As little as 5 years ago, Kia was stumbling along with a paltry 1.9% market share in the US. Compare that to today where they are now the 8th largest brand by sales volume.
There are a number of reasons for that growth, but a lot of the credit has to be laid at the feet of the funky little Soul.
When the Souls first appeared in the 2009 model year, it was an offbeat little vehicle that fit nicely into the emerging boxy car category that included the likes of the Nissan Juke, Honda Fit and Fiat 500L.
Now the Soul is being redesigned for the 2014 model year.
Besides the unique style of the original Kia Soul, buyers were also drawn to the very affordable sticker price.
New Kia Soul MSRP Details
By the end of 2009, 31,621 units had been sold, with that number climbing to 115,778 annual sales by the close of 2012. It nows sits just behing the Optima as Kia’s top seller.
The issue that Kia faced with redesigning the Soul was similar to that faced by Ford when they updated the incredibly popular Taurus. The question became how to transform an iconic vehicle that the buying public loved.
Tom Kearns, the company’s chief U.S. designer, said that the task was incredibly difficult, as they had to find a way to keep the balance between the iconic design, whilst also incorporating some of the cooler parts of the Track’ster concept that appeared at the Chicago Auto Show.
As far as styling went, the decision was to pretty much leave well enough alone. That said, there are still some elements of the Track’ster that are clearly visible.
Those include a more upright stance, placement of the fog lights and a large trapezoidal air intake, to name but a few.
The biggest changes are to be found when you step inside the Soul. Soft touch materials abound, and the ride is smoother and quieter.
It’s safe to say that the improvements to the interior are what make the new design a real success.
It’s certainly more comfortable than before, and the new dash has been laid ut in a way that makes all the controls easily accessible. Add to that the fact that there is now even more room and you have the recipe for redesign success.
One of the biggest complaints regarding the previous generation Soul crossover vehicle was the ride and noise levele, both of which have been addressed in the 2014 model year redesign.
The dtiffer structure of the car and the addition of insiualting materials have helped in that regard. The suspension was also updated to improve ride and handling, and the steerinf sytem was tweaked in order to deliver a better feel and response for the driver.
The base model will only have the 1.6L version, mated to a 6-speed manual and delivering 130 horsepower.
The ‘premium’ trims will feature the 2.0L engine, mated to a 6-speed automatic and deliver 164 horsepower and fuel efficiency of 23/31mpg city/highway.
2014 Kia Soul pricing details
- The base Kia Soul price comes in at just $14,700
- The mid-model Plus prices starting at $18,200
- The top of the range Kia Soul Exclaim starts at $20,300
There are also package option that can add to the already great list of standard features, at an additional cost of course.
Browse our Kia Soul news category to learn more about this funky Kia crossover vehicle!