The Soul's Backup Camera
Kia doesn’t offer any fancy parking-assist functionality, but all UVO-equipped vehicles do have the next best thing: a backup camera. It might seem silly that a car as small as the Soul would need a luxury we wish every soccer mom in a Tahoe would use to its full potential, and, to be honest, you could drive around in the Soul without one and never back into a trash can. However, given the limited rear visibility of Kia's Soul (and other new vehicles with more inventive designs), it's not a bad piece of technology to have.
The UVO package's camera is centered on the rear hatch, below the grab handle. It blends nicely with the back of the car, and it's not an eye sore by any stretch of the imagination. That's a nice touch compared to cameras mounted off-center, below “beauty-bar” grab handles.
The backup camera employs a wide-angle lens that reveals enough of what's going on behind the car (plus a little bit of the rear bumper) to ease the process of parallel parking and reversing out of tight spots. Triggering the camera happens automatically when the Soul's transmission is put into reverse. Surprisingly, the backup camera is very responsive, switching on before UVO completely boots up.
When the backup camera's view appears on the UVO display, three "zones" indicate how much room you have to maneuver the car. Green means go, yellow suggests that you're getting close, and red warns you to stop before love-tapping whatever's back there. You even receive a nice little warning to “Check your surroundings for safety.” We hope that means you shouldn't rely on the camera as your only backup aid. Look around before you pull out of a parking spot; that's the only way you're going to see another car approaching.