Thursday, December 26, 2013

2014 Kia Soul Review – First Drive

The all 2014 KIA Soul looks nothing like an Audi. And that's because while Audi's former car designer now works at KIA, he didn't re-design the new Soul. Unlike the other car's in KIA's lineup the new Soul still retains that Asian flair. In another fun and informative TFLcar first drive video review Nathan, heads to Minnesota to check out this newest KIA and to see if it is indeed chic Hamster worthy.
Base Souls are powered by a 1.6-liter, DOHC direct-injected four rated at 130 horsepower at 6300 rpm and 118 lb-ft of torque at 4850 rpm. That’s down 8 hp and 5 lb-ft from the 2013 edition at the same engine speeds. That powerplant is available lashed to a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, but Kia will sell hardly any of the 1.6-liter cars. Mainstream Soul Plus (+) and top-of-the-line Soul Exclaim (!) models are powered by a 164-hp, 2.0-liter four that makes 151 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission with the 2.0-liter is the six-speed automatic. These are the Souls that Kia will sell in volume.
Visually, the new Soul is a carefully considered evolution of its predecessor, but if you place the two generations side-by-side, the differences become readily apparent, including a gaping new trapezoidal lower fascia with fog lamps punctuating the lower corners (a theme repeated with the reflectors on the rear bumper). It's one of a number of design decisions influenced by Kia's Track'ster concept of 2012. Lighting is also influenced by the three-door show car, with the range-topping Exclaim(!) model receiving LED corner units and halo-effect taillamps, along with available high-intensity discharge headlamps
The base Soul starts at $15,495, with the Plus ringing in at $18,995 and the Exclaim at $21,095. Kia loaded up the Exclaims at the press preview with every option available, so they had oversize sunroofs, navigation systems, leather upholstery, and heated and cooled front seats. Packed with all the artillery, you’ll be out $26,195.
• Second generation Kia Soul on UK sale March 2014
• Distinct styling remains, interior and refinement improves
• All-electric version also arrives late 2014