The Kia Soul hamsters return for 2014 with a playful color palette for the new Soul, including Soul-exclusive colors such as Solar Yellow, Kale Green, and Inferno Red, along with sporty new wheel designs for the new, improved and slightly sleeker 2014 Kia Soul urban hatchback.
The new 2014 Soul sports updates that are subtle enough to preserve the iconic design and spirit of the Soul while making it even better with more premium features, improved driving dynamics and a better value for the consumer – with an MSRP still under $15,000 for one whopper of a fun ride – with or without hamsters.
The sleeker 2014 Kia Soul – slightly (almost imperceptible) larger in length and width while slightly lower in height – still sports the distinctive upright stance, squared shoulders and distinctive fender flares that tell you it is a Soul. Another notable – yet subtle – enhancement is the wider opening for the lift gate that allows the Soul to load (with the increased cargo space) much more gear.
The new Soul design sits on a stiffer chassis that allows more passenger and cargo room while reducing noise and vibration levels with the use of expansion foam (replacing the previously used block foam) to fill body cavities in order to reduce outside wind and road noise. Additionally, a reinforced isolation pad in the cargo area and poly-urethane-layered carpet helps reduce overall interior noise levels
There is a more premium look and feel to the 2014 Soul’s interior. Liberal applications of soft-touch materials are found on the instrument panel, center console and door panels. Details such as available leather seating with improved lateral and thigh support, and the use of high-gloss piano-black trim pieces on the center console give the Soul a look of sophistication.
Most prominent in the new instrument panel is the available eight-inch touch screen – the largest ever offered on Soul.
Also available on the new Soul is UVO eServices, Kia’s second-generation infotainment and telematics system.
For 2014, the Soul will be offered in three distinct trim levels: Base, Plus and Exclaim.
Starting at $14,700, the Soul Base comes with privacy glass, Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC), and offers the option to add 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control with steering-wheel-mounted controls, center console armrest and storage, rear center armrest with cup holders and remote keyless entry.
The array of standard features on the Soul Base include four wheel disc brakes, rack-ready roof with integrated mounting points, air conditioning, power door locks, power windows with driver-side one-touch auto-down, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, USB/auxiliary input jacks, Bluetooth wireless technology and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM).
The Soul Plus, starting at $18,200, takes a step up with attractive 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/55R-17 tires, outside mirror turn-signal indicators, auto-on/off head lights and a unique fender garnish that distinguishes the Plus from the Base exterior. Inside, the Plus benefits include a floor console stowage box with integrated armrest, UVO eServices, Rear Camera Display and rear seat center armrest.
The Plus also offers a series of comprehensive option packages including:
• UVO eServices Package includes Rear-Camera Display and auto on/off headlights ($400)
• Audio Package ($1,400) offers navigation with an 8-inch display, HD Radio, Infinity Audio system with center speakers, subwoofer and external amplifier, speaker lights and automatic temperature control with cluster ionizer
• A Primo Package includes a panoramic sunroof with power shades, leather trimmed seats, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, push-button start with Smart Key and front fog lights ($3,000)
• An ECO Package includes Idle Stop and Go System (ISG), low rolling resistance tires and 16-inch alloy wheels at $400.
The top-of-the-line Soul Exclaim, starting at $20,300, adds to the Plus as standard features like 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235/45R-18 tires, fog lights, body-color bumper “tusks,” projector head lights, front LED positioning lights and rear LED “halo” lights and power folding outside mirrors. Inside, standard amenities include a high-gloss piano-black center console, UVO with eServices and a Rear-Camera Display, cooled glove box, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment and auto-dimming rear view mirror.
Upgrade packages for the Soul Exclaim include a Sun and Sand Package that provides navigation with an 8-inch display, Infinity Audio system with center speakers, subwoofer and external amplifier, speaker lights and automatic temperature control with cluster ionizer ($2,600)
And, for an extra $2,500, a Soul buyer can complete their 2014 Kia Soul with what the Hamsters call the Whole Shabang which adds leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, push-button start with Smart Key and LED positioning lights.
The 2014 Kia Soul power trains have been tuned to provide more low end torque for a more spirited around town performance. They include the 1.6L DOHC four-cylinder engine for the Base that generates 130 horsepower with 118 lb.-ft. of torque and the more powerful 2.0-liter found on the Plus and Exclaim models that are rated at 164 horsepower with 151 lb.-ft. of torque. The 1.6-liter engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission or, optionally, to a six-speed automatic. The Plus and Exclaim models are available exclusively with the six-speed automatic.
As of this writing, Kia has not announced the fuel economy ratings for the new 2014 Soul power trains. With the re-tuning and realignment of these power trains in the face of the problem from 2013 with incorrectly stated fuel economy figures, we see some slightly different power and torque numbers that suggest an effort to improve the driving performance while gaining back some of the lost 3-6 MPG on the 2013 restatement of fuel economy. We expect these numbers to be announced before the 2014 Kia Soul arrives at dealers.
The Kia brand has scheduled the arrival of the new 2014 Kia Soul in showrooms sometime between the third and fourth quarters of 2014.