel for a feebly fenestrated van. This Kia sits loud and proud, comfortable in its own artfully blocky skin.
The question is, does the Soul stir the soul where it matters, out on the toughest set of twisties the East Midlands can serve up? The answer is an emphatic, let’s find out. With the oils warmed through I set vectors for the heart of the red line and feel the motor spin as smooth as Liberace’s bathrobe. Grab another gear, change as precise as a brain surgeon’s Breitling, already this funk Soul brother is playing wah-wah with my heart. The road starts to buck and weave like a bronco playing basketball and Kia begins to serve up the meat of its Soul food. Each bump is soaked up like an oily Korean sponge as the chassis keys into the road and clings on like a Velcro cat in glue factory. Hard inputs through the transparent and tenacious steering elicit swift and decisive actions that let you know for sure that this Soul train corners like it’s on rails. I am a Soul singer, coming in hot and heavy. All at once I lift off, feel the tail step wide, give it a dab of oppo and I’m away.
The Kia Soul 2 1.6 is a bitch. And I spanked it.
Troy Queef is Executive Associate Editor-At-Large for DAB OF OPPO magazine