2014 Kia Soul Review

2014 Kia Soul this particular model is a rental car so I only have it for about two days this means I won’t have my complete battery of videos for this particular car up so if you want to know more about infotainment or child seats then go ahead and comment in the comment section down below I’ll try and hit keya up for one for a whole week’s

that way we can do our complete series
of videos on this car now the Sall is all about style and it certainly has it in spades the best thing about the 2014 sole however is that Kia didn’t manage to screw things up with this redesign very much like Scion did with the X beam current generation sign XP just isn’t as exciting as the outgoing Scion xB and that really hasn’t happened with the SOL somehow they’ve managed to retain the cute and quirky flavor and still have a relatively inexpensive compact vehicle up front we have the same Kia Tiger nose design grille as the rest of the kia
lineup but this really isn’t where the

air comes in the car that’s all down
here this is really just an accent styling strip the hood actually opens right along the bottom of this Tiger nose grille we have standard halogen headlamps here and certain trims of the SOL do have HID lamps available it may not look like it but this generation of Sol has actually shrunk versus the outgoing model this place is it right between the Scion xB as well as the Nissan Cube it is just a little bit smaller than the Fiat 500l and this model sells on its styling if you hadn’t noticed this is relatively similarly priced to your average compact sedan so something like a Civic or a Corolla or even a little entre they’re relatively similarly priced to the Kia Soul so this is definitely that alternative to your
average sedan or your average hatchback

even though the window line on the SOL
drops as it goes to the rear we do have a very square profile which is really practical for cargo carrying the highly stylized design of the soul continues Outback we have these really large round reflectors right down here and we have a lot of design cues that are very interesting on the SOL overall the SOL manages to be interesting but not as funky or as peculiar as the Nissan Cube I do find the Nissan Cube just a little bit too odd for my tastes in addition to the very square profile which is obviously very practical we also have an incredibly vertical rear tailgate and rear tailgate glass this really makes putting large square cargo in the back of the Sol much easier than in the rest of the competition especially if you’re comparing this to your average five-door

hatchback there are two different
engines on offer in the soeul things start out with a 1.6 liter four-cylinder engine it produces 130 horsepower and you’ll only find that in the base model sole it’s mated to a 6-speed manual by default and you can get a six-speed automatic transmission for about eighteen hundred dollars our particular model here has the 2-liter four-cylinder direct injection engine produces 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque this is made it only to an automatic transmission and you’ll find this in the plus and exclamation-point models regardless of which engine or transmission you get fuel economy remains right about the same that 1.6 liter engine gets 24 miles per gallon city dirty highway with a combined rating of 26 regardless of which transmission you get and this 2-liter engine gets 23 City 31 highway
for the same 26 miles per gallon

combined front seat comfort comes in an
8 out of 10 for me even in this six Way manual seat equipped model that we’re in right now you can get an optional 8 way power seat which does give you a greater range of adjustability but that’s only in the exclaim model we can move the seat up and down with this lever recline with this lever and move it forward and backward with this lever right here even though we don’t have adjustable lumbar support in this seat it is fairly aggressive and I found that very comfortable if you don’t like a lot of lumbar support however this very much like certain Honda products will probably hurt your back we also have a manual tilt telescope steering column with a decent range of motion the soul really excels when it comes to accommodating taller drivers or taller passengers now we don’t have quite as

much Headroom in the soul as you do in

the competition so the Fiat 500l the cube as well as the Scion xB those will have a little bit more Headroom than the soul but even so I have about 3 inches of headroom left right back here in the backseat I also have about 4 inches of legroom left behind the driver and that is important because the sole has the most rear legroom of any of those competitors if I move over here to the right side the front seat is all the way back in its tracks and that is quite far back in the car and I still have about 1/2 inch of legroom left right back here these rear seat backs are a little bit more reclined than I had expected in a car like this that’s relatively upright and relatively square but they are still more comfortable overall than your average compact sedan a lot of that has to do with this seat bottom cushion which is higher up off the floor than you’ll find in something like a Civic or Corolla the middle seat is relatively
comfortable as far as middle seats go

because of the bucket shape of these out
weird seats you do set a little bit further forward and a little bit higher off the ground I don’t have much of a drive one hump right here so I do have a lot of legroom I still have about two inches of headroom left right here in the middle and the headrest fortunately hits me somewhere on my head let’s take a quick look around the cabin we have height adjustable seatbelts for the driver and the front passenger and we have a two-way adjustable manual headrest over here we have the cloth seats in our particular model they are soft cloth seats and they do clean relatively easily now there is no question the sole is in the economy car you can just take a look at the
headliner like this it is very similar

to what most cars use as trunk liners
but still all the features in the car have a solid feel to them so this is a very similar vanity mirror light that you’ll find in certain luxury cars we have a sliding vanity mirror right over there we have vinyl headrests and the buttons in the car all have a nice solid feel to them up here we do have a sunglass holder for the driver obviously the sole is all about style and it really shows in these door panels but unexpectedly we also have a high quality of materials going on in the sole this is definitely higher than in the previous generation of soul higher than in the Scion the Nissan or the Fiat and definitely higher than I expected we have soft touch plastics up here give soft touch fabric right in the middle and we have a soft touch armrest hard plastics you will find lower in the door panel but not anywhere where your hand or arm is likely to brush so if you do tend to like to put your arm right up here on the windowsill you’ll find soft touch plastics that you won’t find in something like the Scion xB the same thing goes for the dashboard we have a lot of soft touch plastics going on the dashboard this is not as soft as you’ll find Anna luxury car of course but these are definitely softer than I had expected for the compact class
definitely better plastics than you will

find in your average compact sedan as
well we have very nice feeling buttons and knobs in the car the air vents and the air vent open and closed dial has a very solid feel to it right up here we have tweeters going on in our particular car speaking of audio systems if you offer the uplevel infinity sound system we actually get a ring of plastic right around the front speakers right here on the doors and that will flash in time with the music it’s kind of an interesting feature the sole has an extraordinarily large glove box right behind this door we have a very tall and very deep storage compartment it was very easily able to accommodate tablet computers and even certain laptop computers as well we have a little shelf right here in the door itself that you can put right like that instruction manual that way when you close it and open it they stay right there on the door moving over to the dashboard we have two large air vents where I’d appear again if we did have the optional audio system there would be a speaker right on top of the air vents we have the basic radio in our particular Plus model right here all this does give us AM FM satellite radio

as well as a USB and iPod media

interface as you can see right there streaming Bluetooth audio as well the media and phone interfaces are fairly basic but they do work very well you can browse your media in this system however I do advise browsing your media on the device that is going to be a little bit easier unless you’re plugging in a USB stick you can’t optionally get the same eight-inch touchscreen LCD system that you’ll find in other kia products right here in the same dashboard I really like that system I think I rank that system just slightly behind my Ford touch the graphics are good and the system is relatively intuitive if you want to know more about that system then click on down to the link down below and that will top you over to a different review of a kia product that actually has that system and you can see what that system basically looks like it works like over there on that video it’s gonna be exactly the same only in a different car below that we have a single zone climate control and we have our active eco button right there lower on the
dashboard you’ll find two 12-volt power

ports this one is a 120 watt power port
and then they 180 watt power port right over here on the right you’ll also find the USB input and the auxilary input for the car this little uses a very traditional automatic shifter and if we move it to the left we have a manual mode for the automatic transmission we have two large cup holders and a standard handbrake moving back we have a large softly padded centre armrest that opens to reveal a fairly large storage compartment both front doors also have large storage pockets that will hold bottles or other large items the SOL uses an attractive four dial instrument cluster and we also have a trip computer LCD readout right here inside the speedometer which is a very attractive look because we’re in the Plus model we have a three spoke urethane steering wheel we still have sport grips right over here and right over here on the steering wheel even though I normally prefer a leather steering wheel and I would still get the leather in the Kia Soul if I were to actually buy one myself this is not a half-bad urethane steering wheel normally I find them just a little bit too sticky and a little bit
too I don’t know strange feeling but

this one actually has a relatively
decent feel to it and these sport grips definitely help the feel and the operation of the wheel the buttons switches in the sold definitely have a nice solid feel to them which is something that I did not expect at this price point these are definitely a little bit nicer than you’ll find in the Nissan or the Scion competition opening the rear hatch reveals about 24 cubic feet of cargo storage which is the biggest in this segment it is notably larger than the Scion or the Nissan Cube and it is just a hair bigger than the Fiat 500l it may not look like a whole lot but there’s actually more storage going on right here under this cargo load floor if I pull this bag out of the way and you flip this cargo load floor up and out of the way we actually have a very large styrofoam cargo divider right here and that’s on top of the spare tire so we still get a spare tire in the sole and we have a great deal of cargo room in fact I was able to fit six of these large roller bags in this car with no problem if that cargo divider was
removed if you remove this standard

tonneau cover on our particular model
then you can actually fit four of these Karen roller bags in this vertical position which is very handy we also have split 60/40 folding seat backs and they do fold almost completely flat with the cargo area overall the sole scores 9 out of 10 points and my exclusive trunk comfort index because this is a very large cargo area back here it also is finished very nicely especially considering the low starting price of the sole we also have a very handy and very convenient handle right here on the hatch back lid to help you close this trunk on yourself one feature that I found very interesting on the sole that you don’t find in hatchbacks or minivans or anything like that with a hatchback usually is we actually have an emergency release for the cargo hatch on the inside of the vehicle normally we don’t have that on cars because it’s not required by federal law because in theory you could escape out of the rear cargo area by just going to the rest of the car but I do find this very handy so if you did somehow get a child stuck back there there’s a possibility that they might be able to get out on their own even though the sole is a little bit shorter than it was last year I rank the ride at 7 out of 10 points it is relatively well composed and it never feels unsettled even over rough pavement I give the 2014 model 7 out of 10 points when it comes to cabin noise I found the
2013 model just a little bit loud out on

the road I didn’t bring my sound level

meter with me on this particular trip so you will have to wait till I have one for a full week in order to get an official measurement from me but I rank this about average for the compact sedan segment thanks to a relatively light kerb weight in the sole I give this 8 out of 10 points when it comes to breaking it’s a decent amount of fade-resistance and stopping times are fairly short they get shorter depending on which tire package you get in the sole the wider the tires the better the braking because the better the grip you have that light curb weight also helps out when it comes to acceleration I actually give this seven out of ten points again I ran from zero to sixteen eight point five seconds in this 2-liter model and it extends out by just about a second if you opt for the 1.6 liter engine I really don’t expect that many shoppers to go for that 1.6 liter engine because it is only available in the base model of Seoul for this generation of Seoul Kia has made some decent improvements to the suspension design in the SOL and they really are noticeable out on these winding mountain roads that I’m on right now the sole handles relatively well you do have to keep in mind of course that this is a relatively large box on wheels I actually kind of think it looks a little bit like a pregnant roller skate now and then but it’s not gonna handle as well as your traditional compact hatchback so something like a mazda3 5-door is going to handle better than this sole in an
interesting move Kia equips the base

model with a six-speed manual

transmission rather than a five-speed manual transmission that’s really something that I appreciate because it makes that 1.6 liter engine more drivable I’ve only spent a relatively short amount of time in the 2014 model with the manual transmission and I found the clutch to be just a little bit soft and the throws of the shifter to be just a little bit long but other than that it really is a very nice transmission as I said at the beginning of the video all 2-liter models are equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission this is a relatively quick shifting automatic it seems that kia has made a few improvements to this transmissions programming versus the last generation soul that seems to hunt just a little bit less when mountain-climbing being perfectly honest this vehicle does have the aerodynamics of a brick that’s had its corners lightly sanded and that really does affect the fuel economy of the vehicle I’ve been averaging between 24 and 29 miles per gallon and mix driving during my three days with this soul and overall that’s not half bad but if you take a look at the compact sedans or even the compact hatchbacks that really do compete with something like the SOL especially because they’re you know relatively similarly priced then they do get much better fuel economy something like a Honda Civic is going to get you around 35 miles per gallon
you’ll get nearly 40 miles per gallon if

you drive a Mazda 3 hatchback very very

gently and that’s really not possible the soul of course there are a lot of trade-offs for that fuel economy we have that large cargo area in the back we have all that rear seat legroom we have the front seat legroom and we have all this Headroom we also have a very upright seating position in the soul this seat is all the way up and I still have about two inches of headroom left above me and I find this a very very comfortable very upright seating position it reminds me a little bit of a minivan I hate to say that but many fans are very comfortable to drive because you tend to sit in a more upright position and it’s really going on in the soul as well it’s very practical and very comfortable competent and comfortable but not necessarily sporting are the thoughts that come to my mind about the soul out on the road this is the kind of car that will get you to your destination quietly and comfortably and efficiently and practically with an awful lot of stuff in the back but it’s not gonna make you smile out on that winding road like something like a Mazda 3 hatch would now again something like a Fiat 500l or a Scion xB or a Nissan Cube none of those are gonna make you smile more out on the road if you’re looking for smiles and practicality this would actually be the vehicle to select but overall the priorities on this vehicle are practicality over those road smiles the soul is easily the most dynamic

entry in this segment of course it’s not

a terribly high bar to pass but if you
get the upper level trims of the soul we do get much wider tires in the base model and much wider tires and the rest of the competition we also have a relatively low curb weight and that really helps out handling out on the road overall the Fiat 500l just feels a little bit more ponderous compared to this it’s definitely softer sprung it definitely rolls more in the corners now I actually like the transmission in the Fiat 500 but I do have to admit that the average buyer is probably going to be a little bit happier with a standard automatic transmission the Nissan Cube is not likely long for this world because it’s already been canceled in Canada and we expect it to be canceled in the United States at the end of this calendar year versus the Scion xB the Scion xB just has a really plasticky interior it really is in bad need of a refresh especially with the stiff competition coming from this Kia Soul you can’t get the same level of options or the same level of features in that scion either for 2014 pricing starts at fourteen thousand eight hundred dollars which is extraordinarily low and it is much lower than the Fiat the Nissan or that Scion option however that base model does get you the manual transmission and the smaller engine so I think that the realistic base price for this model is eighteen thousand two hundred that’s for the plus model the plus model gives you remote keyless entry you also get automatic transmission the 2-liter engine and you also get a better steering wheel with steering wheel buttons and these 17-inch alloy wheels
if you want a little bit more of the

exclaiming model which is that
exclamation point version will set you back twenty thousand five hundred dollars and pretty much any way you configure the sole it is always decently under thirty thousand well you may find a better deal in a traditional compact hatchback the Kia Soul is definitely the value leader when it comes to highly styled hatchback whatever it is that you want to call this vehicle it’s not really a crossover because a crossover is more of a cross between a car and an SUV so there’s no all-wheel-drive available in the soul it really doesn’t have the ground height of a crossover it’s really not trying to be one either instead this is trying to give you stylish and highly practical transportation and it really delivers that in spades you also get extreme value with the Kia Soul because this is very very well priced especially when you compare it to the Nissan Cube the Scion xB or even that Fiat 500l overall I also think that the styling works better in the SOL I think it’s just more attractive than those other options out there you also have to factor in the much longer warranty we get in the SOL versus its competition other than those Hyundai and Kia models


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