2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick
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Bought the $7+ lifetime balance-rotation from Wal-Mart and I had no problems until the Michelin Energies wore out at 40K (overrated tire IMHO), bought Uniroyal Tiger Paw GTH's (about half the price of the Mic's and better), again from Wal-Mart and have had no shimmy problems.
I know there are some people who prefer roll-down windows, based on comments I've seen in these boards, but IMO that's not a huge percentage of the population. Some people may be concerned about kids and power windows, but with the flush switch design used by Kia and the lockout feature, I think it's pretty safe. The power locks with remote entry and fog lamps on the EX add some measure of safety too I think.
Kia's president was on a local radio station about a month ago and reported that you had to take your Kia to the dealer or waive the warranty. This is a car-guy and he doesn't understand Magnusson-Moss???
As far as the less than $200 difference between an LX with A/C and EX, yes it's pretty stupid except for people who want manual windows but as mentioned already most people don't prefer manual windows and would be willing to pay $200 more. It's sort of like the Mazda3. The Mazda3 2.0 with power package and A/C (which most buyers want A/C and power windows/locks) is priced only $700 less than a Mazda3 2.3. Most people (at least on the forums) don't see the point in the 2.0 when for only $700 you can get the bigger engine, bigger disc brakes, foglights, leather-wrapped steering wheel, special gauges, the list goes on and on. Personally though I do prefer the 2.0 because it's available with a beige interior, has the better looking grille and taillights, and I'll take the better fuel mileage. The Spectra LX is more pointless though unless someone doesn't want power windows.
Has anyone noticed that the 2005 Focus has basically the same pricing as a Mazda3? There's no doubt that the Ford Focus will become the next Cavalier and massive rebates will be offered. They're simply pulling a GM with inflated prices and then in return already knowing the $3,000 rebates won't be far behind. I have to wonder though since the Ford Focus is a rental car special that the parts used aren't exactly high quality since it's built for being a rental car in mind. Where as the Mazda3 is built in Japan for the entire world and where in Europe the Mazda3 is higher up the food chain so quality is important. This is pure speculation on my part about parts quality but the NA Focus doesn't seem to be a European Focus, not only with the platform but also in overall quality.
Which brings me to the Spectra. Competition is only going to get fiercer with the new Elantra, Sentra, Civic, Cobalt (which I also think may have an inflated price and follow the Cavalier and Focus), and even the new tC may steal a few buyers that would have otherwise bought an economy car. I think the new Spectra, in it's current form, would have to offer at least $2,000 rebates, if not more. The Kia will be overlooked and only bargain shoppers will look at it, thus the rebates will need to be there. Never has anyone strapped for cash looking for a new car could get this kind of car with this kind of warranty, except obviously for an Elantra.
Even if the car is overlooked this is a very important car for Kia. I've noticed, at least on the internet, people no longer use Hyundai to make jokes about cheap cars. The Kia name is now the punching bag but with cars like the Spectra it won't be long before they move up in consumer's eyes. I have to wonder what car badge then will be used to describe cheap cars.
So they'll still be joked about, it just might not apply as well as it used to.
backy- I am VERY interested to see what Hyundai and Kia do with the next gen Accent and Rio.
pzev- Ford has completely adopted a strategy through which it offsets rebates with higher MSRP and invoice pricing. On a lot recently, I noticed that a VERY moderately equipped Freestar(no leather, no moonroof, plastic wheels... really not many extras except for the side "canopy" safety system) stickered at $29,000 flat. Thats crazy! A Sienna LE with the top LE options package (comes with VSC, side curtains, alloys, power passenger door, DVD rear system, etc.) stickers for a hair under $29,000. C'mon, Ford, get real!
If you look in a recent issue of Car and Driver (June or July, cant remember which), the Focus ST MANUAL(!)tested (well optioned, but not with leather... mind you) was about $19,800. Thats ABOVE the comparable Civic and Corolla.
* Rear cupholders (sedan only)
* Lighted ignition keyring
* Redesigned front seat track (longer, stronger)
* Redesigned instrument panel (classier than the old one)
* Additional 12V outlet
* Revised power locks (2-stage system added, separate switch added)
* Revised remote entry--now standard (2-stage opening, panic button added)
* New fabric (GLS) and perforated leather (GT) interior (nicer looking)
* Mist feature on wipers
* Restyled exterior
* Restyled wheel covers (GLS) and alloys (GT)
* VVT engine with more power and lower emissions
* Standard Kenwood MP3 stereo (GT)
* Toll ticket holder
* Damped ash tray
* Smoother HVAC controls (way smoother than a Corolla's!)
* Door and rubber mat on cubby below stereo
* Auto-sensing passenger air bag (well, when it's working...)
* Revised seatback releases (GT)
* Larger rear window (GT)
* Cargo light (GT)
* Body-color spoiler (GT)
There may be more, but that's all I can think of.
The VVT design of the Elantra is different than that of Toyota and Honda. It's clear the #1 goal for Hyundai was improving emissions, which they did (ULEV/SULEV) without hurting power or fuel economy. Lower emissions, more power, better fuel economy (with the stick)--what's so bad about that?
Boy, what timing, I mention the 5 year lag and JD Powers releases their new Durability study, Kia actually ranked last for models 5 years old.
But here's the thing - that was 5 years ago, at least one generation back for each vehicle.
But the article comes out NOW and people still think that about Kia. See what I mean?
It'll take a while for this to phase out, it won't happen over night.
Still, I think we won't be seeing them move up significantly until the 2004 models are evaluated, in 2007 or 2009!
Daewoo actually had really good IQ scores early on because you had free service, so dealers would quickly address issues early on. They also had very good satisfaction scores, FWIW.
Problem was the sales model was horrible, and when they cut pay to those sales staff it just collapsed.
I don't think the product is as good as Hyundai and Kia, but they did score impressively well for a while there.
Certainly, I think attempts at emissions improvements should be commended. As you mention though, the better fuel economy is only on the manual tranmission model.. which highlights one of my main issues with most Korean models.
Concerning the JD Power Vehicle Dependability surveys, I was surprised and disappointed to see that 2001 Hyundai models did not do better (well into the bottom half) on the 3 year old study.
pzev- where have you seen favorable reviews on the Aveo, Forenza, and Verona? IMO, to choose the Aveo sedan over, say... an Accent... is pretty crazy, given that the Accents offers a far superior warranty, as well as standard head protecting side impact airbags. The Verona is nice, a decent design overall, but slow, thirsty, and you need to wait a few months for any kind of side impact protection. The Forenza... reminds me of the ION in the fact that its rear looks similar to me, and that its non-distinguished in a saturated market.
The better fuel economy on the manual Elantra is odd because the automatic Spectra, which I think has the same engine as the Elantra, has better highway mpg than the manual version.
I was surprised by Hyundai's low ranking in the JD Power VDS too because Hyundai did pretty well in CR's dependability rankings for 2001 models, coming in at mid-pack. It makes you wonder how each organization measures reliability. My '01 Elantra is almost four years old and has been at least as reliable as any other vehicle I've owned that long.
For me, I'd still consider the Hyundai nameplate based on CR (as you state.. midpack), its just disconcerting to see that there isnt unanimity on the improvement of the brand.
I hope CR has a hatchbacks review in the future that features the Spectra5, Mazda3s, and Elantra GT. I expect the Mazda3s will win that one, but it would be nice to see how the others compare to that more expensive car.
By the way, anyone see the new Optima spy pics? Doesn't look too bad although a lot of it is covered up. Rear visibility looks way better than what's on the new Elantra spy pics.
It'll be interesting to see if they make a GT version, and if so if they put a 2.3 engine in it and put the 2.0 in the basic models. I personally don't care about the bigger engine though. By the way, if Kia is suppose to be sporty where is the sporty version of the Spectra?
Kia: Sportier than Hyundai.
If they were aiming for sporty with the new Spectra, apparently they missed their target by a wide margin, given the comments in CR regarding the vehicles sloppy handling, vague steering feel, and marginal acceleration.
Regarding the 4 wheel discs- I think its great that Kia made them standard. BUT, Id happily take rear drums with ABS that was actually available and not just an option on the website.
"Chung has been presented with a proposal that spells out the identity of products that will be developed off common platforms, company sources say. Kia vehicles will be smaller, sportier and lower-priced, while Hyundai products will be bigger, more luxurious and better equipped."
"Sporty handling and ride will differentiate Kia vehicles from Hyundai as new models are introduced or redesigned, such as the next-generation Kia Rio and Sportage, he said."
"Lee said Kia will have sportier vehicles. Hyundai will chase "a more mature customer." Also, Kia will have more SUVs, and Hyundai will have more cars."
And as mentioned in an above article..
"More visible differentiation is planned. The Kia Optima, coming in 2006, will ride on a wheelbase slightly shorter than that of its Hyundai Sonata sibling.
Sonata prototypes shown to journalists and Kia's global distributors here last week retain a design that is similar to the current Sonata, while the next Optima has a roofline and pillar arcs similar to the Volkswagen Passat."
Doesn't necessarily mean much, their pitch.
Anyway, I also noticed that they are starting to get the Spectra 5's in stock as well. They did not have one in the show room yet, but there was one out on the lot.
If I decided to not follow the recommended maintenance schedule, will this void my warrenty? When I look at the prices for each of the levels (3 being the highest at over $150) it shocks me.
I'm surprised it would lose efficiency, though.
C/D has a review of the Spectra5 in their September issue. I just glossed over it and it looks like a positive review.
2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick
By law they can't void the warranty if you're doing the oil changes yourself, but keep the receipts so you can prove it was being done. You need to ask the dealership or contact Hyundai themselves and find out how far you can go before the warranty is voided. If you completely ignore checking things and only change the oil they may feel that's enough to void it, I don't know. Get a copy of the warranty terms and maybe that'll help. If they try to void it based on you doing the oil changes yourself and still try when you show the receipts then get the BBB or whoever involved, as far as I know they can't do this.
You can use the BBB to help when lemoning a car so maybe they can help in situations like this as well. Some brands like Toyota and Mazda, etc. voluntarily don't participate so you can't use the BBB and have to use a lawyer or fight it out on your own.
National Participants in BBB AUTO LINE
* excludes Hawaii
BMW (AR, CA, IA, ID, MN, PA)
Jaguar (AR, FL, ID, KY, MN)
Mercedes-Benz (AR, KY, MN)
Porsche (all States, except FL, GA, NC, NY and OH)
Rolls-Royce (CA, FL, MN, NJ)
Saab (AR, CA, FL, ID, KY, MN, OR)
Subaru (AR, CA, KY, MN, OH, OR, WI)
Suzuki (AR, ID, KY, MN)
Volvo (AR, MN)
Workhorse Custom Chassis (AK, AR, AZ, CA,
- Dealership experience has been good. No repairs have been necessary yet to test the service department with, but so far the overall sales and follow-up experience has been professional and positive.
- Initial build quality has been excellent! All interior and exterior panels are straight and uniform in color. All options and features work flawlessly.
- Interior noise levels are excellent. No evidence of excessive droning at 70+ mph as reported by Edmunds. My car *is* equipped with the 4-speed automatic though.
- No squeaks or rattles yet, and that's saying something when driving on Michigan roads! :-)
- Acceleration is good, esp. when you put your foot down. I've noticed a little "dead spot" in the acceleration curve between 1st and 2nd when accelerating gently. If I'm not in a hurry, I just let it pass. If I know that I've got to get moving a little faster (like pulling out in traffic) I know to just press the accelerator down a little harder/faster.
- The car is just chock full of little extras that there's too many to list. All I know is that I'm still discovering little comfort and convenience features scattered through out the car. With my last new car being a '93 Plymouth Acclaim, I'm really amazed at how many new "smart" features cars come with these days incorporated in to the electrical circuitry.
- Pricing was excellent! I was able to take a fully loaded Sand Beige (gold) EX out the door for $14,373 using the $1,500 incentive offered. The only big option missing on my car was ABS. My car included all EX options plus floormats, moonroof, spoiler, and alloy wheels. The dealer also through in some way cool hand-painted pin stripes from a local pin stripe artisan. It really finishes off the car!
Suggestions for Kia:
Here are a few minor improvements that I could come up with:
1. Copy the external trunk hinge / gas struts mechanism that Ford uses on the Focus. It opens up the trunk area completely, and eliminates crushed boxes and luggage.
2. Add the Focus' telescoping feature to the tilt wheel feature. With all the room inside this car, this feature would come in handy for those of us with long legs who like to sit back on the seat tracks.
3. Darken the floor carpeting and factory floor mats for those of us who live in the Great White North. I'm envisioning all sorts of problems with the dirty slush of Winter that will soon be arriving. I will definitely be pulling my light beige factory mats and putting in a set of darker, water absorbing mats for winter usage.
So far, everyone I've shown the car to has been very surprised at the overall quality of the new Spectra. The only verdict out at this point is the longevity of quality. Will it hold up over the long haul?
Time will tell.....
Michigan has a 6% tax on new purchases.
That also included a set of 4 Kia custom-fit mud flaps that I picked up a week later and installed myself using the preexisting screws and bolts on each fender well.