Been thinking about grabbing up a used Kia Soul? This car is certainly a unique vehicle and seems to take some inspiration from the 2012 Track’ster. As of 2014, it has a higher grille and headlamps to give the illusion of a higher hood, along with a widened tailgate to make the tail lamps a bit slimmer and more graceful. Even those who aren’t familiar with the Soul could look at the 2013 and 2014 versions and spot the differences.
New for 2014
The redesign is evident on the outside, but even more so on the inside of the car. It has a sportier dashboard, gauges with soft-leather highlights, and a reformed steering wheel. The UVO infotainment center is powered by Android Linux rather than the Microsoft system that used to be standard. It also has a bit more space and plenty of new safety features to enjoy. That said, it is a sub-compact car so don’t expect to pack in more than four people.
Reasons to Consider the Soul
- Antilock brakes. Every model of the Soul for 2014 has antilock brakes, something that is uncommon as many other sub-compacts have only rear drum brakes. The antilock system is capable of giving you a steadier and more even stop.
- Safety features. Kia pulled out of the stops when it comes to safety. You’ll find there are six airbags: two in the front, two seat-mounted side bags, and two side curtain bags. This, along with the electronic stability control, brings the car a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The 2013 model only received four stars.
- Improved steering. The 2014 Kia Soul has improved steering with the Flex-steer system. You can choose between comfort, sport, and normal modes, even while driving. This allows for better handling and overall driving when it counts.
- Easy entry and exit. The design of the Soul is box-like, but that means there’s no curved roof which can make entry and exit harder. Of course, the Soul isn’t the only car to offer this feature, but it’s something that can be appreciated, especially if you’re in and out of your vehicle on a regular basis.
- Console location. The controls for climate, audio, and the infotainment settings are positioned in a way where they are easy for the driver to access. This also applies to the entire center stack. This might be a small matter, but convenience is always worth considering.
- Automatic transmission. For the first time, the base model does offer an automatic transmission. But be aware that this is optional, so you may not find it in every used Kia Soul that is out there for sale.
- Standard tech goodies. Bluetooth and iPod connectivity have also been added as standard; something technophiles may well rejoice about.
- Cabin comfort. You’ll find that small bumps are barely noticed while driving the Soul, something rare for a sub-compact car. Also, the cabin is hushed, partially due to the noise-dampening windshield that comes standard.
- Extra space. Okay, so a sub-compact is hardly going to have endless space. However, the second row of seats can be folded down to add some needed cargo space. The cargo floor also lifts to give even more space, with bins to keep everything organized and in order.
Reasons to Consider Another Car
There are some cons associated with the Kia Soul that may determine whether you want to go through with buying a used 2015 model. For one, the fuel economy is rated at 24 mpg city and 31 mpg highway, which is lower than many similar cars. In addition, the manual transmission is only available in the base model, which can be a negative or a positive, depending on your driving style.
The car also doesn’t come with keyless entry unless you move beyond the base model. It also offers both a navigation system and the UVO voice control, but for some reason, they aren’t available together.
All in all, the Soul is a great option for a sub-compact used car. It has many features that are useful and the list of cons is relatively small. If it’s something you think you’d enjoy spending time in, you could do far worse for the money.