The Kia Soul may be one of the most regular cars of all time. Like the boxy Scion xB that came before it, it was marketed as a hip, quirky for the youths, but ultimately, Grandpa found it easy to get in and out of and your mother probably calls it “cute.” It’s a car so ubiquitous that it can fade into the background despite the fact that there are few truly boxy cars like it on the road. So, imagine our surprise when we saw that the Kia Soul of all things was trending on Twitter.
As Jackson Vose tweeted alongside a screenshot of the Kia Soul trending, “you never thought the Kia Soul would be the main character.”
Perhaps the Soul’s invisibility that was undoing this afternoon. Many of us only really notice Kia Souls when they somehow make our day worse by how they’re driven or parked. One of the most viral tweets of this afternoon’s Soul-a-palooza spoke to the car’s invisiblity in parking lots. “Thinking you found a parking spot and then boom. Kia fucking soul.” tweeted @tiffohsnapp.
Clearly, this Twitter trend was not kicked off by Kia corporate.
Tiff’s tweet—which has over 30,500 thousand shares at the time of this writing—gets at a relatable, common problem. I’ve heard these hidden buzzkills called “dammit cars” for years based on what people say when they think they find the perfect parking spot, but it’s really taken by a small car. The U.S. doesn’t have many small cars anymore, and the list of subcompacts seems to shrink every year, making the relatively common Soul an easy target for this ire.
It’s easy for everyone to have a take on the Soul, too, because it’s so common. We probably know at least one Soul owner, if not multiple. Even though it’s a practical car available with adequate power and tons of usable space, the haterade that poured forth from Twitter branded the Soul as a car with a certain type of non-car-person energy. Y’all bought the Soul to reflect that you’re a unique soul (just like everybody else), or maybe because it’s cute, or maybe even because it jives with your bad hip—not to leave anyone in a cloud of Soul dust.
As with many other regular cars, the memories that a lot of folks have of Souls are of less than skilled drivers behind the wheel—oh, and those hamster commercials. Poor Soul. What did this little box do to deserve this? Especially this much of it?
At one point today, Kia Soul haterade blew up enough that Twitter highlighted it as an official trend, giving it the generous description: “People are sharing their thoughts on the pros and cons of driving a Kia Soul.”
To Twitter’s credit, the Soul defenders logged on en masse in response to this disrespect, with some praising the car’s safety features for saving their lives, some defending the good name of the commercial’s “Hamstars,” some pointing out cars they dislike more and others simply firing back at the haters—sometimes literally with photoshops of a gun-wielding Mariah Carey.
According to some Soul fans, yes, you can use this spacious and practical little car to take some fools to Gapplebee’s after all.
Yet this isn’t the first time the internet has focused its displeasure on a wholly normal car, nor is it the first time the Kia Soul has been taken to the Vehicle Haters’ Ball on social media.
Car Bibles’ resident young person Kevin Williams pointed out that the internet’s favorite force of chaotic good, TikTok, absolutely loves to rag on random regular cars—including the Kia Soul. Some of the best Kia Soul jokes floating around Twitter this afternoon originated on TikTok, where there’s an entire Kia Soul Hatred account with over 29,000 followers.
“I don’t think they have any ill feeling for or against the Soul,” Williams argued. That being said, it’s still funny as hell.
TikTok’s fixation on the Kia Soul has been around for months with videos about the car getting millions of views long before “Kia Soul” trended on Twitter today. Even TikTok themselves highlighted a gig video of the Soul commercial’s hamsters “after the fame” in January.
Just click through the #kiasoul tag if you need a good laugh sometime. I don’t even mind these cars and I laughed at how much people hate them.
The Soul isn’t the only regular car to be the butt of grade-A quality jokes on TikTok. There is a genuinely excellent Ford Escape account called 2016_Ford_Escape that rags endlessly on its one true nemesis, the Chevy Equinox. Nissan is another marque that went viral with a post ragging on failing CVTs driving owners to bankruptcy, and who can forget the Dodge salesman who pokes fun at his own Mopar inventory?
Either way, this trend is proof that we should all lighten up. The lovers and haters of the Kia Soul and other cars both made me laugh, and if you like your car, go on and party rock to your heart’s content.
Got the good weird viral car stuff to share? Hit up The Drive’s social media editor: email@example.com.