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New Kia Soul Review
There was a time when the boxy small-car segment looked as though it may be competitive, but the Kia Soul quickly and easily dominated the likes of the Scion xB and Nssan Cube.
The issue that Kia faced when coming up with the second generation Soul crossover vehicle was how they could freshen it up without totally deviating from what made the car popular in the first place.
The feeling was that going too far would be the same as the killer blow that eventually put an end to the Scion xB.
Kia also now has to deal with the fact that new competitors are entering the fray, with the likes of the Nissan Juke and Fiat 500L looking to steal the boxy small car crown.
The design changes are subtle to say the least, with a thinner grille and a new vertical taillight design among the more noticeable changes to the exterior.
The platform used on the 2014 Soul is based on the one that underpins the likes of the Kia Forte and cee’d 5-door hatchback.
The dimensions of the new Soul boxy-car are similar to the original, with subtle additions made to the overall length, width and wheelbase. The result is a car that rides a little lower to the ground than its predecessor.
The powertrains available on the new model are retained from the original.
A 1.6L 4-cylinder engine is used on the base Soul models, with a 2.0L GDI unit used on the higher trim levels.
GDI – gasoline direct injection technology is used in the engines that appear on the Plus and Exclaim versions of the new Soul, delivering an increase in power and torque whilst keeping emissions and fuel efficiency at levels that are sure to please the driver and the environment.
The new construction and sheet metals used in over 60% of the body makes the all new Soul a good deal more rigid than the model it is replacing.
The use of denser materials on the dashboard and underbody mean that road noise and vibrations are also greatly reduced.
Inside, the redesigned Soul has the option of an 8-inch touchscreen display that allows users to quickly and easily flip through the menus on the infotainment system, much like on a smartphone.
That is just the icing on the cake of an interior that has been significantly upgraded with the use of soft touch materials.
Overall, the 2014 Kia Soul retains all the attributes that made it such a huge success in the first place.
The changes that have been made were ones that previous owners were calling for, once again proving that Kia listens to customer feedback when it comes time to deliver something new.