Kia Soul Shaker

Trendy Korean supermini is a real head-turner.

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

With an array of gadgets to match its future-proof styling, space for all the family and a Lotus-tuned chassis, the Soul Shaker is tempting. However, there’s little scope for adjusting the spec, so why not buy a base Soul 1 for £10,495 and build your own tailor-made car from the huge options list?

Kia is looking to shake up the establishment with its new Soul. It’s aimed at the likes of MINI and the Fiat 500, and the Korean firm has created three special editions for launch, each in a single colour and with a fixed set of options – the Samba, Burner and Shaker.

The Shaker gets its name from its unusual Vanilla Shake paint scheme, which is complemented by beige and black upholstery and chocolate-coloured plastics inside.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Kia Soul

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Other kit, on top of the already well specced Soul 2 trim, includes an electric sunroof, larger 18-inch alloy wheels and an iPod connection. But the real highlight is the clever reversing camera, which feeds images to the rear view mirror.

The Soul’s squared-off SUV styling and supermini proportions look very different to anything else on the road, while the Shaker’s colour scheme and big wheels meant our car turned even more heads.

With a chassis tuned by Lotus, it’s no surprise that the Soul corners keenly, despite its upright proportions.

The suspension avoids being too firm, and copes admirably with uneven surfaces.

The 124bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine is a strong performer, combining exceptional mid-range punch with supermini-like emissions and economy.

At £13,495, the diesel Soul Shaker offers exceptional value – especially when you consider the amount of kit and space you get, plus a five-year unlimited mileage warranty. And if diesel’s not your thing, you can choose the 1.6-litre petrol unit and knock another £1,000 off the list price.

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