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As far back as 2005, Kia tasked itself with becoming Korea's sporty automaker, leaving parent Hyundai to become a more affordable luxury brand. Then-chief operating officer Len Hunt admitted that while Kia's value proposition was clear, its products largely failed to connect with buyers on an emotional level ""“ the company's models were purchased based on price, warranty and little else.<br style="line-height: 0.8em; "><br style="line-height: 0.8em; ">Since that time, Kia has steadily introduced a slew of greatly improved products, but nothing remotely "sporty" has hit showroom floors. Sure, there have been a few promising-looking concepts, 2007'sKeeandKue, along with 2008'sKoup... but while the company has been creating one-off showcars, Hyundai has grabbed eyeballs, market share, and more than a few magazine covers by delivering both upmarket and sporty vehicles, namely theGenesis SedanandCoupe.<br style="line-height: 0.8em; "><br style="line-height: 0.8em; ">And yet, here we find ourselves in Miami, ready to drive Kia's latest and greatest, the 2010 Soul. Is this where the "sporty" kicks in? At first blush, things aren't promising ""“ the Soul is front-drive, modestly powered, tallish, and squared-off in an economy-car-tall-wagon-crossover-looking sort of way.

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