2014 Kia Soul + new car reviews

Who knew such a boxy car could be so quirky and fun? Apparently, the Kia hamsters did. Now we know how they roll. It's not the first small, quirky box to come to the U.S. (that honor goes to the Scion xB), but Kia has figured out this segment and hit it hard with this new Soul.

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Alan Cesar FartSmeller69
SuperDork

If anyone I know needs a car and they're shopping for something new, this is what I often recommend. This is an incredible amount of car for the money. It's quick; the chassis is competent and absorbs bumps very well while remaining poised around a corner.

Inside, it's excellent. You can get heated AND cooled seats in this, which is absurd at this price point. The only other cars I've yet seen cooled seats in have cost more than $40,000. I'm also a big fan of the optional all-glass roof. Its box shape provides lots of useful room in the back.

Kia's navigation and infotainment system work well. The seats are comfortable, the materials are good quality and the highway ride is quiet. I saw fuel economy at 28 mpg in mixed driving, and it's plenty powerful, too—at least for a car this caliber. It's not a Mustang, you know.

Where I can levy criticism at Kia is in some of the details. You can't do anything with the radio until you agree to the navigation system's terms and conditions. There's a glowing light around the front speakers which can be set to either change color continuously, or pulse in one color along with your music. But in music mode, you can't choose the color—it only pulses in yellow.

These are small gripes, and entirely forgivable given the price. It's still a great car, and I'll probably own one someday.

Tim Suddard Tim Suddard
Publisher

I liked the original Kia Soul. From its quirky looks, mood lighting and total practicality to its super cute hamster advertising, the Soul was a slick effort. It was only let down by a buzzy powertrain, a bit too much road noise and numb steering.

The advertising on the new Soul, with its slimmed down, sophisticated hamsters tells the message in a very authentic way. Oh my word, is this new Soul fantastic! Every aspect of the already real decent car is improved. It is quieter, better equipped (air conditioned seats in a $24,000 car?) and its drivetrain is seemingly now among the best in class.

Kia is a powerhouse to be reckoned with. I would buy a new Soul in a heartbeat.

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Jane Soliman
Jane Soliman Reader
3/13/14 10:00 a.m.

Who knew such a boxy car could be so quirky and fun? Apparently, the Kia hamsters did. Now we know how they roll. It's not the first small, quirky box to come to the U.S. (that honor goes to the Scion xB), but Kia has figured out this segment and hit it hard with this new Soul.

Like what you read here? You can get a whole magazine full of these types of articles delivered to your home or shop 8 times a year. Subscribe now or visit the Grassroots Motorsports online store for back issues.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed SuperDork
3/16/14 9:36 p.m.

I agree. I bought a 2013 for a DD, the plus level with the 2.0 and 6 speed. It's no sports car but it's darn good for what it is. Shifter is a little sloppy, clutch a bit grabby but that's it. Upper 20s to low 30 mpg around town, space for stuff, quiet, no rattles. Sorry to hear no manual with the 2.0 anymore.

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