TEST DRIVE: 2019 Kia Soluto 1.4 EX AT - The Reason
The subcompact sedan category has always been one of the busiest markets in the local automotive scene. But it seems that despite the crowded market that it is already, everybody wants to take a piece of that pie. Take the case of the Kia Soluto as an example. The Soluto came as the consumers are already finding a good alternative to those that are already available in the scene. But just the same, the Ayalas, one of the biggest giants in the industry, have put their trust in the Soluto for a good reason. The Kia Soluto 1.4 EX AT is one good reason why it is a good option. The Kia Soluto 1.4 EX AT has some things under its belt that would make it a formidable choice than its pricey counterparts. For its power train, the 1.4-liter gasoline engine mated to a four-speed automatic transmission is able to produce 94 horsepower and 132 Nm of torque, which is quite impressive numbers in its segment. To make the numbers easy to digest, the car easily hits speed limits when on expressways. If you could see beyond the very active downshift (transferring at low revs), the car is perfect as it gives longer mileage under lower gas consumption. Since it sits on 14’s, it gives the Soluto 1.4 EX AT a light-drive feel--add to that the electronic power steering. The car still has manageable NVH levels on high speeds, but it's a minor tradeoff for getting the speed that you want. Consumption-wise, driven on mix of highway and metro driving, the Soluto 1.4 EX At got an easy 13-16 kilometers per liter with the four occupants being on the heavy side. With those figures and its 40-plus liters of petrol, the daily commute will be stretched further. For regular Asian occupants, it could be a good choice as those with high statures will find the sweet seating position in the front with little difficulty. For its aesthetics, the exterior of the Soluto enjoys an almost similar look with its big brother, the Kia Stinger. The chrome details on the outside, the snout-looking front fascia, and the faux vent design in the front, gave it more character. On the inside, the mating of the leatherette and plastic makes it easier to clean. For its price point, its interiors are not that bad. Add to that the seven-inch touchscreen that can be connected via Bluetooth, AUX and USB ports. However, this dual-DIN player seems not to play video programs, only audio. Safety features for the Soluto 1.4 EX AT are the pair of airbags for front occupants, the basic three-point seatbelts for all five occupants, ABS and Isofix mounting points. So the reason the Ayala chose to enter the crowded subcompact sedan category might be because of the strength it sees with the minute workhorse that is the Kia Soluto 1.4 EX AT.