Kia Soul - car review

Photo Kia Soul

The serial model was first introduced at the Paris Motor Show in the fall of 2008. Translated from the English soul - the soul, there is also the same direction of jazz music. The car is built on the same platform with the Hyundai i20.

The dimensions of the hatchback are 4105x1785x1610 mm, the wheelbase is 2550 mm, the track is 1570/1575 mm. True, aggressive design makes the car look bigger. The “fault” is a massive front end with a small air intake slot, blackened front pillars and a window line with a reverse tilt of the rear pillars. The expanded wheel arches complement the picture and the ground clearance of 165 mm is great for a city car. The car received an extraordinary exterior and won the prestigious Red Dot Design Award.

Photo Kia Soul

The international jury assessed the car according to nine criteria: novelty, functionality, workmanship, ergonomics, durability, emotional impact, additional features, ease of use and environmental friendliness. Soul looks very original and quite bright. A set of non-standard options for finishing the body are offered: sporty stripes or airbrush pattern resembling a tattoo. Although the model is clearly focused on the European market, it was developed jointly by the South Korean and Californian design studios under the direction of Peter Schreier. Salon Soul at first glance is not as bright as the body, but neat and solid.

The original design of the front panel, bright upholstery, made of two fabrics contrasting in color, a lot of different compartments, pockets and containers for various pleasant and useful trifles. The boot capacity is 340 liters, with the seats folded down - 570 liters. The stylish three-spoke steering wheel and gearshift lever are covered with pleasant-to-the-touch and very high-quality leather, and the instruments deeply sunk into the “wells” create a democratic atmosphere in the cabin. Each customer himself is a designer of the internal space, choosing unusual fabrics and materials, any options and combinations of lighting and many other options.

Photo Kia Soul

Already in the basic configuration Kia Soul has air conditioning, and as an option is available very high-quality audio system, which has eight speakers. The list of options is extensive: wheel arch extensions, bumpers of various shapes, extravagant alloy wheels 16 or 18 inches in size, chrome-plated parts, navigation system, roof rack, bike rack, net for securing cargo, removable hitch, built-in multimedia system is practically unlimited. The car is equipped with a gasoline or diesel engine of 1.6 liters. The petrol version of the engine with a capacity of 128 hp, has a system of continuous variable valve timing.

The 124 hp diesel engine combines high power, fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness. A two-liter petrol power of 143 hp is also offered. The car is equipped with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmissions. These engines and gearboxes are already known for the cee'd family and are manufactured at the company's plant in Slovakia. Suspension solution is not new - McPherson checked front, multi-link rear. And still possible transverse stabilizers and coil springs. Kia Soul is one of the safest cars in the "B segment".

Photo Kia Soul

He received five stars in the crash tests of the Brussels Auto Safety Research Center on the Euro NCAP system. The car provides maximum protection for children aged 3 years or 6 months, both in frontal and in a side collision. Disabled passenger airbag allows you to install a child seat, as in the direction of travel, and against the course of movement. Kia designers have provided the best visibility from the driver’s seat. The car is equipped with sensitive control systems and braking, designed primarily to prevent dangerous situations on the road.

In addition to these security systems, the Kia Soul is equipped with an electronic dynamic stabilization system (ESP), including anti-skidding (TCS), ABS and BAS (Emergency Brake Assist). The design of the car is shock-absorbing, the power frame of the body is made of high strength steel. At the Motorshow in New York in 2012, Kia unveiled the second-generation Soul crossover, which became more spacious, quieter, and received a new engine line, but nonetheless very similar to its predecessor.

Photo Kia Soul

The car has noticeably added in size. The wheelbase has grown by 20.3 mm to 2570 mm, and the width of the machine has increased by 15.24 mm and is 1800 mm. Accordingly, the legroom of the front and rear passengers increased by 20 and 5.1 mm, respectively (up to 1089 and 993 millimeters), and the width of the passenger compartment at shoulder level increased by 7.62 mm. Height remained at the same level - 1610 mm. The height of the driver’s landing and the height of the thresholds became less by 12.7 and 5.1 millimeters, respectively, which, according to Kia representatives, simplifies the process of boarding-disembarking passengers.

In the exterior of the Kia Soul, the revolution did not happen, but the transformations turned out to be rather pleasant. In particular, the creators changed the front bumper, made a single block of front headlights, a modified grille appeared in front, and other vertical lights in the back. Muscles in the form of shtampovok on the sides disappeared. Soul II is built on a new platform, which is 29 percent tougher than its predecessor. The model reduced the thickness of the front pillar for better visibility, reconfigured the suspension (while McPherson remained in the front, and a semi-dependent torsion beam at the front), and added the Flex Steer power steering system to the option list.

Photo Kia Soul

The interior is worth noting the emergence of a new center console, dashboard and steering wheel. In general, rounded lines prevail in the cabin. The red panel is no longer there, but black lacquered inserts and an upholstered leather dashboard visor appeared. Insulation has also been improved - the noise level in the cabin, according to the company, has decreased by three decibels. Under the hood, the new Kia Soul will house one of two gasoline engines: a 1.6-liter (129 hp) and 2.0 (166 hp) volume. Two transmissions: 6-step "mechanics" or 6-step "automatic".

At the beginning of 2013, at the North American auto show in New York, Kia presented the second generation of the 2014 Soul urban crossover model year, and in the autumn in Frankfurt, the updated version debuted in Europe. Of the main differences from its predecessor - a new platform, already known on the previously presented lineup Kia Ceed, reduced engine consumption, an updated design of the exterior and interior, an extended list of additional equipment. When designing the second generation, he got a lot of items from the Kia Trackster Concept 2012. Kia Soul 2014 is positioned by the manufacturer as "completely new." In fact, it is an updated version of the car, which debuted in 2010.

Photo Kia Soul

The dimensions of the updated crossover are as follows: 4140x1800x1610mm. As we can see, only the height of the car remained unchanged, and the length and width increased by 20 and 15 mm, respectively. The wheelbase was also extended - now it is equal to 2570 mm (+20 mm). The ground clearance of the Kia Soul 2014 is 165 mm. The exterior design of the second generation involved three studios located in different parts of the world: in Frankfurt (Germany), in California (USA) and in Seoul (South Korea).

Even a quick glance is enough to mark the familiar proportions and lines of the previous generation. But the appearance of the model designers significantly modernized. Front instead of the "two-story" headlights appeared solid headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights. The grille has acquired a new cellular structure, while retaining the usual trapezoidal shape. The lower corners of the trapezoid are adjacent to round fog lamps.

Photo Kia Soul

The rear part is decorated with new racks of dimensional lighting, organically fitting into the vertical surface of the stern, a compact tailgate and a powerful bumper, echoing the shape of the front fairing. In general, the profile and proportions of the Kia Soul remained the same - the “horizontal” roofline, the inflated wheel arches, the almost vertical windshield - all these features were characteristic of the previous generation of the car. However, design solutions were enough to refresh the appearance of the crossover, giving it more dynamism and charisma. The exterior does not have beauty in the traditional sense, but it looks original and bright.

All Soul 2014 comes in deliberately bright colors, such as Green Acid, Ultragreen and Latte Macchiato. The car, depending on the filling level, is equipped with tires 205/55 R16, 215/50 R17 and even 235/45 R18 tires, alloy wheels 16.17 and 18. The interior of the Kia Soul 2014 is now made of better-quality and soft-touch materials. Improved noise and sound insulation of the cabin, more complete steel configuration. The front panel has been completely redesigned - the shape of the center console, the location of the vents of the interior ventilation system, and the dials of the dashboard have changed.

New multifunction steering wheel now allows you to control the audio system and the on-board computer using conveniently located keys. The central place on the console is an 8-inch display of the infotainment system, with which you can receive any information practically without being distracted from the road. A large amount of free space inside the cabin has always been one of the trumps of the Kia Soul.

The second generation offers its passengers an even more spacious interior. Due to the increase in the size of the wheelbase in front there was more legroom by 20.3 mm, and in the second row by 5.1 mm. The increased width of the body allowed to increase the size of the cabin in width (in the shoulder area) by 7.62 mm. Increases seem to be minimal, but the driver and passenger are more comfortable to sit, and in addition to increasing the size of the space, the second row passengers received larger doorways and 12.5 mm higher than the seat.

Cargo can now be taken away to 354 liters of volume with all occupied seats, not counting the extra space under the floor in the trunk, which implies a 4 percent increase compared with its predecessor. A positive thing is the ability to increase capacity up to 1550 liters by folding the rear row of seats, thus getting a flat floor. Engine selection begins with a 1.6-liter gasoline GDi with four cylinders and direct fuel injection. The all-aluminum motor develops 130 horsepower at 6300 rpm and is capable of delivering a maximum torque of 160 Nm at 4850 rpm. Continues the choice of a diesel 2.0-liter CRDi with performance indicators of 164 hp.

and 204 Nm, developed at 6200 and 4000 rpm, respectively. Both engines can be paired with both manual and automatic transmission with six gears. However, both engines are provided for cars that are sold in North America. In Russia and Europe, the Kia Soul 2014 is offered with upgraded engines familiar to us from the previous generation.

This petrol MPI volume of 1.6 liters (124 hp) and diesel CRDi of the same volume (128 hp). At Soul 2014 stands the traditional MacPherson and torsion beam at the back. The suspension has become 29% tougher than the previous version of the car. At the same time, the whole structure has become much lighter and stronger due to the wide use of high-strength steels. Changed and attachment points of individual elements of the chassis, which had a positive impact on handling. The electric power steering FlexSteer has three modes of operation - Normal, Comfort and Sport.

Each of them adapts the settings for a particular driving style. All the work carried out on the modernization of the suspension and steering system has improved the behavior of the car, both in the processing of irregularities, and when entering into sharp turns at speed. Already in the basic configuration of the second generation Kia Soul will be installed electric heated mirrors, air conditioning, telescopic steering wheel adjustment, audio system (radio CD MP3 MP3 AUX USB Bluetooth 6 speakers), heated front seats, Supervision dashboard, power windows for all doors.

For the maximum configuration Kia Soul 2014 available: keyless access and engine start button, climate control, cruise control, 8-inch color touch screen (rear view camera, navigator, multimedia), premium Infinity audio, leather steering wheel trim, box handles gears and seats, heated steering wheel seats of the first and second row, electric driver's seat, LED interior lighting, panoramic roof with a hatch and other trifles.

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