2014 Kia Soul!

5 Apr 2014 | 1,841 views | No Comment
By John Heilig
Model: 2014 Kia Soul !
Engine: 2.0-liter I4
Horsepower/Torque: 164 hp @ 6,200 rpm/151 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 101.2 in.
Length x Width x Height: 163.0 x 70.9 x 63.0 in.
Tires: P235/45R18
Cargo: 24.2/61.3 cu. ft. (rear seat up/down)
Economy: 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway/20.9 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 14.2 gal.
Curb Weight: 2,837 lbs.
Sticker: $26,195 (includes $795 delivery, $5,100 in options)
The Bottom Line: Of all the “box” cars, all useful in many ways, I think my favorite is the Kia Soul. Its styling is more conservative, yet it has performance and capabilities that won’t turn you off.
          I’m always interested when a Kia Soul is scheduled. I don’t know if I really expect large-size hamsters to deliver the car to me or if I expect the car to be decked out in some gaudy paint job, but I always look forward to the car, which is classified as a small station wagon.
          Maybe that’s it. My idea of a station wagon (no matter the size) is my old 1960’s Ford LTD, which was as big as a small boat and could carry as many as 10 passengers (as long as the four in the rear seats were small).
          Like all of the “box” cars – Scion xB, Nissan Cube, Honda Fit, among others – The Soul is eminently practical. Small on the outside, it has room galore on the inside. Maybe, like the hamster, it thinks it’s bigger than it really is.
For hauling people, there’s good room. Two passengers fit in the front bucket seats and two more comfortable in the rear if the front seat backs are fairly vertical.
          For hauling cargo, there are 24.2 cubic feet of volume with the rear seats up; 61.3 cubic feet with them down. I remember a trip out west when a man drove up to the motel where we were staying. He had a box car and it was filled to the brim with, as it turned out. all his possessions (there was a marital separation involved). He explained that he had been able to carry everything and still had room to spare.
          The Soul is powered by a 2.0-liter engine that develops 164 horsepower, more than enough for the 2,837 pound car. Handling was also good, of compact/subcompact quality. You wouldn’t really want to enter the Soul in a race of any kind, but it’s fun to drive around town and on most highways.
          I like the styling of the Soul. It’s probably closer to “normal” than the competition. My big complaint is with the flat rear hatch. Thanks to aerodynamics, it picks up a lot of road dirt. You can wash the window from the driver’s seat, but the metal part stays dirty and gets hands or gloves dirty every time you raise or lower the hatch.
          The Soul has all the goodies of a full-size car, including the “Sun & Sound” package with a sunroof, automatic climate control, navigation system, ginormous speakers and speaker surround lighting. The “Whole Shebang Package” adds pushbutton start/stop, leather seat trim, heat and ventilated front seats and heated outboard rear seats and a heated steering wheel.
          The surround lighting on the front speakers provides footwell ambient lighting. The large sunroof extends all the way to the second row seats.
          Visibility is good all around, except the dark sail panel in the rear does restrict rearward vision slightly.
          While my wife isn’t a big fan of the “box” cars, I am. I like their practicality, with a lot to offer in a small package. They all have something to offer, and some are more unique than the others, but they are all useful and fun to drive. The Soul has a little more soul.
© 2014 The Auto Page

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