2009 Ford Flex

By Nick Yost

It's sometimes perplexing when you go Ford Flexing.

People see this large, angular crossover vehicle and they smile. Then, they say something like “Nice looking,” or “Cute,” or simply “Cool.”

How cool can it be for goodness sake? We're looking at two boxes, a great big one for the passengers and a smaller one in front for the engine and allied equipment. Add four wheels and that's about it.

Sure, it's got a Mini-like two-tone paint job, some creases on the hood and some character marks – I believe they call them strakes – along the sides. But that's about it.

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2010 Kia Soul

By John Peige

Kia’s new Soul is dynamite! While it won’t blow you off the starting line, it is certainly a blast to drive.

The beauty of this Kia compact is not what lies under the hood, rather it’s the joy of driving it in the hood. It brings lots of Soul to the city as its diminutive size makes it a breeze to navigate narrow, traffic-clogged streets. And when you want to rest your Soul, it fits into the smallest of parking spaces.

Soul’s low, wide stance is paired with an angled window line, rounded nose and large flared headlamps highlighted by a chrome-accented grille. The rear is dominated by large vertical brake lights that are distinctively located high up on the quarter panel.

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