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Old 03-18-2014, 05:19 PM   #1
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Kia Soul vs Fiat Toad

Looking primarily at the Kia Soul for use as a Toad, but the Fiat presents an interesting alternative as does the Hyundai Volester.

My question is fitting the Kia with a baseplate, instructions seem to be quite involved, any opinions on setting up the Kia appreciated. Kia vs Fiat also appreciated.

The Kia and Hyundai have the advantage of the warranty and the base price is lower, just wondering about setting the toad up.

Thanks

Jim
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:59 PM   #2
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The Fiat sits pretty low, with very small wheels and tires. I don't know just how low but I think you'll end up having to use a drop receiver in order to get the tow bar at a close to level condition. I believe the Soul sits much higher and may get by without the drop receiver, or at the very least, less of a drop receiver.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:02 PM   #3
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After having a Fiat 124 sedan back in the 1970's, I'll never own anything built by the Italians.

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Old 03-18-2014, 09:06 PM   #4
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We have a 2013 Fiat Abarth. It is manual so yes it is 4 down towable. As Thom put it "I got a little Italian car to go with my little Italian wife" but really it is a Chrysler product now. We have had it for about 14k miles and so far Thom still loves driving it. We've driven the car from SoCal to MI and back again. We do have most of the stuff to flat tow but have not put it on yet so I can't tell you how easy or hard it really was to do. I do know that Thom will do the install himself thou.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:48 PM   #5
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We had our 2013 Kia Soul Set up about 9 months ago and love it. I had the setup done by RV shop here in Oregon cost about 2k with tow bar. I added the Unified brake system myself later since I had all the parts from our previous toad. I love the fact that it has some good ground clearance. No need for a drop down to make it line up. I have had 3 different toads Jeep Wrangler to heavy, 2011 Chevy Malibu (to Low) and the Kia. best one yet and fun to drive with lot of interior room not to mention that it only weight 2700lbs don't even know its back there.
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campbell36 View Post
Looking primarily at the Kia Soul for use as a Toad, but the Fiat presents an interesting alternative as does the Hyundai Volester.

My question is fitting the Kia with a baseplate, instructions seem to be quite involved, any opinions on setting up the Kia appreciated. Kia vs Fiat also appreciated.

The Kia and Hyundai have the advantage of the warranty and the base price is lower, just wondering about setting the toad up.

Thanks

Jim

I just did a 2010 Kia Soul tow set-up in February, and have taken one trip so far. I went with the Roadmaster set-up as the front brackets are much cleaner and easier to deal with. You can't see the brackets when not towing unless you really look for them. The Kia works great for a Toad. I use it now as my spare car and it's fun to drive and easy to tow. The Kia weight is 2650lb for the manual shift so I didn't bother with the tow brake.

Paid $350 for a like new Roadmaster Falcon tow bar from craigs list. Then $900 for the install of the Roadmaster brackets and wiring. Happy so far with the set-up.
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:40 AM   #7
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After having a Fiat 124 sedan back in the 1970's, I'll never own anything built by the Italians.

Ken
I bought a new Chevy in 1981. That was the last GM product I owned. I'm not sure if there are cars in the afterlife but if there are I'm not driving anything made by GM. The fact is, all cars made now are far and away better than anything made in the 70's or 80's. I have a Fiat 500 TOAD and am very happy with it. As for the comment about small wheels; the base model Fiat Pop comes with 15 inch wheels, the Sport and Abarth have 16 inch wheels. The 16 inch wheels give a better ride. I also looked at the Veloster and liked what I saw. I ended up with the Fiat because I can park the MH and TOAD in a 50' storage spot. That saves me a lot of money every year.
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:33 PM   #8
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Here is a review of the two cars the LA Times did this weekend:

Fiat's 500L falls flat while Kia's Soul soars - latimes.com
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:44 PM   #9
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After having a Fiat 124 sedan back in the 1970's, I'll never own anything built by the Italians. Ken
The Italians may not make the most dependable cars but nobody does shotguns like the Italians.
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:58 PM   #10
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AKJohn, thanks for the information about the wheel size of the fiat. I was hoping someone would know something about them and speak up! I'm really surprised that the wheels are that large! Everytime I've seen a Fiat I always thought they looked like they had really small wheels (I was thinking 13") and that they sat really low to the ground. After reading your post I'm thinking they just look that way to me and maybe they would make a good toad. Is your Fiat with an automatic transmission or manual? And is it flat towable with either transmission?
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:11 PM   #11
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I looked at both last fall, bought the KIA, lot more car for less money. The Fiat is cute and that's the end of it. The KIA I bought was the base model with a 6 speed, thing does 90mph in 3rd gear (quickly) then the rev limiter kicks in at 6750rpm, it's a blast. 32/33 mpg in urban driving, combo city/suburban. It is also a true 5 passenger car with lots of head room, I'm 6'4" and it is easy in easy out, more like a SUV than a compact hatchback and it is only 2700#'s.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:56 AM   #12
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The Fiat with manual trans is flat towable with no restrictions on speed or distance. The auto trans is not flat towable. Lots of room in the front seats of the Fiat. I've never tried to sit in the back seats and so far have carried no passengers back there. The rear seats stay folded down to make more room in the back for carrying stuff. The Fiat has a nice ride with the 16in wheels. Cruise on the freeway at 75 with a very solid feel for a small car. Strong winds don't seem to be a problem but maybe that's because I'm comparing it to the MH in wind which is not fun.

There are lots of good cars out there. I didn't look at the Kia. I thought is was not approved for flat towing without restrictions (speed/distance). Like I said, I liked the Volester but ended up with the Fiat and I'm not disappointed. Something else to consider is Fiat recommends 91 octane gas although 87 octane is approved. I don't like spending extra for premium gas but the Fiat uses so little fuel it doesn't really bother me. Again I'm comparing it to the MH which as I'm sure you know really hurts at the pump.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:08 AM   #13
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Thom test drove just every thing out there that was flat towable. He picked the Fiat Abarth, yes it is manual and yes flat towable. We did a trip from SoCal to MI and back again shortly after buying it. It went over the mountains without realizing that the mountains were there ... 90 mph or so going up them before Thom realized his speed.

When you buy a new Fiat Abarth you also get a free track day. The day starts with breakfast and a meeting. You get training on how to handle the car on the track, time trials and a head to head track. Somewhere in there you also get lunch. They did put a speed limiter on the cars for around the track. In 3rd gear it went to about 84 mph and would not go faster, which was fine since there were lots of turns to make you slow down anyway
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