MkI Kia Soul? (AKA Necessary Car Shopping)

Due to certain circumstances, I have started seriously shopping for a replacement for my 10 128i. The criteria I’ve settled on are listed below.

Must-haves:

  • Hatch
  • Back seat
  • Reliable (the 1-series has actually been great so far)
  • Inexpensive parts (who wants to pay $80 to change their own oil?)

Preferred:

  • Manual (I miss it so much)
  • RWD (this seems unrealistic given the other criteria)
  • Regular gas (the extra $0.60 / gallon is getting old)
  • Decent fuel economy (25+ mpg combined)
  • Compact

Don’t want:

  • Trunk
  • Coupe
  • Truck / SUV

Budget: $8000

The goal for this car is to find something practical and reliable in fantastic shape that I can hold on to for the next 10 years. Just a basic daily driver to get me where I need to go. Fun car duties will be taken over by the MX-5 once I have the funds in place to resurrect it.

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Which is what brings me to the MkI Kia Soul. It’s taller than I would like, but after punching all of my criteria into Car Gurus and Autotrader, it seems like a nice alternative to all the PT Cruisers and Chevy Cobalts for sale in my area. I have my eye on a green, 1-owner 13 Soul+ with the 2.0L, 6MT, and only 67K miles. If my weekend had been a little less busy and it were a little closer, I would have already gone to look at it.

So what are your thoughts, fellow Opponaughts?

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