28 January 2015 by Liam Campbell, Van Editor

  • Fiat 500L
  • Nissan Juke
  • Citroen C3 Picasso stands out for looks
  • Lots of space and great visibility, as well as long warranty
  • Average Kia Soul buyer is 48, so often bought by families
  • We look at Fiat 500L, Nissan Juke and Citroen C3 competitors

We’re sadly coming to the end of our six-month test of the Kia Soul. Over the past half a year, we’ve examined everything from specifications and options to the satellite navigation and infotainment systems.

In many ways, the Soul is in a class of its own with its boxy design and spacious interior and only the short-lived Nissan Cube could rival it in these respects. Since the Cube is no longer on sale, that gave us an idea for one of our final updates; the competition.

Kia says the Soul is breaking the mould and creating an alternative to the scores of generic superminis for the younger generations. Whereas we agree that it is quirky vehicle and it has some nice unique touches, like the mood lighting, it looks too plain to be considered a ‘hipster’ car.

The average age of a Soul buyer is 48 and we therefore bracket the Soul as a family car, and consider the following as its competition:

Fiat 500L

Fiat 500L

The Fiat 500L is similar to the Kia Soul in many ways. It too, is a bit of an oddball in terms of appearance, and also features a flat, long and high roof with an abundance of interior space.

It boasts 22 storage compartments around the cabin and there’s plenty of room in the back to fit passengers of all shapes and size; within reason. The three level boot is also a nice touch, allowing for items to be stowed separately and neatly.

Citroen C3 Picasso

Citroen C3 Picasso

Citroen’s closest competitor to the Soul is the Citroen C3 Picasso, which offers practicality on the inside with an individual image and typical Citroen styling on the outside. The C3 Picasso’s clever use of space and excellent visibility are, again, a trademark feature of this vehicle.

It doesn't boast the same fit and finish of the Soul, though, and the use of space hasn’t been carried through into the rear, where legroom tends to be a bit tight. Citroen has put extra effort in to reducing engine noise though and the C3 is a quiet car to drive. 

Nissan Juke

Nissan Juke

The Nissan Juke caused a bit of a stir when it hit the market in 2010. Many thought that a car with such a striking appearance would never make it past the prototype stage but the Juke has gone onto become one of the best selling cars in the UK.

Its elevated driving position, like the in the Soul, helps with all round vision. That said it's no where near as accomodating, especially in the back, and the boot isn't particularly large either.

The Verdict

All of these vehicles offers something different, but for family car buyers each is an individual and stylish choice. Choose any of them and you won't be disappointed. For us, having spent so much time with it, we'd opt for the KIA Soul - spacious, incredibly well-built, full of character, loaded with kit, good to drive and with that extra-long warranty it's a rather compelling package. 

 

Mileage: 3,478 miles

Fuel economy: 40.4mpg