The funky Kia Soul is aimed at young, economy-car shoppers who want something different. The boxy Kia hatchback is unique in its approach, boasting a swept-back exterior design and an interior filled with odd shapes and vibrant colors. Want something different, then the Kia Soul is for you.
First Generation Kia Soul
The first-generation Kia Soul was produced from 2010-2013. Trim levels consisted of base, +, ! and Sport. The base Soul had a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 122 hp and was available only with a five-speed manual transmission. The higher-level trims got a 2.0-liter four with 142 hp and a four-speed automatic was optional.
Standard features on the base Soul included air-conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control, Bluetooth and a four-speaker sound system and an iPod/USB jack. Depending on the trim level chosen, the follow options became available: alloy wheels, power-folding sideview mirrors, a sunroof, automatic temp control and a two-color interior.
In 2012 a number of important improvements occurred, notably more engine output, new six-speed transmissions and revised steering. The base Soul’s 1.6-liter four was upgraded to 138 hp and could be paired to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
Second Generation Kia Soul
Introduced for 2014, the second-generation Kia Soul comes in just three trim levels: base, + and !. The base Soul comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 130 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional.
The higher trims come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 164 hp and the six-speed automatic. EPA combined fuel economy comes in at 26-27 mpg. The base Soul’s standard features include 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity and an iPod/USB interface. The Soul+ adds 17-inch alloy wheels and cruise control.The Soul! features 18-inch wheels, body-colored bumpers, LED daytime running lights, power-folding side mirrors, a power driver seat, a rearview camera and automatic headlights).
In reviews, journalists have commented on the Soul’s interior materials’ quality, high-tech features and generous passenger and cargo space. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is satisfyingly quick and the automatic transmission offers well-timed and swift gear changes. The Soul’s cabin offered a nice balance between form and function, while the available two-tone houndstooth upholstery gave the Soul more flair than its rivals. Gauges and controls are well-placed and easy to use.