A funky little car that Kia has presented in 2014 with an entirely new design. The 2014 Kia Soul, well, has soul. Great for getting around the city and practical with good gas mileage, and the hatchback means lots of space for extra friends and all the extra stuff you need to haul.
This is the fourth year that the Kia Soul has been on the market and it has proven to be a Kia classic, with high marks in many areas. It looks like a box and competition only sits fairly with the likes of the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Chevy Sonic or the Toyota Prius C.
Good for the entry-level, budget conscious buyer, the 2014 Kia Soul is a four-door hatchback with three trims and enough seating for up to five adults. Trims are base, + (Plus) and ! (Exclaim).
On the base you get a steady round of goodies including cloth upholstery, 16-inch steel wheels, hill-start assist, rear privacy glass, all the power accessories as well as power-heated side mirrors, a height-adjustable seat for the driver, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel that has audio control capability and there is a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and plenty of techno goodies from Bluetooth phone connectivity to a convenient iPod/USB interface.
The Soul+ will give you a revved up engine along with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, cruise control and a handy front seat center console with storage and an armrest and there is also a rear-seat armrest that folds down.
For this trim there are also additional package options like the Soul+ Uvo eServices package, which will add to the Soul experience, automatic headlights and the Uvo infotainment interface that also has voice control. Count in as well streaming Internet radio and a rearview camera or the Audio package has the Uvo package as well as automatic climate control, a navigation system and an Infinity Audio system with speaker lights and a choice of either piano-black and satin-metallic interior.
When you add the Uvo and Audio packages there is also a Primo package to be added that will give you a sunroof, fog lights, keyless ignition, upgraded leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats in the front and heated rear outboard seats. There is also a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Or, for the eco-friendly, there is an Eco package that has a fuel-saving twist like an automatic stop-start system and 16-inch tires.
The Soul! has even more goodies like 18-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, upgraded headlights with fog lights, power-folding side mirrors and a cooled glovebox, plus add all the items that come in the Uvo eServices package too. For extra packages here there is the Sun and Sound package with a panoramic sunroof, automatic climate control and navigation system or the Whole Shabang package really has it all with the Sun and Sound package and then adding to that xenon headlights, keyless ignition, leather upholstery all around and a fancier instrument panel. There is also the heated and cooled front seats as well as a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats.
Under the hood, the front-wheel-drive 2014 Kia Soul has two engines choices. On the base you get a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 130 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque with a six-speed manual transmission, but automatic is available. On the Soul+ and !, there is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque that has a six-speed automatic transmission only.
For safety it's four-wheel antilock disc brakes, hill-start assist, stability control, traction control, front-seat side and side curtain airbags with active front head restraints and a rearview camera is optional on the Soul+ and standard on the Soul! trim.
Inside the 2014 Kia Soul it sports a cool vibe for looking good and driving easy. For a car at this low cost, no expense has been spared to make sure that it is quality materials for styling. The knobs and dials are all placed in easy to see and use positions, too.
Even though it is entry-level, there is plenty of room in the cabin for heads and legs and that includes for all the passengers as well as the driver. There is 19-cubic feet of space behind the rear seat or if you need more space with the 60/40 split and rear seats down you get 61-cubic feet.
Overall, the driving experience is a good one on the 2014 Kia Soul, plenty of ease getting on the highway and going where you need to go with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and handling is fine as well. Indeed, while the ride is good, the look is cool and the box-shape has a unique style that does turn heads.
Should You Need to Know: The 2014 Kia Soul has plenty of cargo space capacity and a variety of bells and whistles for upgrading and incorporating all you need from engine speed to audio and techno additions.
Miles Per Gallon: I got 23 miles to the gallon in the city on the Kia Soul + I drove and 31 miles per gallon on the highway.
Cost: The Kia Soul + I drove had a price tag of $24,010.
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