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Thanks for your sharing. sounds like the base is working for you for the most part. Due to some financial realities, I've decided I'll likely go with the Base not the plus model. The only problem I had when I test drove it as a rental, is going up a steep incline, it didn't feel smoothe and I struggled a bit. Going down hill was fine, it handled well. I will be getting an automatic and the only time I use cruise control is on a long stretch of highway.
You can always manually downshift it before a long uphill incline if power is the problem. It sounds like the engine may be lugging. I'm pretty sure I could climb up walls if I wanted to with the MT if I revved it high enough. Redline doesn't happen until just short of 7K, IIRC, and the engine is overspeed protected. I rarely rev higher than 3,500 - 4,000 except intentionally once in a while to let her romp a bit and blow the schmutz out.

One thing that may explain my Soul's vigor on the hills is that I use 89-octane (mid-grade) gas. It doesn't make a difference on the flats, but it makes a yuge difference going up the hills. It puts off detonation just long enough to prevent the PCM from compensating for it. It also get better MPG, but again, only in those sort of high-load situations like steep hills where detonation is likely to occur. On flats, all it does is cost more.

I have noticed no difference in either performance or MPG using any higher than 89-octane unless it's ethanol-free.

Also, you'll probably want to buy a spare tire kit. The car comes with goo and a compressor, as do most cars these days. But using the goo may mean buying a new tire or plugging it yourself (because many mechanics will not plug or patch a tire that's been gooed) and will probably mean buying a new TPMS sensor (because it too will get gooed). Also, not all flats can be sealed with goo.

You can also buy a full-sized spare tire and wheel instead of the spare tire kit (which is a donut), but I don't know if it will fit in the spare tire well on the newer models. You'll also need a jack and a lug wrench in that case. Personally, I just went with the donut kit. I think I paid ~ $150.00, and it came with the jack and what passes for a lug wrench.

That's about all I can say other than that I'm on my second Soul and am very happy with it. So are my passengers, who never fail to marvel at "how big the car is inside." It's just a well-designed, well-manufactured car.
 

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I agree with Geek, just downshift to 5 or even 4th if needed. An automatic would do the exact same thing, just maybe not AS well.

I was impressed with 5th gear going up a long grade and passing other cars. I looked at the speedo & hit 92mph. I thought dang, this Soul has some surprising power when I'm in the right gear :)

Factory cruise is easy to install yourself. 2 parts, total $72.
 

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I agree with Geek, just downshift to 5 or even 4th if needed. An automatic would do the exact same thing, just maybe not AS well.

I was impressed with 5th gear going up a long grade and passing other cars. I looked at the speedo & hit 92mph. I thought dang, this Soul has some surprising power when I'm in the right gear :)

Factory cruise is easy to install yourself. 2 parts, total $72.
And well worth it on the automatic, I'd say. On the MT, it depends on the terrain where you drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
Thanks, everyone for your help! I ended up leasing a black Kia Base w/ convenience package & wear & tear for 2 years. I do have the option to refi, but likely will either get a new Kia (hoping for awd, or a hybrid version), or simply drop off and travel the world. In retrospect I would have gotten the plus model and not gotten the wear and tear. But what's done is done. One month in and a marked improvement from my 2000 Saturn Ls2 (starting breaking down, so timing was good!)

I will add the roof rack and a leather steering wheel cover. I can understand why folks opt to personalize their Kia's! Even as someone leasing I can't help but spiff it up a bit. I've been noticing Kia's more and more, even stopping to say hi to other Kia owners (such an age range!)
 

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Thanks, everyone for your help! I ended up leasing a black Kia Base w/ convenience package & wear & tear for 2 years. I do have the option to refi, but likely will either get a new Kia (hoping for awd, or a hybrid version), or simply drop off and travel the world. In retrospect I would have gotten the plus model and not gotten the wear and tear. But what's done is done. One month in and a marked improvement from my 2000 Saturn Ls2 (starting breaking down, so timing was good!)

I will add the roof rack and a leather steering wheel cover. I can understand why folks opt to personalize their Kia's! Even as someone leasing I can't help but spiff it up a bit. I've been noticing Kia's more and more, even stopping to say hi to other Kia owners (such an age range!)
Congrats on your new Soul. I agree, the Plus would have been a nice choice in lieu of the wear & tear package, which mostly just puts wear & tear on your wallet.
 

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2017 KIA Soul base, Titanium. Bought some better taars.
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Thanks, everyone for your help! I ended up leasing a black Kia Base w/ convenience package & wear & tear for 2 years. I do have the option to refi, but likely will either get a new Kia (hoping for awd, or a hybrid version), or simply drop off and travel the world. In retrospect I would have gotten the plus model and not gotten the wear and tear. But what's done is done. One month in and a marked improvement from my 2000 Saturn Ls2 (starting breaking down, so timing was good!)

I will add the roof rack and a leather steering wheel cover. I can understand why folks opt to personalize their Kia's! Even as someone leasing I can't help but spiff it up a bit. I've been noticing Kia's more and more, even stopping to say hi to other Kia owners (such an age range!)
Congrats on your new ride! Big step up from a worn out Saturn, fershur. Yes, Soulsters are fascinating people, aren't they? Yesterday a guy at the gas pump asked me how I liked my Soul, he'd just bought his daughter one. I said fine and dandy, it's my third, no problems with any of them, this one's a keeper.
 

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Discussion Starter #28 (Edited)
@GeoSoul True dat. Next time...I'll opt for the plus, though I was also factoring in car insurance which is a bit more for the Plus and even more for the Exclaim model. Happy with the base non the less. First time at a car dealership+ new car (overwhelming), gotta start somewhere:)
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
Congrats on your new ride! Big step up from a worn out Saturn, fershur. Yes, Soulsters are fascinating people, aren't they? Yesterday a guy at the gas pump asked me how I liked my Soul, he'd just bought his daughter one. I said fine and dandy, it's my third, no problems with any of them, this one's a keeper.


@Neanderthal Thanks! Yes indeed, the Saturn is sitting on the street. The dealership offered me $200 (shouldv'e taken it), little did I know it almost died on the way back from the dealership. Trying to sell it as is, $400 mechanics special! I've always been a soulster, a spirited gal, now I'm part of the soulster tribe. Yes, quite a diverse group we are!
 

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Congrats on your new ride! Big step up from a worn out Saturn, fershur. Yes, Soulsters are fascinating people, aren't they? Yesterday a guy at the gas pump asked me how I liked my Soul, he'd just bought his daughter one. I said fine and dandy, it's my third, no problems with any of them, this one's a keeper.


@Neanderthal Thanks! Yes indeed, the Saturn is sitting on the street. The dealership offered me $200 (shouldv'e taken it), little did I know it almost died on the way back from the dealership. Trying to sell it as is, $400 mechanics special! I've always been a soulster, a spirited gal, now I'm part of the soulster tribe. Yes, quite a diverse group we are!
If the Saturn is more-or-less structurally sound, you probably can do better than $400.00. They're starting to acquire classic status among a niche of loyalists. Check out the Saturn Forums or an extended Craigslist search for ideas on what enthusiasts are paying for them.

The Saturn S-Series were very good cars. They were reliable, cheap to maintain, and easier-than-most to work on. Many enthusiasts consider the later S-Series models to be the best cars Saturn ever made. Especially because your Saturn likely has never tasted salt, I think you have a pretty good chance at doing much better than $400.00 if you find an enthusiast. If you were closer, I'd be interested in looking at it myself. I've owned or leased a whole string of them. I wouldn't mind having one as a second car / hobby car.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Thanks for the advice! structurally sound yes, engine & transmission too. It even has an electric sunroof. Cosmetically it needs some help, leather is ripping (drivers) needs detailing, belt+brake pads, new tires. Though it only has 90k miles. I'll look on a Saturn Forum...thanks! Just sitting on the street now, needs some TLC. It was a good car for the past 10 years, but I don't need two cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Hmmm interesting idea. Not sure how much extra I'm paying for the rental monthly I'll have to ask. It does cost $25 for the Saturn monthly on my insurance. I would need to invest 800-1k into it though for it to be driveable. Brakes, belt, tires.
 

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Thanks for the advice! structurally sound yes, engine & transmission too. It even has an electric sunroof. Cosmetically it needs some help, leather is ripping (drivers) needs detailing, belt+brake pads, new tires. Though it only has 90k miles. I'll look on a Saturn Forum...thanks! Just sitting on the street now, needs some TLC. It was a good car for the past 10 years, but I don't need two cars.
Based on having bought and sold a bunch of them... If you were to do a good DIY detail job and nothing more, around here you'd be talking in the $1K to 2K neighborhood, depending mainly on how funky the interior is. Maybe a bit more because of the absence of a salt history.

The things that usually fail with age on Saturn S-Series cars are pretty easy to replace; and the necessity of replacing the most difficult of them for a backyard mechanic, the engine cradle, is largely salt-dependent. If it's never tasted salt and you've never bent it up in an accident, that's a big plus. It's one of the first things a knowledgeable Saturn enthusiast will look at.

The motor mounts tend to be more of a wear item than a salt item (although salt does factor somewhat), but replacing all of them takes maybe an hour in the driveway and costs about $125.00 for parts if you use good ones and know where to buy them.

Another commonly-needed item that's a pain to replace is the belt tensioner, which should be okay if the engine has only 90K miles. That's an advantage because it's actually one of the more annoying DIY repair jobs on a Saturn. It's not rocket surgery, but it's a pain to get to without a lift. Its actually kind of a pain even with a lift.

Another thing an enthusiast will look at is the radiator. They tended to crack on the left side where the hoses connect. But that's also more mileage-dependent than age-dependent (and is not at all salt-dependent). It usually happens between 150K to 200K miles. So in that case, the mileage works in your favor. Replacements are about $65.00 - $75.00 and it's not a difficult a job, but it's one less thing an enthusiast will be thinking about when looking at your Saturn.

I paid $1,500.00 for an SC1 with more miles than yours a few years ago. Known issues were that it needed a clutch, a windshield, and new motor mounts. It also had a couple of codes (P0441 EVAP vent system and P0341 camshaft position sensor). They asked for $1,700.00. I paid $1,500.00 if they agreed to follow me home in it. I was concerned about the codes because they could have wound up being more expensive to clear than they turned out to be, or else it would have been a fair deal at $1,700.00.

The P0441 turned out to be the gas tank pressure sensor (about a $35.00 part, but an annoying job because the tank had to be dropped). That accounted for $100.00 of my counter-offer and turned out to be a harder job than some of the things it could have been.

The P0341 was new plugs and wires. Those engines didn't have camshaft position sensors. When they threw P0341 without an accompanying misfire code, it almost always meant they needed new wires and usually new plugs. With a misfire code, it usually meant coil packs. The plugs and wires cost about $35.00 combined and cleared the code. But it could have needed coil packs, too, which accounted for the other $100.00 of my counter-offer. That one worked out in my favor because it was an easy job (as in maybe 20 minutes under the hood).

The rest of the reduction from market value was for the known issues, which the seller had already considered in setting the asking price. She was actually very fair about the price, which is why I only took $200.00 off her asking price. She based her reductions from book on having the work professionally done, and she was honest about it. She also was willing to deliver it, which was nice.

More importantly, she didn't try to hide the codes. That was a big plus. I won't buy any used vehicle if the seller tries to hide codes. I bring a scanner along and check. If I get a "Not Ready" code on any system or a "pending" code that suggests that they cleared the system before I showed up, I walk. I don't care how trivial the code itself is. If they try to hide it, I walk. What I'm thinking is, "What else are they hiding?" I don't do business with crooks.

Anyway, I just wanted to give you some idea of what a Saturn enthusiast will look for. Your Saturn is low-mileage and has never tasted salt. Unless you just want it gone or the interior is from hell, I think you're way underestimating its value. You just need to reach beyond 16-year-olds who want any car, as long as it's cheap, and find a Saturn lover.
 

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The Geek Said: "Anyway, I just wanted to give you some idea of what a Saturn enthusiast will look for. Your Saturn is low-mileage and has never tasted salt"

What if your Saturn has high blood pressure or high cholesterol?
Mine typically had high cholesterol as a result of food I spilled while eating on the road when I was doing field tech support and computer repairs. When they started smelling more like a deli than a car, I'd shampoo the interiors.
 

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I think take a loan is much better as you won't have to pay a big amount of money at once. I don't see a big difference between leasing or credit as both of this means you have to take some money and to return a bigger amount in a determined period of time. But, you have to choose carefully the credit company as many of them are scammers that could easily make you pay much more for the rest of your life. I would really advise you to have a credit or a loan from a well known company such as https://credit-10.com/nl/frisia-lening/ as this one seems to be one of the best on the market and this company has the best client feedback in this niche. You can read the feedback by yourself if you want, but I can really ensure you, you won't regret
Loan is way much better and I think a loan is the best solution for you
 

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Please note that the OP posted this over a year ago and actually leased the Soul again over a year ago, so please take the timing in consideration when offering advice.

This does not apply only to this post but other posts as well (as well as other vehicle forums).
 
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