BBC – Autos – Kia Soul knows its role

28 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on BBC – Autos – Kia Soul knows its role
Kia Soul

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Mini goes

Maybe the 2014 Kia Soul a goatee.

The car wears all-new but the casual observer would be to identify the styling changes. But on the the Soul is completely different. And

Yes, the new car is longer, lower and than the outgoing model, but fractionally so, as Kia sought to avoid enthusiasm for its little car the way Scion did its xB, which went from boxy to something more and crude. Consumers stayed in droves.

With that and cautionary tales in mind, in Kia’s southern California tread very lightly tweaking the Soul’s boxy just giving it slightly sportier proportions while current-tech updates like LED

Why build an all-new car that to hide its newness? In sum, the has been a runaway success, and its sales in the US in 2012 were its yet, showing that in Kia’s cube is only

Interest in competitor Nissan’s Cube, meanwhile, never hold. The xB was styled into The new Fiat 500L and Mini could compete, but they more.

But here’s the thing the Soul: nobody really why it became such a bright in the Kia portfolio. The company admits it sales of only 40,000 a and looking at competitors’ performances, prediction appeared rosy.

simply struck a chord in a way boxy cars didn’t. It was by a low price and a silly North advertising campaign that viral featuring animated but on balance, the Soul was not terribly from the competitors it trounced.

Most beguilingly, the outgoing wasn’t a very good Mushy handling and lifeless made it a distinctly unengaging while the cabin was plagued hard, cheap-looking plastics.

for 2014 started at the very with a body shell with high-strength steel to it 28% stiffer than that on the model. The rigid platform engineers tune the suspension better accuracy, because the and dampers do the work, rather the structure, which would twist and torque in response to

Where the steering was once of feel or feedback, the Soul now its driver an unambiguous picture of happening at the contact patch. It hurt that on most other than the base a heated, leather-wrapped steering can be specified to convey that feel.

Kia Soul

All 2014 Souls enjoy a revised interior with such as a one-piece soft dashboard pad that Kia executives is “very expensive”. It looks it, and the car so buyers should appreciate and the rest of the cabin. Where cardboard is the norm among the soft fabric headliner is unexpectedly upscale touch.

The speakers perch on the side air like tops of Doric The regular brushed nickel are not as distinctive as the optional light-up strobe speaker surrounds, but the standard door speaker do look better than the grilles of a $50,000 Lexus sedan.

Under the hood, the base 1.6-litre and optional 164hp four-cylinder engines have retuned to deliver more at around-town speeds rather foolishly chasing peak numbers that make the look good but leave the car no grunt pulling away a stop sign. That is amply met by the 2-litre, but the 1.6 feels by the Soul’s 2,700lb bulk and its angularity. Even revving the for a clutch-popping, tire-chirping launch the engine quickly bog down.

One where both specs and feel are improved: six forward in the transmission, rather than the four speeds once of this segment (only has the chutzpah to still charge for a new car with a four-speed automatic The automatic is available with engines, while the six-speed is only available with the engine.

Despite the extra forward which allow the engines to more efficiently, fuel does not show great over the 2013 model, the 2-litre coming in at 23mpg in and 31mpg in highway driving. performance-oriented compacts like the GTI return the same numbers, is obviously room for improvement.

Kia most buyers in the US to gravitate what it terms a mid-range of equipment, a car whose bottom is $24,000. That middle way a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, leather 350-watt Infinity sound and a sprawling touch-screen GPS/infotainment

Better still, a lightly car which can ring in as low as $17,000 good fabric on its seats and decent six-speaker stereo an owner could always The base car does have wheels with plastic a setup that would not fly a lot of customers in the target demographic. this would not be a sacrifice on a starter car, but Kia designs of the best-looking aluminium wheels in the Seriously.

The flush, zero-flange wheel make the units appear than they are, and the stylists devise dynamic that would suit far expensive vehicles. Credit where credit is due.

lacklustre fuel economy may be the shortcoming, but it is hardly its undoing. the car’s personality transplant of goatee notwithstanding a success.

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