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2014 Kia Soul Exclaim Long-Term Update 1

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/18/2014 Motor Trend Staff, Karla Sanchez

When it's time to move from one place to another, those who own trucks, vans, or SUVs usually come to mind as potential helpers, but when they all suddenly become unavailable to help you lug your stuff around on a super-hot weekend, your next best bet is to start thinking of friends or family members with other spacious cars -- such as the Kia Soul.

Sure, the hamster-mobile didn't come in as handy as a truck would have because we couldn't load it with couches, dressers, and mattresses, but the 2014 Kia Soul Exclaim's boxy dimensions allowed us to stuff everything else we could to the very upper outer corners of its interior. We shoved as many boxes, clothes, and suitcases as the Soul allowed, and we did it all without a problem thanks to the box car's easy-folding rear seats. While some cars require you to struggle a bit when folding those things down, the Soul's rear seats went down so easily that I was able to flip them down with just one hand while carrying a heavy box in the other. Although I normally don't rely too heavily on backup cameras, I had to in this particular instance since all our junk in the trunk obstructed all outward rear visibility. The clear resolution, wide-angle view, and color-coded parking guidelines allowed me to back in and out of tight parking spaces with confidence.

MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image The Soul's power-operated tailgate also became one of my favorite features when I had my hands full. But at one point when I didn't press the button on the remote before my husband could get to it, he took a breather for a couple of seconds by resting a couple of wooden drawers on the rear bumper, which we later found was a bigtime no-no.

As I mentioned in our Soul arrival story, our 2014 Kia Soul Exclaim is painted in one of the most eyepopping paint colors available, and when the Mister rested the drawers on the bumper for just a moment, we discovered some of the Alien Green paint color rubbed off. It was 97 degrees that day, which might have led to the paint rubbing off easier because it was softer, but after looking into some Kia Soul forums, it appears as though other Soul owners have had the same type of paint problems.

The South Korean automaker apparently knows about the paint issue, because a touchup paint pen can be purchased through Kia dealerships for about $9-$10. The pen is currently only available for 2013 models in most paint colors. Most reviews for the pen are positive, but until they're available for the 2014 models, we'll just have to live with the chips on the bumper. So for those who plan on moving a lot of stuff in the Kia Soul on a regular basis, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get some type of protector on the rear bumper to avoid chips.

More on our long-term 2014 Kia Soul Exclaim here:

2014-Kia-Soul-front-three-quarter-in-motion1© Provided by MotorTrend 2014-Kia-Soul-front-three-quarter-in-motion1

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