2014 Kia Soul Reviews and Ratings

Wagon 4D + I4

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Expert Reviews ( 1 )

2014 Kia Soul
NADAguides Test Drive Review
Overall Score

55/70

Pros

Well appointed and feature rich, comfortable and roomy interior, and better than expected driving dynamics.

Cons

Somewhat polarizing exterior styling, and in comparison with its competition, can become pricey as option packages are selected.

What's new for 2014

For 2014, the Kia Soul has been totally redesigned.

Exterior Impressions

At first glance, the box-like exterior styling may be polarizing to some, but to those who are able to realize that such a profile can yield urban practicality, versatility, and interior efficiency in a relatively small package, the 2014 Kia Soul!'s quirky design becomes acceptably attractive, and possibly even cute (in its own way). To some, purchasing a Soul! may represent a favorable alternative to owning one of the existing crop of less practical and less versatile, conservatively-styled mid-priced sedans. This being said, a question will remain as to how well the Soul!'s non-mainstream styling will age; time will tell. As far as the Soul!'s exterior fit and finish goes, both appear to be good.

Exterior Features

The 2014 Kia Soul! comes equipped with a 2.0 liter, 164 horsepower 4-cylinder engine, a 6-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension, semi-independent rear suspension (torsion beam axel), electric power steering, 4-wheel disc brakes, and 18" wheels that are fitted with 235/45 R18 tires. Also standard are LED positioning lights and taillights, foglights, and power-folding side mirrors that have integrated turn signals and heating. Our test Soul!'s The Whole Shabang Package adds HID low-beam headlights (with automatic on/off) and an engine immobilizer to the exterior equipment.

Exterior Summary
Fit&Finish
4/5
Styling
4/5
AttentionToDetail
4/5
Interior Impressions

Good fit and finish carries through to the Soul!'s interior, where one will find comfortable leather seats, a well-balanced mix of soft touch, leather-trimmed, and piano black plastic surfaces, and average to above average quality switchgear. The Soul!'s interior volume for passengers and/or cargo is roomier than one might expect, and with most of its components arranged in a logical and accessible way, cabin ergonomics are good. The infotainment system is fairly easy to learn and operate, but its audio quality is only average, and its voice recognition doesn't work very well at all. Lastly, the panoramic moonroof is a great feature, but it lacks a couple of useful opening settings: shade retracted/glass closed, and shade mostly closed/vent open.

Interior Features

Standard features for the Soul!'s interior include power windows and door locks, a power driver's seat, a 60/40 split folding rear seat, keyless entry, cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The steering column tilts and telescopes, and the wheel has integrated buttons for the cruise control, phone, and infotainment systems. Infotainment consists of an Infinity audio system with AM/FM, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and Kia's UVO access (with live traffic information), an 8" touchscreen with navigation, speaker lights, and bluetooth, USB, and auxiliary input jack connectivity. This infotainment system is part of our test Soul!'s optional Sun & Sound Package, as is automatic climate control and the panoramic moonroof. Our test vehicle was also equipped with the optional The Whole Shabang Package, which added features include leather seating surfaces, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, a heated steering wheel, a 4.3" LCD information screen (to the instrument cluster), and push button engine start.

Interior Summary
Ergonomics
4/5
Technology Effectiveness
3/5
Audio/Entertainment
3/5
Materials
4/5
Comfort and Romminess
4/5
Driving Impressions

Like its interior volume, the Soul!'s driving dynamics are better than one may expect as well. The Soul!'s engine is a tad buzzy, but it provides pretty decent acceleration; when the CVVT kicks in, the little 4-banger comes to life. For a vehicle of this stature, handling is also pretty good, and the ride is fairly compliant, but don't confuse the Soul! as being sporty; consider it a nice-riding, relatively short-wheelbased vehicle with a great turning radius, and potential for a small dose of fun in the twisties. Steering feel is good (there is a nice weight to it), and so is the feel of the brake pedal. Stopping distances seem acceptable, but during a hard stop, our test vehicle exhibited a slight amount of lockup prior to the ABS engaging. Another area where the Soul! could be improved is in the quietness of its cabin, which is acceptable at city speeds, but less so on the highway, where a fair amount of wind noise infiltrates.

MPG Experienced

24.7 MPG

Driving Impressions Summary
NVH
3/5
Steering
4/5
Braking
3/5
Power/Acceleration
4/5
Handling
4/5
Overall Score
4/5

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