(Starts Out Nice but the complaints are in there)
After test driving many models / makes I ended up with the Kia Soul! (exclaim model) trading in a 2006 Scion Xb (The original Box).
I definitely consider the Soul an upgrade. Yes it's a bit more expensive but the luxury is substantial. I love the Bluetooth and the hidden subwoofer. When a new person rides I purposely pick music with a lot of bass. I crank that subwoofer and give them a massage until they ask, "Is there a sub in here?" (Funky Town works great every time) Then there are the interior speaker effects. OK they are silly and pointless but still kind of cool nonetheless. And the Sunroof adds a nice flair to any vehicle.
I have read reviews from people who say the cargo area in the rear isn't the greatest because filling it with a week's worth of groceries for a family of 4 is difficult. I am single so the cargo space / back seat do just fine. And the back seat is also suitable for… keep your mind out of the gutter please (but yes I can imagine it would do just fine for that as well). When I got the car I brought my 6'7" tall friend and forced him to endure the back seats of all the vehicles I test drove (Kia Soul was most comfortable).
But to be fair I have a few things that savvy shoppers should be aware of. Before you change lanes, when you look to your blind spot the Soul has smaller rear windows that make it difficult to see. I guess I was spoiled with the Xb.
The only major criticism of the Soul I can recognize is the inability to reset the sensors / warning lights once a problem occurs. My check-engine light came on at the 314-mile mark of my new Soul. I freaked out and called the dealer. They said that as long as it's not blinking that it's just a sensor and I should bring it in at my convenience and they can tell me what the sensor picked up. If it was blinking I should immediately stop the car and arrange for a tow (or as they jokingly put it, stop the car and run away as quickly as possible). In the end a sensor picked up a split-second moment of lack of oxygen intake in to the engine. Um ok! That's what the dealer said to. They reset the check-engine light and all is back to normal. The diagnostic said the engine was a-ok but it was annoying having to get out of bed an hour early to drive 40 minutes out of my way to the dealer.
In the Scion Xb, if the check engine light came on and you knew definitively that there was no problem there was a way to reset it. For example, as I was rolling into the dealer for my 15K service / tune up and the oil light came on. After the service was finished the Toyota tech showed me how to reset it. Took all of 15 seconds. On the Soul such a warning light will remain on until the dealer can reset it.
So far so good with the Soul other than that minor blip. I am loving it and in fact 2 weeks later my father went out and got a Soul just like mine (not the same color (Alien Green) thank goodness).
Review about: Engine Light Check.