Kia Soul Review (2012) – SlashGear

22 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Kia Soul Review (2012) – SlashGear
Kia Soul

Review (2012)

The of Small Cars With Looks is definitely niche in its but that hasn#8217;t stopped Soul from becoming one of the best-sellers. Eye-catching styling and a that starts not only $20,000 but in fact from #8211; despite offering seats and lashings of kit #8211; added up to a no-brainer purchase for and now with the 2012 model Kia hopes to get even more its Soul train. Read on for the SlashGear review.

Kia first the Soul#8217;s design as a concept in 2006, and the production model almost as stubby and box-like. a love-it-or-hate-it aesthetic, certainly, over-scored arch lines, a end that looks generally with its huge light hefty lower air intake body-colored in our #8220;!#8221; (or #8220;Exclaim#8221;) model, black plastic in versions #8211; and pinched The rake of the A-pillar and the (fake) at the leading edge of the front are reminiscent of a Range Rover, and the whole stance of the Soul #8220;mini urban warrior#8221; than bland city

A rising shoulder-line and squared-off leave the Soul looking in profile despite not sacrificing headroom, while at the back one big square hatch flanked by oversized lights. The 18-inch #8211; standard on the Exclaim #8211; are more eye-catching the norm, and there are LED positioning upgraded headlights with sizable fog lamps and privacy


What the Soul#8217;s lacks in pure quality it back with the sheer of kit you#8217;re getting for your Every model gets a stereo with USB and aux-in air-con, power windows and locks, remote keyless and a tilt/telescoping wheel with controls.

The Exclaim steps up to a Microsoft-powered #8220;UVO Infotainment with a 7-inch touchscreen and control along with XM satellite radio (with month bundled subscription), a amp, center speaker, and gimmicky speaker-lights. There#8217;s control on the midrange #8220;+#8221; model and up, and all versions get 60/40 folding rear seats.

The dash plastics themselves the acres of soft-touch you might get on expensive cars #8211; our out Soul still comes in at $20,000 #8211; but they#8217;re creak and rattle free. The are clad in fabric not leather only the steering wheel and knob get hide #8211; but the is tough and should survive kids. Drop the rear and there#8217;s a wide expanse of load area, helped by the roofline; the only downside is the of the rear bumper, which there#8217;s a considerable lip to be negotiated.

features include 3-point for all five seats, dual airbags and front seat-mounted airbags, and full-length side airbags. A tire pressure system flags up warnings on the if you have a low wheel, and there are (Lower Anchors and Tethers for mounting points for car-seats and the Admirably all of those safety are standard across the Soul not limited to the higher-spec variants.

Engine and Performance

Kia has a choice of two for the Soul in the US, a 1.6L petrol and a petrol. In Europe, there#8217;s a diesel option. The new 1.6L which musters 138HP at RPM and 123 pounds-feet of torque at 4,850 RPM is only in the Base-spec Soul, $13,900 with a 6-speed transmission or $15,700 with the auto.

It#8217;s the new 2.0L with 164HP at 6,500 RPM and 148 of torque at 4,800 RPM #8211; Kia expects to be the better seller, and the found in our Exclaim test It can only be had with the automatic in Exclaim form, too; the Plus, priced at $16,300 for the and $17,300 for the auto, gets a of both gearboxes.

Kia Soul

There#8217;s an optional Eco Package, which in #8220;Idle, Stop Go#8221; or Kia#8217;s version of stop/start engine control. While on our test vehicle, Kia isn#8217;t offering ISG on current Soul after mediocre feedback its performance.

In short, it can be jerky to re-engage the and the times at which it actually are limited, such as not reactivating if you drive above 5mph restarting; in fact, even Kia that it made only a difference to the quoted fuel figures. After taking it for a we were glad of the manual button by the steering wheel to ISG off altogether.

As for those economy Kia quotes 26mpg for city and 34 mpg for highway driving, or a total annual fuel cost of based on 15,000 miles in the Soul. The 1.6L does slightly better, with a 27 mpg for the city and 35 for the highway, and there#8217;s no between manual and auto

Kia has thrown the acronym book at the and there#8217;s more than electronics to keep engine, and brakes in check. Anti-lock (ABS) with brake-assist for stops (BAS), Electronic Distribution (EBD), Electronic Control (ESC), a Traction System (TCS) and Vehicle Management (VSM) are joined by Assist Control (HAC), and the airbags are standard across the range.

On the road, the Soul is surprisingly The previous model was criticized for its 4-speed auto box and somewhat 1.6L engine, but the 2.0L and new 6-speed add up to a car with a surprising of zeal. Cornering is tight, in part to the relatively short and the new auto is more immediate in how it power to the road.

The ride is but not too jumpy, though the electrically-assisted can be over-eager to re-center itself and twitchy at times.

Kia tells us it has extra sound insulation the cabin, and the net result is quieter than before. There#8217;s of the buzziness many city suffer from, though recommend against being in by the Soul#8217;s SUV-lite style and off-road situations.

Kia deserves from the outset for the balance of performance and specifications it has managed to in the 2012 Soul. Its predecessor was but lacked some cheer, but the has addressed the engine and transmission not skimped on safety, and squeezed in no of entertainment tech without unpleasant things to the price. Our test vehicle only above $20,000 by virtue of the destination fee.

The distinctive aesthetics will some off, certainly, but put natural competition the Nissan and Scion xB they#8217;re equally to be a selling point for others.

The system and capacious interior it#8217;s not a case of style substance, too, running can be pared back to a minimum, and warranty runs to 5yrs coverage and double that for the The outside of the 2012 Kia Soul may be wacky, but the ownership experience set to be seriously solid.

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