2014 Kia Soul: First glance – Macon Automotive | Examiner.com

15 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2014 Kia Soul: First glance – Macon Automotive | Examiner.com
Kia Soul

Kia Soul

MINNEAPOLIS — The Kia Soul is perhaps best known to many people as the vehicle endorsed by a bunch of hipster hamsters in TV commercials.

But if you’re an automaker, you can only ride rodents so far. You must have a vehicle that delivers the goods to consumers.

Since its debut in 2009, the Soul has done that.

And the new version, the 2014 model, even gets a bit better.

Kia bared its new Soul to the media in beautiful Minneapolis, giving auto reviewers a chance to drive in both urban and rural settings.

From an exterior appearance standpoint, the Soul is largely unchanged to the untrained eye.

That’s probably a good thing, because people who liked the Soul before no doubt appreciated its boxy, tall, wagonish frame.

That shape remains.

It might be a bit sleeker and slightly sportier now, however.

As for the inside, the biggest difference with the new model and its predecessor is that the quality of materials has taken a substantial step forward.

The old Soul’s interior, while mostly comfortable, had somewhat of a low-rent feel to it. That probably didn’t bother many buyers, who liked the modest sticker price and didn’t expect much luxury.

The Soul still is far from a luxury vehicle, but is now much more of a quality vehicle, thanks to the material improvement.

And for the driver/passenger experience, the seats are more comfortable and the ride is more pleasant and smooth.

Kia Soul

For the driver, the steering wheel, turn indicator and most other controls just feel more solid and sturdy now.

If you want to add some premium quality amenities to your Soul, you can now select such items as heated and ventilated seats, a 350-watt Infinity audio system (which sounds terrific), navigation system with 8-inch touchscreen, heated steering wheel and automatic climate control.

Driving the Soul remains an exercise in piloting good, basic transportation. It isn’t now, nor has it ever been, a sports car.

The two engines remain a 1.6-liter four-cylinder and a 2.0-liter four-banger. We drove the latter, and found its 164 horsepower to be adequate for everyday driving needs. Acceleration onto freeways wasn’t too strained, and jumping into the passing lane and getting around the tractor-trailer ahead was no problem.

Kia says it increased the torque at lower RPM levels, which probably accounts for the solid performance in those areas.

How much does Kia sell its Soul for?

Starting price is a little under $16,000, and move up to a fully loaded model of the highest trim, and you’re in the $27,000 neighborhood.

That’s a bit much at that higher end, but overall, this wagon remains a good value for those who like something a bit different, yet also seek practicality.

Kia Soul
Kia Soul
Kia Soul
Kia Soul
Kia Soul
Kia Soul
Kia Soul
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