Kia Soul Still Rolls Thanks to Subtle Updates | Vehicle Test Drives content from WardsAuto

19 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Kia Soul Still Rolls Thanks to Subtle Updates | Vehicle Test Drives content from WardsAuto
Kia Soul

Still Rolls to Subtle Updates

The Korean treads carefully for the second-generation of its boxy small car and succeeds at it better.

MINNEAPOLIS Kia’s is that rare niche that exploded in volume.

The believed it could sell units annually upon the 2009 launch.

But sales 60,000 units in 2010 and in hit the 6-figure mark. This Kia expects to match the Soul#39;s tally of 115,000.

Was it the car or the dancing We may never know.

But understand Kia has a success on its hands, and when you one of those in this industry, you carefully.

That’s why the new, Soul, on sale this at U.S. dealers, is in many not that much different the ’09-’13 first-generation model.

Yes, the interior is completely upgraded with higher-quality including plentiful amounts of skin and a newly designed stack. But most of the vehicle’s are more subtle.

That’s because, given the once-hot-now-not xB, buyers in this segment embrace change well.

One they especially don’t is a change in size, a stumbling of the bigger second-gen xB.

Kia wisely the second-gen Soul’s dimensions or less intact.

The ’14 is just 0.8 ins. (2 cm) longer and in wheelbase than the ’13

The car appears more than the 0.4 (1 cm) shorter it is, but that#39;s just trickery, as tweaked styling the Soul a squattier appearance its predecessor.

The #39;14 Soul’s vertical wraparound taillights and horizontal trim across the plus a narrower upper and bigger lower intake in give the cute car some edge.

WardsAuto gets behind the of a $24,010 Soul+ and a $26,195 here in the City of Lakes.

come standard with /Kia’s new 2.0L gasoline 4-cyl. engine. Base not available for testing here, use the GDI 4-cyl. from Kia’s Rio, winner of a Ward’s 10 Engines award in 2012.

the Soul’s driving performance was a key for the second-gen model, as reviewers the original Soul looked but lacked punch, specifically torque from its previously 2.0L.

Kia says it has resolved issue for ’14, with DI-equipped Souls hitting 151 (205 Nm) at 4,000 rpm compared the 148 lb.-ft. (201 Nm) at 4,800 rpm for the old 2.0L.

But an even lower peak would be great. The Soul might not leave you with an 18-wheeler bearing but a few beads of sweat will on your brow. A turbocharged would be ideal.

Nissan ’s similarly Juke, with its 1.6L DI 4-cyl. achieves peak as low as 2,000 rpm.

Claims noise is reduced from the old hold trueuntil hard Upon hitting 2,500 groaning from the 2.0L the cabin.

Measures taken to clatter, including padding the instrument panel and expandable in pillars, are no match for the naturally DI.

Still, time spent 2,500 rpm will be rare, and an roll of the radio volume should drown out most

The vibration countermeasures hold up Only a slight tingle is in the accelerator pedal, and no vibration is to the steering wheel.

Steering errs on the heavy with only slight in the wheel.

Hyundai /Kia’s steering settings, Normal, and Sport, are available on the ’14 but not tested here. Previously, has found little difference the three, except in low-speed driving.

As is typical of Hyundai/Kia transmissions, upshifts come in our 2.0L testers, both of have standard 6-speed (the 6-speed manual now is only with the 1.6L). If a leisurely pace through the is desired, the manual shift works fine, but higher will mean more

Kia Soul

The car’s completely remade has its pluses and minuses.

The old, cabin was more fashionable. pieces were textured in a cubic pattern and the vertical center stack was kooky but

However, slush-mold urethane on the new Soul’s instrument panel and door panels is an achievement not to be at in a car starting at $14,700.

And the loss of the old stack makes way for a larger 8 ins. (20 cm) compared with 4.3 (11 cm) in the ’13 Soul.

One of the best is seats, with stellar support.

Fit and finish is very in test cars. Even the flimsy cargo cover is

The Soul rides on the third of Kia’s small-car platform. The new sees torsional rigidity 28.7% from ’13 to

The car retains a MacPherson-strut-front and torsion-beam-rear setup, but Kia engineers moved the stabilizer bar further back for handling at high speeds and braking in corners.

That plus vertically orienting absorbers to stifle big bumps, the ’14 Soul a comfortable not too bouncy nor too numb.

Proving Kias sometimes the sticker, real-world fuel averages 30 mpg (7.8 L/100 km) in grades tested, at the same speed of 41 mph (66 km/h), bettering the 26-mpg (9 L/100 km) combined

A variety of upmarket features are on the ’14 Soul, including and ventilated front seats, rear outboard seats, seats, Kia’s UVO eServices system, navigation, and a panoramic

While its performance isn’t the Soul remains an awful lot of a great value for buyers for style, space, fuel-efficiency and comforts.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com

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Kia Soul
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