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I'm hoping some of you can give me some input on which used Soul to surprise our college freshman son in So. Calif. with for Christmas. Here's a little about him: He's always loved exotic sports cars (unaffordable ones), but lately mentioned that he likes Souls and Mustangs. I'd describe him as a conservative kid with a little quirk to him. He doesn't really follow the crowd and likes nice things. He's pretty shy and quiet, not hipster, but dresses stylish.

So, what we're due to look at on Saturday is a 2013 black Kia!, with SOUL logo interior, colored speaker lights, back-up camera, 20,000 miles, excellent condition -- no moonroof, navigation or spare tire - for $12,500. It looks like a real creampuff, but now I'm having some doubts.

Can you guys comment on what you think a So Calif college kid would think of the colored light speakers and logo interior? It occurred to me that the speakers especially could be either cool or cheesey. Does anyone think a low mileage 2014 Kia+ would be better due to the updated body style made in 2014 (but less luxury items)? I don't think we could get a 2014 Kia! for low enough of a price.

Alternatively, we could get a used, low mileage Mustang, but he just likes the look of them, not the speed factor, so I don't know if he'd be portraying himself ingenuinely by driving one.

Help!! Any input is appreciated!!
 

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Speaking from the practicality side, if you can find a good clean used 2012 or 2013 Base Auto, you would be getting a good, reliable, not that luxury of a car, for a college student. There is no comparison to a Mustang at all. But the Mustang, if a recent six, may get as good a gas mileage as the 1.6 base Soul, but probably not as reliable.

If you wanted the best of both worlds, see if you can find a used 1994 to 1998 3.8 V-6 Mustang. If in good condition, those cars just ran and ran and ran and got great gas mileage too. I drove mine for thirteen years through 247000 miles with minimal maintenance issues until my grandson (yes, he was a college student) wrecked it.
 

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I have a 2012 and 2013, and my brother has a 2014. His car is far more refined. It would be cheaper to buy the earlier models. It really comes down to what you want to spend. The 2014 and up is a nicer car all the way around. I like the way the 2013s look better. Either one is going to be crazy reliable.
 

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2017 KIA Soul base, Titanium. Bought some better taars.
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I had a 2013 base 1.6 in black, now I have a 2015 plus 2.0.

I'm a long way from a college kid age. The newer models ride a bit smoother at the expense of flatter cornering. My 2013 model rode pretty hard. I replaced the stock 195.65.15 tires with 215.60.15 Defenders and that made it a whole different car. It still rode harder than the 2014-15 though.
IMO the later generation is better-proportioned. The last generation looks good in black but in some colors they look awkward to me.

The later cars will have later safety and crash survival features. The 2015s had their front ends strengthened to pass the small-offset NHTSA crash test.

As far as flashing speaker lights, they'd probably be fun but life goes on.

If you like the looks of the Mustang that's fine. The Soul is a far more practical car. I've had a couple of two doors. I don't like 2-doors. Even when we were young they were a pain to get in and out of.

I'm a dyed-in-the-wool sedan guy who never thought he'd own something like the Soul. The Hamster ads got me in the door.

I traded my '13 Soul--a car I'd have been happy driving for many years--for a Charger which I planned on keeping for a long time. It had many many niggling problems that took me back to the dealer eight times with no end in sight.

The Souls have been trouble-free. Ditto my Spectra and my D-I-L's Rondo and Sorento.

Trouble free. Sweet.
 

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check out the insurance rates on a Soul vs a Mustang for that age of driver, I bet there is a tremendous difference. You do not have to activate the coloured speakers if you don't want the effect, I have it but very rarely use it.
 

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My daughter really wanted a Mustang back in 2009 or so. We looked and looked and all the used ones we saw that were even close to affordable were beat to Sh*t. A Soul for a College Person is a good idea. He can but a new Mustang when he graduates(and pay for it himself)
 

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Soul all the way. Hatchback with the convenience of cargo space will be much more useful for a student. Plus as mentioned above the savings on insurance vs a Mustang.
 

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Well, you're asking on a Soul forum so lots of people are going to say the Soul over the Mustang.

My two cents: If you're picking between 2013 and 2014, go for the 2014. Much more refined. The 2013 base model feels very cheap. I have 26,000 miles on it and I've had to replace the stock Hankook tires (rode hard, wore quickly). Also had issues with the throttle body, ended up getting it replaced for free under warranty.

Insurance-wise, the Soul is probably a LOT cheaper than a Mustang.

Since you're shopping for a college kid, I'd recommend finding a used vehicle. A 2014 or newer Soul, or any model Civic/Fit/Yaris/Sentra
 

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Take care

I'm gonna take a different stance on your question.
Reason being,been in your situation twice with my kids.
"Lately mentioned" bothers me.
Is this YOU building up the Soul in your mind because it is a helluva more
practical vehicle than the exotic cars your son may have mentioned?
Actually,a car to be parked on any college campus I've seen could be a
prime candidate for damage. I'd stay away from any vehicle where dings
and scrapes will give you mental anguish.
So,either Soul is OK. Not the issue.
A used Mustang may be more satisfying from the car angle.
That is the issue.

You mentioned a bit about your son's make up. It is good to hear that he walks
to his own beat and is not entirely influenced by others. Furthermore,kids these
days(especially males)are less concerned on what they drive than in my day.
So,these points add more confusion,right?

The worse thing you can do is buy him a vehicle that after getting on campus will
give him grief.
Don't buy it because YOU like it.

Everyone likes to give a surprise to the ones they love .

As much as it sounds like a great idea, I would directly
involve him in the "surprise". Maybe give him the choice between
the candidates vehicles you have found.

Trust me.
 

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2017 KIA Soul base, Titanium. Bought some better taars.
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I'm gonna take a different stance on your question.
Reason being,been in your situation twice with my kids.
"Lately mentioned" bothers me.
Is this YOU building up the Soul in your mind because it is a helluva more
practical vehicle than the exotic cars your son may have mentioned?
Actually,a car to be parked on any college campus I've seen could be a
prime candidate for damage. I'd stay away from any vehicle where dings
and scrapes will give you mental anguish.
So,either Soul is OK. Not the issue.
A used Mustang may be more satisfying from the car angle.
That is the issue.

You mentioned a bit about your son's make up. It is good to hear that he walks
to his own beat and is not entirely influenced by others. Furthermore,kids these
days(especially males)are less concerned on what they drive than in my day.
So,these points add more confusion,right?

The worse thing you can do is buy him a vehicle that after getting on campus will
give him grief.
Don't buy it because YOU like it.

Everyone likes to give a surprise to the ones they love .

As much as it sounds like a great idea, I would directly
involve him in the "surprise".
Maybe give him the choice between
the candidates vehicles you have found.

Trust me.
AMEN to that. You MUST involve the guy who's going to be driving the car in the decision. Period.

On a smaller scale but the same effect, long long ago my father took me to the bike shop to get a fancy 3-speed. Yes, long ago.

I picked out a black one with twist grip for the shifter. That was it. Cool.

I went over to pick the bike up and there was a white one with the old thumb shifter. It was a real WTF??? moment. I didn't want a white bike. I liked the black one.
 

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2013 Kia Soul +, 2018 Soul 1 Million Edition
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I'm hoping some of you can give me some input on which used Soul to surprise our college freshman son in So. Calif. with for Christmas. Here's a little about him: He's always loved exotic sports cars (unaffordable ones), but lately mentioned that he likes Souls and Mustangs. I'd describe him as a conservative kid with a little quirk to him. He doesn't really follow the crowd and likes nice things. He's pretty shy and quiet, not hipster, but dresses stylish.

So, what we're due to look at on Saturday is a 2013 black Kia!, with SOUL logo interior, colored speaker lights, back-up camera, 20,000 miles, excellent condition -- no moonroof, navigation or spare tire - for $12,500. It looks like a real creampuff, but now I'm having some doubts.

Can you guys comment on what you think a So Calif college kid would think of the colored light speakers and logo interior? It occurred to me that the speakers especially could be either cool or cheesey. Does anyone think a low mileage 2014 Kia+ would be better due to the updated body style made in 2014 (but less luxury items)? I don't think we could get a 2014 Kia! for low enough of a price.

Alternatively, we could get a used, low mileage Mustang, but he just likes the look of them, not the speed factor, so I don't know if he'd be portraying himself ingenuinely by driving one.

Help!! Any input is appreciated!!
Just a clarification, the 2013 + comes with "SOUL" lettering on the interior and the ! came with a "houndstooth" pattern. I have a '13 +. I prefer the '13 for the body styling.
 

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When your son graduates and becomes a doctor, a lawyer, a dentist, a whatever your hard earned $$$ has afforded him, he can buy his own "exotic" car and one for you as well.
Until then buy something that fit's the bill between form and function.
Most any student should be thrilled to receive a nice clean car (either new or used) and should get down on their hands and knees in appreciation of parents who are both able and willing to provide one for them!
While it maybe "hip" to be driving an exotic car, it's even hipper to be driving a practical car, with some date $$$ in pocket and parents hip enough to make it all happen.
 

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I'm not sure where in Southern California you're at but I managed to find a steal on a new Soul at Kia Irvine a while back. They had a special for leases starting at $99/month with zero down and the buy was pretty cheap too. I'd give them a call and see if they still have something like that running.
 

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Times have changed.
From my posts,its obvious that I am a more senior member.
Same goes for being a hands on car guy since the early 60's.
From what I have seen, the average male teen(or into the early 20's),
does not have the ambition or skills to modify a vehicle into something
else.
Keep this in mind.
Say you buy him a Soul. Will he do the changes to make it a cool vehicle?
What about the Mustang? Ditto.
Of course,funds available to do the changes are a big part.

So in essence,you could buy him a rather bland car.
With the time,money and skill,It could be turned into something special.
My father bought my first car for me. It was a used 57' Ford Custom 300 2 door.
A middle of the road small V8 car. Well,I was glad to get it. But really wanted
a 55 or 57 Chevy. Over the next two years I worked to do some severe
custom work on the car. All the tricks ,frenched head and tail lights,rolled pans,
radiused whell wells,cheater slicks,lowered,bucket seats,rolled &pleated interior.
Three engines later I wound up with a 406,2-4's street racer.
I took a everyday what was considered a business coupe and turned it into
something very different.I learned a lot along the way.
A kid today doing this?
I'm thinking,not.
 

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2017 KIA Soul base, Titanium. Bought some better taars.
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Times they are a changin...
Kids customizing today consists of a few window stickers and maybe a set of wheels.
Wing: 20 HP
Shake-the-'hood speakers: 20 HP
Ricer decal: 20 HP
20" or above wheels: 20 HP

Their son does not sound like this type.
 

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Soul South nailed it....
 

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The 2013 if priced right shod be 25% cheaper than the equivalent 2014 50% year 50% old model.
This means he and you will be getting more for your money.
The slightly less refinement should not worry a young fit person.

Jeff
 
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