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2014 Kia Soul

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2014 Kia Soul Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 8.1

When it launched in 2009 the Kia Soul joined the Nissan Cube and Scion xB in a hip class of vehicles defined by low prices, funky styling and youthful verve. Radical! Five years later the Cube and xB are sailing towards oblivion like the Honda Element before them, while the Kia Soul basks in unforeseen sales success. To maintain that momentum Kia has introduced a new Soul for the 2014 model year, complete with a fresh exterior, upgraded interior and an impressively expanded roster of standard and optional equipment. The Mini Countryman, Fiat 500L and Nissan Juke slot in as possible Soul alternatives, but the Kia's competitive price, cheerful styling and radically improved interior make it a standout in the cute, cheap, compact-box family of vehicles.

You'll Like This Car If...

Kia has nailed the daring-but-darling design aesthetic with the 2014 Soul. People love the look of the Soul, and we're guessing you might too. As a bonus that cute exterior houses a surprisingly plush interior for the price and more passenger space than you might imagine.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Cool looks and fun-to-drive don't always align. Though greatly enhanced versus the original iteration, the 2014 Kia Soul isn't particularly satisfying to steer and lacks the gutsy acceleration found in its quicker competitors.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 8.1
  • 7.3
  • 7.7
  • 8.7
  • 8.7
  • N/A

Consumer Rating

9.8 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Kia Soul Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

For 2014, the Kia Soul has been heavily redesigned. That means a new, more rigid chassis, a reworked suspension, updated styling inside and out, and a host of new features. The only major carryover is the engine lineup, which sees slight modifications for 2014.

Driving the Soul
2014 Kia Soul Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions Thanks to a nearly 29-percent stiffer chassis, expandable foam body sealing and a reworked suspension, the new 2014 Kia Soul interfaces with the road far more gracefully than the 2013...

model. In-motion noise levels are well controlled and the suspension absorbs, with dignity, all but the largest road imperfections. Regardless of which "Flex Steer" resistance setting you choose, the steering wheel remains a poor conduit of information between the driver and the front tires. Even so, the Soul steers predictably and corners with a level confidence unseen in the old Soul, which tended to skitter over less than pristine roadways. Acceleration is merely adequate when overtaking traffic or merging on the freeway, even with the more powerful 2.0-liter engine, making the Soul feel better suited to urban adventures than highway excursions.
Favorite Features

PANORAMIC SUNROOF
For most situations, the quickest way to add fun is to add sun. That's why we dig the positively-huge, optional panoramic sunroof. Just as important, the sunroof includes a totally opaque sunscreen, for when you need a little privacy or just want to cool down.

VENTILATED FRONT SEATS
A sweat-free posterior is a wonderful thing. How cool is it, then, that the glorious comfort of ventilated front seats is available in the Kia Soul – a car with a sub-$16,000 base price? Sure, the ventilated seats cost extra but man – are they worth it.

2014 Kia Soul Details
2014 Kia Soul Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The Kia's interior hasn't grown by much, but passenger space was never really a Soul shortcoming – material quality is what needed improving. For 2014, that's exactly where Kia focused their efforts. Feel your way through the interior and you'll notice softer surfaces, more comfortable seats and window switches that operate with a decidedly un-cheap feel. Besides feeling better, the cabin also looks better with an expressive, upscale design that refines the previous car's circular theme. With a 24.2 cubic foot cargo area, expandable via split/fold-down seats, the Kia Soul is a surprisingly adept cargo carrier.

Exterior
2014 Kia Soul photo

From some angles the new Kia Soul looks a lot like the old Kia Soul, but that's ok, we liked the original design. The new car retains what we liked, just in modernized fashion. The Soul's tall profile isn't strictly about fashion, it's also about function. Along with abundant head and luggage space, the high roof allows for raised seating positions, providing good visibility for all inside. Offered in a variety of fun colors the top-line Exclaim (!) trim is distinguished by body-color bumper accents and 18-inch wheels, while 16- and 17-inch units come fitted on the base and Plus (+) trims respectively.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Buy a base level Kia Soul and you'll be treated to a 6-speaker audio system with USB and auxiliary inputs, power windows, mirrors and door locks, Bluetooth, air conditioning and a 6-speed manual transmission. Cloth seats come standard as do 60/40 split folding rear seats, but a nifty rear center armrest is optional on the base trim. On the safety front, the Kia Soul boasts six airbags, stability and traction control and, for all the Soul fans in San Francisco, hill-start assist.

Optional Equipment

If you're willing to throw extra funds at your Soul, there are plenty of enticing options to choose from. Standouts include heated and ventilated leather seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, push-button engine start/stop, automatic climate control, and a backup camera. Those purchasing a mid- or top-level Soul can add a package that bundles an Infinity premium audio system with an intuitive navigation system featuring an 8-inch capacitive touch screen.

Under the Hood
2014 Kia Soul Engine photo

The 4-cylinder engines of the previous Kia Soul carry over to the 2014 model and include a 1.6-liter in the base trim and a 2.0-liter for the higher Plus and Exclaim trims. Maximum horsepower for the 2.0-liter engine remains flat at 164, while the base 1.6-liter actually loses eight horsepower in the model changeover. Those underwhelming peak numbers resulted from a tuning effort that increased torque in each engine's lower rpm range. Having driving the 2.0-liter we can say that it's still no rocket ship, but at maximum acceleration the engine did seem less buzzy and strained. Handling gearchange duties are a 6-speed automatic and a 6-speed manual that's only offered with the base engine.

1.6-liter inline-4
130 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
118 lb-ft of torque @ 4,850 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA mpg (manual), NA mpg (automatic)

2.0-liter inline-4
164 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
151 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA mpg (automatic)

Pricing Notes

Pricing for the 2014 Kia Soul starts at $15,495 ($795 destination charge included). Fling caution to the wind and you'll pay a touch over $26,000 for a fully loaded Soul Exclaim trim. Compared to its fun-loving and wide-ranging competitors, including the Nissan Cube, Scion xB, Fiat 500L and Mini Countryman, the Kia Soul is less expensive by varying degrees, making it the bargain of the funky compact pack. When it comes to resale values, Kia's numbers have climbed steadily in recent years, with the Soul standing out as one of the brand's top performers. That's a trend we expect to continue with the 2014 Kia Soul.

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2014 Kia Soul Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.8
Out of 10

Based on 11 Ratings for the 2014 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.7/10
    Quality
    9.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.8/10
    Performance
    9.6/10
  • Comfort
    9.7/10
    Styling
    9.7/10

Great Bang for your Buck

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good quality little car, big passanger room, great"

Cons: "Poor service at both my local dealer's"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased my 2014 Soul in November 2013. I decided on the base because I drive my cars into the ground quickly. No need for to many options. In the 4 months I have owned this car, I have just over 11,000 miles. Only problem I had was a purge valve that failed. I had to wait a week for the part to come in. I am averaging just over 35 MPG. I do mostly highway driving. I am happy with the performance of the 1.6 GDI motor, it not a race car but does well on the hwy."

GREAT VALUE...EXCELLENT CROSSOVER EVER DROVE

By on Tuesday, April 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 400

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, power, features, comfortable, style"

Cons: "none at this time"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Recently bought a Kia Soul feels like a orbit machine on design have with the boxy exterior. My Soul is extremely great on comfortable seats have heated memory, heated outside mirrors. Handles like riding a boat on excellent performance even rides solid. Most of all the SUV has best fuel economy than ever although its better quality crossover from Kia this is what I love about it gets over 42 mpg. It was available with (Blind spot warning/traction control system) Infotainment center, navigation, rear backup cam, climate control and much more. I love the color has in green which looks a lot sportier. Manual transmission makes it enjoyable to drive giving lots of handling whenever need it. The Soul very roomy love this four door crossover was cheaper and have the features at a low price. I highly recommend it coming from a Toyota and BMW the Kia is best ever."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

DRIVES GOOD! I'm skeptical?!

By on Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Dependable, speakers sound good, engine space."

Cons: "Tick in first minute of warm-up."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Seems good.. Tick in the motor for the first minute while warming up. I was told it was the new GDI fuel injection. I guess I'll see. The tick is the only thing I am fearful of. These are like the Honda Civics of the future. Intake, Exhaust, Lowering Kit, anti-swaybars.... Lets get this stuff selling for a decent price and I'll soak it up."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great First New Car Purchase

By on Sunday, March 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "MPG's, Room, Comfort, style"

Cons: "Needs all season tires, trip computer settings"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"My wife and I just purchased a brand new soul base with 4 miles on the clock. Are first 375 miles were amazing until we filled up again and noticed the avg mpg reset automatically, that was annoying. Then 2 days ago we got 3-5" of snow and I realized it get pulled all over and had ZERO traction with the stock tires. In the rain and slush it was amazing. we even had 50 mile an hr wind gusts and it did surprisingly well. I think it needs a better set of all season tires when sold in the north. I can't wait to take it on a long road trip and really test her out. We have the base with the 1.6 auto and it has more than enough get up and go. we are averaging 27 mpg on 2 tanks and that's with letting it sit and warm up in 10 degree weather. The passenger side wiper iced up going down the road as well but didn't hnder my view much at all. I know I'm being negative but this car/suv/wagon is a dream to drive and has more room then I know what to do with. I think that all season tires would make its winter driving night and day."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Very impressed for the $$$!!!

By on Saturday, February 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I am very impressed with the Soul! I waited for a few years and I think the 2014 is right on the mark. Just got an Inferno Red Whole Shebang. I could not come close to the features offered on this package with other "premier" models. My little retirement ride. I do wish it had a little more punch in the engine area."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

I love my Kia Soul!!

By on Sunday, January 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price, cute, roomy"

Cons: "None."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We just bought a 2014 Kia Soul. I've always wanted one, but this is the first time I've ever owned one. It is a cute and funky family car. With the room of a small SUV and the fule economy of a sedan, it has def been worth the money we spent."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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