The Soul lives in that increasingly gray area between hatchbacks and SUVs. A boxy, upright design gives it abundant interior space and super-easy access. You sit up high in chairlike seats, surrounded by an ample glass area for good visibility. Overall, it feels like driving a small SUV, but one that's lower to the ground.
Redesigned for 2014, the new Soul provides a more mature and well-rounded package than its predecessor. That is, once you get past the quirky styling, which reminds some of a surfer dude with wraparound shades.
Unlike a true SUV, the Soul is available only with front-wheel drive. Our test vehicle had the larger of two engines available, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. Even so, power delivery was just adequate. Some of us wanted more gusto when merging or going uphill. Fuel economy averaged 26 mpg, which is good but not outstanding.