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Old 09-13-2019, 11:40 AM
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Are (new) Kia Souls good cars? Anybody have experience with them? (Plus a car warranty question.)


This a two-part question, but not separate enough to warrant two different threads.

First. Iím seriously considering buying a new Kia Soul. I have a 70 mile commute and two hulking teenagers to haul around and, after searching different makes and models, the Soul has ended up at the top of my list. There are a number of reasons for this: good fuel economy, roomy interior, available with a traditional 6-speed manual (a real one with an actual clutch pedal and gearshift, not an automatic with ďmanual mode,Ē which one asshole salesman tried to tell me was ďalmost the exact same thingĒ), and outstanding warranty.

Iím curious to hear from anyone who knows anything about Kias in general and Souls in particular. Are they good cars? Most reviews are favorable. Any known mechanical issues that I need to be aware of?

Second, and this question is again specific to Kias, is regarding the warranty. I live ~70 miles form the nearest Kia dealership and while I have no problem driving that far for maintenance every once in a while I would prefer to take care of routine things like oil changes and tire rotations locally. So if I take it Jiffy Lube / Oil Can Henryís for an oil change or Big O / Les Schwab for tire service, does that void the warranty or do I have to take it to the dealer for every single thing if I want to maintain the warranty? I've googled the hell out of this and cannot find an answer to my question. I'm sure the Kia dealership will tell me to bring it them for everything so I haven't even bothered to ask them. Of course, Iím not going to be doing any of this service myself but take it to a legit shop, just a local one.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:16 PM
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Several close friends of mine have Kia Souls...theyíve all been reliable, useful, fun and inexpensive. Kia is delivering some of the best value for the money of any manufacturer in the American market right now.

If youíre trying to gauge reliability objectively, anecdotes (positive or negative) donít mean muchóthe sample size is too small. Iíd look to the Consumer Reports reliability data on that.

Iíve considered buying a couple of different Kias myself, including the Soul. For what itís worth, Iím a ďcar guyĒ (enthusiast) and a mechanical engineer.

Yes, you can have your oil changed by anyone (including yourself) without voiding your warranty. You just need to make sure you save your receipts so you can prove that the oil was changed according to the manufacturerís recommendations.

In general, a car manufacturer canít deny a warranty claim due to nonstandard service or aftermarket parts unless they can prove that the service or parts caused the problem.

If your car stereo died under warranty, the dealer couldnít deny your claim because you couldnít produce oil-change receiptsóthe engineís lubrication has nothing to do with the car stereo. But if your engine seizes, youíll need to produce those receipts.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:21 PM
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Also: make sure your oil change place uses the recommended oil weight. It won’t threaten your warranty if the oil change place uses, say, 5-W30 instead of the recommended 0-W20, but it’s good form to use what the manual says.

However: I’d pay the premium for full synthetic oil whether the manufacturer requires it or not. That’s the good stuff, and your engine will last longer if you use it.

put the manufacturer’s recommended oil weig
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:30 PM
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Ugh. Forgot to delete the last line when I composed my previous post.

One final note: That salesman wasn’t BSing you about the automatic transmission to the degree you might imagine.

While the base Soul uses a continuously-variable transmission (CVT), the top-end turbocharged Soul has a dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). From a mechanical perspective, those really are almost exactly like a manual transmission. They lack a clutch pedal, of course, but they provide a much more “connected” driving experience than most automatic transmissions, especially CVTs.

Like you, I enjoy manual transmissions. But I loved driving the DCT-equipped VW I once owned. Still, it sounds like you’re not considering the turbocharged variant. And you’re not wrong to be dubious of salespeople in particular. They often know much less about the cars they sell than their customers do.

Last edited by EdelweissPirate; 09-13-2019 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:51 PM
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If you are in the US, you are protected by federal law from being required to use the dealer for routine service.

See The FTC

Quote:
Originally Posted by FTC
Do I have to use the dealer for repairs and maintenance to keep my warranty in effect?
No. An independent mechanic, a retail chain shop, or even you yourself can do routine maintenance and repairs on your vehicle. In fact, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which is enforced by the FTC, makes it illegal for manufacturers or dealers to claim that your warranty is void or to deny coverage under your warranty simply because someone other than the dealer did the work.
You *might* end up having to prove that the service was done, so make sure you keep your paperwork or log any work you do yourself.
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Old 09-13-2019, 01:10 PM
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My cousin has been a mechanic for about 20 years now. For a while he worked at a Kia dealership (maybe in the early 2010s?) and he liked their cars, enough that he urged his mom to get their SUV. She had no problems with it, until my other cousin totaled it.

My one friend who has a Soul just drove it from Akron to Los Angeles with a UHaul trailer attached (and two kitties inside!) She made it just fine.
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Old 09-13-2019, 01:44 PM
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Thanks, EdelweissPirate, for your responses. Iím a firm believer in using full synthetic oil, so its good to know others agree. Iím also quite surprised at how little salesmen know about their own products. Since my Pontiac died last month and Iíve been car shopping, Iíve run into numerous instances (as in, too many to count) where the salesman didnít know anything about the car on their own lot. They have no idea what engine is in the particular model that is sitting right there in front of them, or they didnít know how to lower the rear seats, or they couldnít answer very basic questions about the warranty. (ďSo, what kind of powertrain warranty does this Rav4 have?Ē ďUh, Iíll have to check on that. Letís go back to my office and talk. I can look that up there.Ē Seriously? You sell new Toyotas, all you sell is new Toyotas, and judging by your inventory here on the lot the Rav4 is your most popular model, yet you canít answer a basic question about the warranty? What the fuck?? [of course, this was a deliberate and obvious attempt to get me inside and start talking numbers. It was still a dick move and I suspect he really didnít know anything about the warranty.])

Iíve read FoieGrasIsEvilís AMA car salesman thread and, frankly, Iím still quite apprehensive about the buying process. By and large salesmen are slimy and underhanded and Iíve yet to find one that hasnít tried to sell me something I donít want. Itís very simple (from my point of view, at least): I want this model, in this color, in this configuration. No add-ons with the possible exception of a cargo net and a roof rack, neither which will be part of the sale price. I will return later to the service department and pay for those directly out of pocket. Easy Peasy. Donít try to sell me something else, especially if Iíve made it clear that Iím not interested in anything else. I liken it to walking into a butcherís shop and asking for a nice brisket to put in the smoker for Thanksgiving. Iím not interested in a turkey just because thatís whatís popular with everyone else or a pork shoulder becauseÖ well goshdarnit wouldnít you know it, unfortunately we just don't have that brisket you wanted right now but that pork would do really well in smokerÖ ok then. You donít have what Iím looking for? Iíll go elsewhere.

Kia makes the Soul in the base trim with a manual transmission in black. Thatís what I want, please. If you canít deliver I have no problem driving to Portland or even Seattle and working with someone who will.

(Iím getting ranty here. Obviously this is directed at the future salesman I'll be dealing with, not any poster here, especially not FGIE who seems like a pretty stand-up guy. Iím just dreading that actual purchasing process. Iím considering using the Costco car buying service due to the fact that saving $500 isnít worth a day of haggling and the increase in my BP and anxiety meds the process will cause. And EP I hear what youíre saying about the manual shift mode on the automatic. Iíve actually never driven one, and I should just so I know what Iím dismissing before I actually dismiss it . Regarding the CVT, I have driven a Nissan Rogue with a CVT and I just didnít like them. I canít really put my finger on it, but I think itís the weird lack of control. In a traditional automatic you at least get a ďfeelĒ for each gear. And of course in a stick you get the actual control. A CVT is justÖ go. Or not. Like a riding lawn mower. Just not for me.)

Getting back to the Soul. One thing Iíve been noticing is that, by and large, most modern cars areÖ pretty much the same. Back in the Good Old Days some manufacturers were junk (::cough,cough::British Leyland::cough), or otherwise decent brands had particularly crappy components (like the infamous Chrysler 2.6 V-6 engine). My impression is those days are gone and modern cars are designed to be driven well north of 200K miles without major repairs and then almost always itís electrical components / systems that need looked at. As a result brand loyalty isnít really a thing with younger buyers like it was with my parentís generation (yeah yeah I knowÖ insert lawn joke). Manufactures share parts and platforms so saying ďIím going to buy a ____ because theyíre made in ____ ď isnít exactly rational. For instance, my FIL has long advocated buying American cars only, Fords excepted. He was a mechanic for years, both in the army and then at a private dealership. Heís clearly old-school and believes European cars are crap, Japanese cars are almost as bad, and Korean cars are nothing more than a joke. However, he bought a brand new Chevy Aveo when they were first released because the TV show Motor Week liked it ó even though it was just a rebadged Daewoo. According to him the only cars worth buying are GM and Chrysler. However, his 2011 Dodge Ram has had numerous problems and a couple of recalls and his 9 month old Buick Regal has had to be towed to the dealer for electrical failures at least twice. For the Soul the last three model years have not seen any recalls. This doesn't mean of course that there aren't problems, but it's a point in their favor. I've joined a couple of Soul owner groups on Facebook and will pick their brains as well. Of course, I'll look at CR also.

Is it fair to say that most modern cars, which have become 100% computer / electronics dependent, are pretty much the same (notwithstanding outliers like Teslas)? Are there no more Corvairs or Yugos?
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Old 09-13-2019, 01:48 PM
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My cousin has been a mechanic for about 20 years now. For a while he worked at a Kia dealership (maybe in the early 2010s?) and he liked their cars, enough that he urged his mom to get their SUV. She had no problems with it, until my other cousin totaled it.

My one friend who has a Soul just drove it from Akron to Los Angeles with a UHaul trailer attached (and two kitties inside!) She made it just fine.
I tried to like the Escape. I really did. They're just too small, especially the back seat. Plus, no manual option. But I liked the AWD option and wish the Soul had one as well.
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:01 PM
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I like the Soul, but I had one as a rental last year, and after several hours of highway driving, my back was pretty sore. I don't have back troubles, and I've never had this issue with any other car. So take a long test drive.
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:01 PM
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I knew a lady that bought two Kia Souls on some sort of deal. Neither made it farther than a couple years without needing major repairs (drive train). My parents had a Kia that had a massive engine issue around 70k. My friend just got rid of his Forte at 60+k for a catastrophic engine failure. It was under warranty, as was my parents' Kia, as were the Souls, so nobody was out money, but all were without their car while major issues were fixed. I've never personally known anyone with a Kia that lasted without being on its second engine or transmission. I would never buy one. My friend with the Forte went through all kinds of nightmares trying to get the dealer to honor warranties and he had even purchased an extra one for some reason. He had taken it to some place for an oil change regularly (probably the dealer) but one time he had someone else do it or was out of town on a trip and had it done and didn't have a receipt and they got super concerned about that one missed change. Got it fixed, sold it fast, and moved on to something else.
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:09 PM
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I tried to like the Escape. I really did. They're just too small, especially the back seat. Plus, no manual option. But I liked the AWD option and wish the Soul had one as well.
I know you said you wanted something roomy but did you take a look at the new Hyundai Kona? Worth a peek, in my opinion.

I'm more a fan of german engineering but I agree that Hyundai/Kia make some of the best value cars in the US market. Reliable (IMO) and nicer looking with every new model year.

My son is looking for a car, and while he's in the used car market, we're leaning towards a choice between Toyota and Hyundai/Kia small SUV for the reliability mostly.

As an aside, what's the longevity on a CVT transmission... anybody know?

As another aside , Lancia Delta S4 Stradale was an awesome car.
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Last edited by QuickSilver; 09-13-2019 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:17 PM
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I'm a big fan of the Soul, and I think you'd be fine to buy one. However, like Tilt-A-Whirl, I find the seats to be lacking -- it's a cheap car built to a price point. It's also got the aerodynamics of a brick, and like the Scion xB and every Jeep Wrangler, seems to attract rocks to the windshield more than other cars. And the mileage suffers. I'm not sure what else to suggest, maybe a Golf Sportwagen? They're pretty cheap, come with a manual, and are very comfortable. VW reliability but if you're buying new with a warranty it might be OK.
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:23 PM
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Getting back to the Soul. One thing Iíve been noticing is that, by and large, most modern cars areÖ pretty much the same. Back in the Good Old Days some manufacturers were junk (::cough,cough::British Leyland::cough), or otherwise decent brands had particularly crappy components (like the infamous Chrysler 2.6 V-6 engine). My impression is those days are gone and modern cars are designed to be driven well north of 200K miles without major repairs and then almost always itís electrical components / systems that need looked at.
That's the way I see it. Sure, different cars will drive slightly differently, but across a single category of vehicles, if made by major manufacturers they're all going to be pretty much the same. Your odds of getting an old-school-type "lemon" are as close to zero as it's ever been. So choosing one comes basically down to price, features, and aesthetics. Is it a price you can live with, does it have the features you want, and does it look cool to you (or at least not ugly)?

My sister has a Soul. She's happy with it.
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Old 09-13-2019, 03:07 PM
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My sister and parents have been driving Kias for fifteenish years now. My sister racks up more than 25,000 miles per year on hers and drives like a Hollywood stuntwoman. My parents have had zero issues with their four or five Kias. My sister has occasionally worn stuff out (shocks, a control arm) but not until the cars are pushing six or seven years old and close to 150k or 160k miles. None of those cars has ever failed to get my family where they needed to go. They seem pretty dependable based on my family's experience.
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Old 09-13-2019, 03:40 PM
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FWIW, when you're checking out Consumer Reports (and seeing that they like the Soul, for the most part, and that Kia has above-average reliability), you might want to look into their "Build & Buy" purchasing program. It sounds like you know what you want and don't want to deal with any dealership games, which puts you right in the target market for that program. I gave 'em $12 (or was it $15?) seven years ago, and thereby saved about $1500 on my Hyundai. YMMV, of course, but it's likely worth looking into. They also have a pricing-reports program which doesn't involve partnering with a dealership but just gives you the information to haggle from an informed position if you play the dealership games. Big thumbs-up from this Doper.
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Old 09-13-2019, 03:49 PM
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Missed the edit window by seconds ... double-post to add:

Hey, looks like it doesn't even cost $12 any longer. Hunh. https://www.consumerreports.org/buyi...uying-service/
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:19 PM
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Kia has above-average reliability...
I have to admit I found that surprising. I knew Kia had improved greatly compared to when they first entered the US market in the 1990s, but I had thought they were still just average in terms of reliability, more or less on par with the American makes but not quite at the level of the top dogs Toyota and Honda.
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:34 PM
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THis is just personal experience but I'm still afraid of Kias. Both Kia and Hyundai used to be shit cars, but Hyundai has come a long way. I don't know if Kia has yet as far as reliability.
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:51 PM
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I only have a minute to respond, but:

I’d happily use Costco’s car-buying service when it’s time for me to buy a new car. I bought that VW (a 2011 Jetta TDI) for a totally reasonable price—I emailed dealers’ fleet and internet departments, I pushed hard and was always willing to walk away. I got a very good price, and it was not worth the effort.

Paying $500-$1000 more than I did through Costco would totally have been worth it.

I bought my current car from a dealer in Colorado who offered a low no-bargaining price for members of the enthusiast forum I had been participating in. That process was much better, though I was still at the dealer for hours when I picked up the car. Getting a similar deal through Costco would have been even better. I vote yes on reputable car-buying services!
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:01 PM
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Lancia, a Kia Soul is probably an ok car. But is it an optimal car?

Examine the data here: https://www.yourmechanic.com/article...y-maddy-martin

The most reliable on average cars come from Toyota. It's not even close.

So I would recommend you look at vehicles from Toyota. Second, if you look at charts from this website : https://usedfirst.com/faq/ you will immediately see that a new car is a suboptimal decision.

So you think you want a Kia Soul but if you want the best car for your money you want a used Toyota. How used? Well, I've taken the userfirst data and developed a spreadsheet, I disagree with their conclusions, but nevertheless if you want a new-ish car, their recommendations aren't bad. (they usually recommend a car about 2-3 years old)

So now it's just a matter of which Toyota. Looks like the Kia Soul is a compact crossover. So the equivalent Toyota is a RAV4.

RAV4 is the best selling vehicle in the entire United States right now. So don't take my word for it, take the word of the average American.

If you want new, the 2019 RAV4 hybrid is the one to get. But it's 27k+, 10k over a base model Kia. So you want used. Cargurus is a good way to find used cars and there's no need to haggle, just buy one that is below market value "good and "great" deals at a used lot near you. I have found that the cars that show as "great" on Cargurus tend to not last long, I've had them bought out from under me when going to check on a car, but you'll eventually get one.

Last edited by SamuelA; 09-13-2019 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:07 PM
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For example, i checked carguru for an example in your price range : https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/invent...ting=240903538

This one. So you'd be buying a 3 year old car with 40k miles on it for less than the Kia. Is a Toyota with 40k on it better than a new Kia? Absolutely. The reason is superior engineering - the design of the Toyota is going to have far more reliable components in it, and far more refinements. Even though at 40k miles there will be some worn parts that will need replacing a little sooner than with a new Kia (brake pads, struts, maybe tires), once you replace those you're in a far better situation than with a car with a less good design.

The hybrid variant is also worth considering though the 2019 hybrid is so much more compelling.

Last edited by SamuelA; 09-13-2019 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:48 PM
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THis is just personal experience but I'm still afraid of Kias. Both Kia and Hyundai used to be shit cars, but Hyundai has come a long way. I don't know if Kia has yet as far as reliability.
Ditto. The worse car, by far, that I ever owned was a 2003 Kia Sephia. I hear Kias much better now, but I still have doubts.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:20 PM
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So you'd be buying a 3 year old car with 40k miles on it for less than the Kia. Is a Toyota with 40k on it better than a new Kia? Absolutely. The reason is superior engineering - the design of the Toyota is going to have far more reliable components in it, and far more refinements. Even though at 40k miles there will be some worn parts that will need replacing a little sooner than with a new Kia (brake pads, struts, maybe tires), once you replace those you're in a far better situation than with a car with a less good design.
This is kind of a load of hogwash. The 2020 Kia Soul is a brand new platform, the 2016 Rav4 was introduced in 2012. There's 8 years of technology, safety, and reliability improvements in that Kia. It gets 27/33 mpg ratings versus 23/30 for the Toyota. I'm not a fan of buying new cars either, but it's silly to ignore the benefits of 8 years of tech.

I've borrowed a saying from Willie Keeler (via auto journalist Sajeev Mehta), which is "Hit 'em where they ain't." I bought my first Kia in 2008, it was a 2006 Kia Sedona which was light years ahead of the 2005 Kia Sedona in terms of technology and refinement. It was 80% as good as a Honda for 40% of the price, because nobody else wanted to toss the dice on the Kia nameplate. I just replaced that car after 11 years of faithful service with a 2017 Sedona, which is 95% as good as a Honda at 80% of the price. If you buy the car at the top of the reliability ratings, you're competing with everyone else who has a consumer reports subscription and doesn't want to think too hard about value.

Kia isn't a third world company anymore, you should check them out. It's a world class company and you can still find some bargains with a Kia badge, but don't expect that to last for long. At the rate they're improving, the next Kia might be 110% as good as a Honda for 120% of the price.

Last edited by steronz; 09-13-2019 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:30 PM
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As a longtime CR subscriber, I'm loath to reproduce their ratings here. But I'll say this: Their current rankings of "small cars" indicate that the new Kia Soul is undoubtedly a "good car," which was the OP query. I welcome independent verification. (In fact, I think everybody should subscribe to CR, because it's the best ROI you can find.)
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:01 PM
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I tried to like the Escape. I really did. They're just too small, especially the back seat. Plus, no manual option. But I liked the AWD option and wish the Soul had one as well.

Hey man I told you Escapes were way too small for your teenage boys. Dunno why you’re apologizing!

Didn’t you read my post? I said Kias and Souls were good according to my sources
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:53 PM
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However: Iíd pay the premium for full synthetic oil whether the manufacturer requires it or not. Thatís the good stuff, and your engine will last longer if you use it.
Very few cars get junked because the engine dies. They get junked because the transmission dies, or because expensive body work is needed, or because of a host of smaller, niggling problems.
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Old 09-14-2019, 03:35 AM
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I know a few people on their third Soul and who love them. And related to your question they seem to feel the car has gotten better as the platform has been improved over the years.

On the warranty ------- save your receipts and be sure you can document what was done when. Kia I cannot say one way or another but I have known other brands to us a lack of documentation to work around warranty issues down the road.
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Old 09-14-2019, 09:15 AM
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I have two, and we like them a lot. I bought mine new in 2014, because I wanted the warranty. I never had to use it. The car has never needed a repair outside of routine maintenance.

It has almost 80k on it now.

When my wife needed another car, we got her a 2 year-old used one last June. Zero problems with that one so far.

If I understand right, the pre-2014(?) Souls had power train problems which were corrected in that model year.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:07 AM
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This is kind of a load of hogwash. The 2020 Kia Soul is a brand new platform, the 2016 Rav4 was introduced in 2012. There's 8 years of technology, safety, and reliability improvements in that Kia. It gets 27/33 mpg ratings versus 23/30 for the Toyota. I'm not a fan of buying new cars either, but it's silly to ignore the benefits of 8 years of tech.
8 years of tech, cross brand? Kia doesn't have the resources much less the corporate culture of Toyota much less the billions to reinvest to make their design better.

I think you're wrong, and I think a 3-year old Toyota that was originally 27k will be better vehicle (this means the manufacturer has more money to put into the component quality much less the features) than a Kia that starts at 17k.

With that said, that's just my opinion, and the opinion of the majority of America. I don't have direct data to compare the reliability of the new Kia to a 3 year old Toyota.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:32 AM
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Lancia, a Kia Soul is probably an ok car. But is it an optimal car?
Pun intended?
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Old 09-14-2019, 02:27 PM
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So I got ahold of the 2019 car issue of Consumer Reports (April 2019, for those playing at home). It lists the Kia Soul as one of the "best new vehicles under $30K." It also says that Kia's reliability is on par with Honda (but below Toyota's) and owner satisfaction surveys put Kia in the same category as both Hondas and Toyotas.

I'm not really seeing a compelling reason to avoid a new Kia.

Regarding buying a used Toyota, one thing to keep in mind (well, one thing that I'm taking into consideration) is that a 2016 Toyota Rav4 (which is probably the closest comparable vehicle to the Soul that Toyota makes) came with a 3 yr/36,000 mile basic, 5 yr/60,000 mile powertrain warranty. So if I bought one chances are I'll be out of warranty within a year. A new Soul has a 5 yr/60,000 mile basic, 10 yr/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. I believe this is a good indication that Kia has a lot of faith in their vehicles — perhaps moreso than Toyota.

Right now, there are only two 2016 Rav4's listed on the Portand Craigslist. One is $20K with 24K miles, the other is $18K with 33K miles. Both more expensive than a brand new base Soul (of course, the Rav4 has AWD and a few other features that the Soul lacks, but nothing that I want).

I'm confident going the used route isn't necessarily better.
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Old 09-14-2019, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Lancia View Post
So I got ahold of the 2019 car issue of Consumer Reports (April 2019, for those playing at home). It lists the Kia Soul as one of the "best new vehicles under $30K." It also says that Kia's reliability is on par with Honda (but below Toyota's) and owner satisfaction surveys put Kia in the same category as both Hondas and Toyotas.

I'm not really seeing a compelling reason to avoid a new Kia.

Regarding buying a used Toyota, one thing to keep in mind (well, one thing that I'm taking into consideration) is that a 2016 Toyota Rav4 (which is probably the closest comparable vehicle to the Soul that Toyota makes) came with a 3 yr/36,000 mile basic, 5 yr/60,000 mile powertrain warranty. So if I bought one chances are I'll be out of warranty within a year. A new Soul has a 5 yr/60,000 mile basic, 10 yr/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. I believe this is a good indication that Kia has a lot of faith in their vehicles — perhaps moreso than Toyota.

Right now, there are only two 2016 Rav4's listed on the Portand Craigslist. One is $20K with 24K miles, the other is $18K with 33K miles. Both more expensive than a brand new base Soul (of course, the Rav4 has AWD and a few other features that the Soul lacks, but nothing that I want).

I'm confident going the used route isn't necessarily better.
Question: are you actually just trying to justify a decision you've already made, or are you willing to look at the numbers?

Because you're clearly and obviously wrong. Assuming you want a vehicle shaped object that meets your needs for the minimum cost, there's a huge factor you are missing.

Depreciation. The cost of having a vehicle is fuel + depreciation + maintenance + interest + insurance.

Insurance and interest will be about the same assuming a similar priced, similar vehicle.

Maintenance will be similar, Toyota is more reliable but like you point out, Kia has a significant warranty. Fuel is similar enough to neglect as well.

So the primary cost difference is depreciation. And that's hugely in Toyota's favor.

https://usedfirst.com/cars/toyota/rav4/ vs https://usedfirst.com/cars/kia/soul/

It's right there in the numbers : you lose $5,687 with the Kia right away, and around $1,373 a year for the RAV4.

Objectively, if you are scoring the decision by "which vehicle shaped object will meet my needs for the lowest predicted cost", you are making a worse decision. Now, if you somehow think a cheap Kia is "sexier" than a RAV4 or some other non-objective factor, ok.

Last edited by SamuelA; 09-14-2019 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 09-14-2019, 02:48 PM
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And the other excuse - this tells me you have already made a decision emotionally, you are just trying to justify it - doesn't hold water. Use cargurus, not Craigslist. I see 63 "great deal" vehicles to choose from in Portland.

https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/invent...sModified=true

If you have to get a Kia, buy a 2-4 year old one. You will get it for 60-70% of the new price.

Last edited by SamuelA; 09-14-2019 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 09-14-2019, 04:58 PM
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While it's true that a new car takes about a 40% depreciation hit as soon as you drive it off the lot, if you're planning to maximize your return by buying new and keeping it until it dies (or at least until the 10yr/100K warranty runs out), this is a good time to grab last year's model at deep discount -- if last year's model is an option.

But I'm sure you'll do what's right for your situation; other than answering your question, I really don't have much emotional investment in your decision, TBH. You do you, and let us know how it works out. Good luck!

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Old 09-14-2019, 05:32 PM
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While it's true that a new car takes about a 40% depreciation hit as soon as you drive it off the lot, if you're planning to maximize your return by buying new and keeping it until it dies (or at least until the 10yr/100K warranty runs out), this is a good time to grab last year's model at deep discount -- if last year's model is an option.
This strategy does not maximize your return. (where max return = minimum cost) I extended the usedfirst data with a spreadsheet that models buying a car each possible year and calculates the minimum cost. I can share if you are interested.

Last edited by SamuelA; 09-14-2019 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:06 PM
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Rephrase for clarity: "OP, if your return-maximization plan is to buy new & run it into the ground, (yadda-yadda-yadda)."

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Old 09-14-2019, 06:32 PM
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Rephrase for clarity: "OP, if your return-maximization plan is to buy new & run it into the ground, (yadda-yadda-yadda)."

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Negative. The much touted "buy new and run into the ground" model is not cheaper than the strategy of "buy it a few years older and run it into the ground".

Sure, the car doesn't "last" as long but it ends up still being cheaper per year of ownership.

Last edited by SamuelA; 09-14-2019 at 06:32 PM.
  #38  
Old 09-14-2019, 07:20 PM
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The Kia Soul is fine. If you like it, it's plenty good and above average in reliability and workmanship.

If you don't want to deal with salesmen (and who does?), try ordering online or via Costco (or similar if you have the option). You can choose the exact car you want that way.

Other thread notes:

Synthetic oil is becoming a requirement; regular mineral oil cannot meet many new car specs. And I strongly recomment using oil with the recommended viscosity; modern engines are designed with tighter tolerances, which often means less tolerance for deviations.

Toyotas? Reliable but boring. And I drove my niece's brand new Prius for a couple of days; the HMI is nowhere near as intuitive as my Chevy's.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:47 PM
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Toyota's level of "boringness" depends greatly on the type of car and transmission you're driving...

all Priuses; completely soulless and utterly boring, everything else was sacrificed at the Altar Of Fuel Economy...
reliable, yes, fuel efficient, OG, yes!, fun to drive, NO!

Toyota Supra; for the price it had *better* be fun, it'd be *more* fun with a proper manual transmission

Toyota 86 manual; almost as fun as a Supra, but more affordable, 86 automatic; Meh, more fun than a Prius (but that's an awfully low target anyway), but nowhere near as fun as the manual version

Toyota Corolla; Manual-fun, auto; not much better than the prius

I've never driven a RAV4, so I can't speak for that one, but you can't just use a blanket statement that Toyota as a whole is boring, most of their cars are, due to the automatic, but they do have some fun vehicles

as far as transmissions go, in terms of most to least fun, it would go;
Manual>Dual Clutch/DSG>Torque Converter auto (the "normal" automatic)>bicycle>horseback>running>walking>not going anywhere>CVT
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:53 PM
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In terms of reliability; best-worst; Manual>Torque converter>DCT/DSG>CVT

In terms of repair / maintenance expense (least-most)Manual>Torque converter>DSG/DCT>CVT
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  #41  
Old 09-15-2019, 08:18 AM
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In terms of reliability; best-worst; Manual>Torque converter>DCT/DSG>CVT

In terms of repair / maintenance expense (least-most)Manual>Torque converter>DSG/DCT>CVT
Quick addition. The Toyota hybrids (which are now the Prius/Corolla hybrid (slow hybrids) and the Camry/Rav4/Highlander hybrid (fun hybrids) use an e-CVT.

Don't let the CVT fool you, an e-CVT is a radically different design than a CVT, and by two different data sources*, the reliability is:

e-CVT>Manual>Torque converter>DCT/DSG>CVT

They almost never break, and are available almost for free on ebay, so if you break one, the repair/maintenance ordering is:

Manual>e-CVT>Torque converter>DSG/DCT>CVT

(if they do break, swapping one is more difficult than swapping the clutch which is what usually fails in a manual)

*my data sources are: Toyota is the most reliable manufacturer, and the Prius is their most reliable car, per both Mymechanic and Consumer reports. Also, the Prius "transaxle" is available on ebay for $300 from wrecked examples with ~60k miles on them. The reason it's so cheap is that it fails much less often than people wreck Prii.

Here's what an e-CVT looks like inside: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLNDGUISTYM

Notice there is no chain, there are two electric motors, the gears do not change states and are ever locked in a fixed orientation. These are the reasons it's so reliable.

Last edited by SamuelA; 09-15-2019 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:43 AM
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That eCVT looks to be a very impressive piece of technology, but also looks incredibly complex and intricate, so many gears and pinions, I wasn't aware the eCVT used a clutch pak similar to a manual or DSG....

by means of comparison, the DSG looks a bit mechanically simpler than an eCVT, it's basically two nested manual transmissions...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj1Vk7SE-TI
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  #43  
Old 09-15-2019, 10:08 AM
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That eCVT looks to be a very impressive piece of technology, but also looks incredibly complex and intricate, so many gears and pinions, I wasn't aware the eCVT used a clutch pak similar to a manual or DSG....

by means of comparison, the DSG looks a bit mechanically simpler than an eCVT, it's basically two nested manual transmissions...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj1Vk7SE-TI
What are you talking about? Are you looking at the same video I linked? The eCVT is the mechanically simplest transmission in the world that has a variable gear ratio at all.

More than half of the complexity is in the electronics.

And just a 5 second glance at the video you linked shows that the DSG is more than twice as complex as an eCVT.

Last edited by SamuelA; 09-15-2019 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:56 AM
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Maybe itís just me then, my mind was visually disassembling the planetary clusters and such, whereas the DSG had most of the gear sets visible...

Taken as whole components, yes ,the eCVT looks much simpler

Does an eCVT feel any different driving than a belt-driven CVT (like the JATCO crap Nissan/Subaru uses)

Does it have the ďrubber bandĒ effect like the belt drive CVT? The sloppy feel of a torque converter?

The biggest problems I have with the DSG (aside from the fact that Iím a hardcore manual guy) is that it has a noticeable lag in D When starting from a standstill, and the mechatronic can sometimes (rarely) get confused as to what gear to preselect for the next shift, I greatly prefer the simplicity and precision of the manual, it shifts ONLY when I tell it to (also, I got almost 140,000 miles off my Ď07 VW Rabbit with the original clutch and transmission fluid, I sold it to a nice college kid who is still getting great life from it, still going strong on the original parts)

The DSG is an acceptable compromise for me, but it is a compromise

To get back on subject, I like the Soul, especially since itís available with a manual, Kia has come a long way since the early days of the Sportage....
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:04 AM
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Another option for a nice small SUV on the used market is the Honda Element, the most versatile small SUV on the road, I think it was designed on Galifrey, itís clearly bigger on the inside...

The interior versatility is unmatched, the rear seats recline, fold completely flat, can be folded up to the sides of the passenger compartment, can be completely removed, the floor is rubberized for easy wipe down, and both front seats, passenger AND drivers seats fold completely flat, with all four seats down, you have a huge (slightly lumpy) mattress, perfect for car camping.

The only downside is the abysmal fuel mileage (mid 20ís) and it has the aerodynamics of a brick
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  #46  
Old 09-15-2019, 11:06 AM
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Taken as whole components, yes ,the eCVT looks much simpler

Does an eCVT feel any different driving than a belt-driven CVT (like the JATCO crap Nissan/Subaru uses)

Does it have the “rubber band” effect like the belt drive CVT? The sloppy feel of a torque converter?
There's no belt, so no.

In a Prius, the primary problem is that the electric motors are weak compared to the weight of the car. So at low speeds, the acceleration is extremely linear and responsive, but at higher speeds, most of the power is coming from the engine, and the engine can't change speeds immediately. So there's some lag.

Toyota fixed this problem with the Camry and Rav4 hybrids. (the latter is now the bestselling hybrid). They did this by massively upsizing the motors, and adding a rear wheel motor, and the engine is also bigger*. The drivetrain feels extremely immediate and responsive because the car is now closer to a true electric car in the short term (right when you mash the pedal) and it gets sustained power from the larger engine.

Both in the Camry and RAV4 you get ~220 horsepower in a sprint, and ~7.5sec 0-60 times. It's the fastest RAV4 and the hybrid camry is more powerful than the 4 cylinder gas.

*but only 50 mpg for the Camry, and 40 mpg for the RAV4. Less fuel economy for more power.

Last edited by SamuelA; 09-15-2019 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:26 AM
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Another option for a nice small SUV on the used market is the Honda Element, the most versatile small SUV on the road, I think it was designed on Galifrey, itís clearly bigger on the inside...

The interior versatility is unmatched, the rear seats recline, fold completely flat, can be folded up to the sides of the passenger compartment, can be completely removed, the floor is rubberized for easy wipe down, and both front seats, passenger AND drivers seats fold completely flat, with all four seats down, you have a huge (slightly lumpy) mattress, perfect for car camping.

The only downside is the abysmal fuel mileage (mid 20ís) and it has the aerodynamics of a brick
They also stopped making them in 2011, so any used examples are going to be well worn by this point.
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:05 PM
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I have a 2014 and I love it. I’m tall, and find it more comfortable than similarly sized cars, like the CRS AND RAV4. My *only* regret is that it doesn’t have all wheel drive, since I live in an area that can get significant snow. I believe the models from 2017 and newer do have it, though.
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Old 09-15-2019, 01:36 PM
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I believe the models from 2017 and newer do have it, though.
I think lots of people who like these cars would love to see an AWD but in the interest of keeping prices down for the entire Soul model lineup, Kia has opted not to do so thus far.
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:33 PM
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I have a 2014 and I love it. I’m tall, and find it more comfortable than similarly sized cars, like the CRS AND RAV4. My *only* regret is that it doesn’t have all wheel drive, since I live in an area that can get significant snow. I believe the models from 2017 and newer do have it, though.
I bought my first one after Googling "small cars for tall people" because at the time, I had a 40-50 mile round trip commute, and had to use my personal car for business.

People are always agog when I tell them what I drive. I have inches of headroom, and the seat is a notch or two closer to the wheel that it is capable of.

I'd love an AWD. I have to drive in poor winter weather for work, and I've gotten through some ridiculous shit on the way home from work, passing plenty of cars stuck off the road.

Still, going to put snow tires on this fall. Even thinking about getting stuck and waiting for a tow or push after a 12-hour shift is enough to piss me off.
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