Based on the new platform the 2014 Kia Soul is the successor of the one of Kia’s best-selling models. It comes with more powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 164 HP at low RPM, helping the Soul feel much more alive during city driving.
Release date, Price, Specs, Redesign, Compare, 2015, 2016
Without trying to change too much of a good thing, the design team at Kia’s California studio decided to update the Soul’s funky exterior by incorporating several of the styling cues found on the Kia Track’ster concept. The large trapezoidal lower air intake mirrors the concept, as well as the available fog lights located down low on the intake’s outer edges. Even the signature Tiger Nose grille has been tweaked to look more like the concept’s squared off one. Also like the Track’ster, the new Soul’s upright stance, squared off shoulders, and round fender flares give it a bulldog-like appearance.
The Features and Equipment
The base model’s standard equipment includes 16-inch steel wheels, hill-start assist, rear privacy glass, full power accessories, power-heated side mirrors, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel (with audio controls), a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.
The Engine Range
The buyer’s can make a choice of 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines – units introduced during the Soul’s 2012 mid-cycle update. In all fairness, these engines are still quite new, and the larger one receives direct-injection for the first time (necessitating a whole new upper, including new heads and a roller-type timing chain), and both powerplants have been reworked for more low-end torque – Kia says it’s up by 9 percent on the 1.6 liter and 5 percent on the 2.0 liter.
Tuning for torque has altered the output figures a bit, and not all for the better. The smaller engine sees its horsepower drop from 138 to 130, with peak torque slipping from 123 pound-feet to 118. The larger 2.0 liter seen here fares better, generating the same 164 horsepower as last year’s model a bit earlier on the tachometer (6,200 rpm instead of 6,500), and torque actually improves from 148 lb-ft at 4,800 rpm to 151 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm.
A six-speed manual and a conventional automatic with as many speeds carry over, though their gearing has been reevaluated to take advantage of the engines’ remapped torque curves. Important note: The larger engine can no longer be ordered with three pedals – just one percent of new models sold last year were 2.0-liter manual transmission models, and Kia couldn’t continue to justify the additional cost and build complexity. Despite the ever-present rumors, all-wheel drive remains highly unlikely, as floorpan-level alterations would need to be made.
2014 Kia Soul Price
The 2014 Kia Soul is beautiful inside and out, impressively refined for its $15,495 starting price (that’s including destination) and can march on proudly as a wonderfully practical compact car alternative. Look for the 2014 Kia Soul to start arriving at dealerships in October 2013.