Could KIA Soul Win Your Heart?

by Hubert Mckinney / SUV

The original KIA Soul hatchback simultaneously solves two problems: it is a vehicle that maneuvers perfectly on city roads and feels great in off-road conditions. Its memorable, a bit unusual or even crazy appearance is created especially for those who want in one moment to get the most optimal city car, on which one can also go on vacation or for camping in nature.

In the line of models of the automaker Kia appeared an updated crossover Soul, which acquired a new 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, developing 204 horsepower (specially for GT version).

In Europe, the official show of the restyling model and the GT-version held at the autumn auto show in Paris.

Changes for 2017 model year

It should be noted right away that the new Kia Soul body only differs from the pre-restyled model in small details. In the presence of modernized headlights and front bumpers with a modified form of air intakes, a slightly different “Tiger nose” radiator grille, an upgraded rear bumper with an optional protective lining… that’s all.

For painting the body, there are eleven variants of enamel color, three of which are new (brown Russet brown, orange Wild orange and blue Mysterious blue).

Also available for the order are several options for a two-color body painting with a white, red and black roof: a blue Mysterious Blue body with a white Clear White roof and a brown Russet Brown with white Clear White roof, a White White body with a red Inferno Red roof and a red Inferno red body Red with black roof Cherry Black.

There are no new details in the interior, but the design of the center console was updated, a chrome edging of the buttons of the window regulators appeared, the lower spoke of the steering wheel got metal trim. Updated Kia Soul can now be ordered with a black leather interior, as well as seats, covered with a black cloth of high quality.

Boxy Shape

Appearance of restyled version Kia Soul has suffered a major upgrade from the first generation. The characteristic and extraordinary appearance of the car provided him instant recognition – the model looks modern, original and, in some respects, even aggressively. Attention of buyers was immediately attracted by LED headlights in the back and front lighting, by the way, in the updated version of 2017 model year they will look even more impressive. Also, the Soul received the traditional “jaws of the tiger” or “tiger face” and stylish bumpers with attractive irregularities with built-in fog lights.

With this update, which will give the SUV a more modern appearance, the manufacturer plans to keep the desired level of sales of this car before the release of the new generation of KIA Soul. The release of a new generation is planned in 2018.

In the exterior of the updated Soul, changes in comparison with the previous generation are insignificant. Differences are visible only in some details of the body. The shape of the headlight, radiator grilles, bumpers has been changed. The car also received extended wheel arches and a 0.4″ clearance.

The “charged” modification of the Soul GT features a slightly different form of grille, a large sports bumper with LED fog lamps, as well as a chrome trim on the exhaust pipe and a stylish design of 18-inch wheels.

The dimensions of the body of the car remained the same:
Its length is 163″,
Wheelbase – 101.1″,
Width without taking into account exterior mirrors – 70.8″,
Height of the body is 63.7″ m.
The compact crossover’s clearance is 6.4″. The radius of the wheel disks, depending on the configuration, is 16, 17 or 18 inches.

Fashionable Interior

The interior of the renovated car practically did not change. True, the design of the center console still decided to slightly upgrade, around the buttons of the electric windows a chrome frame appeared, and on the lower steering wheel there is a finish for aluminum. It is reported that the new Kia Soul will be available with leather upholstery in a black interior, as well as fabric upholstery of improved quality of a similar color.

If we talk about the “charged” KIA Soul GT, then this version looks more interesting inside, in comparison with the usual model. The driver will have to taste a multifunction steering wheel with a truncated rim in the lower part. Also pleasing to the eye is the combined upholstery of the interior, in which the fabric and the skin are harmoniously combined. Very stylish looks a line of orange color, which can be seen on the steering wheel, armrest, instrument panel visor, automatic transmission handle, and seats.

Modifications of the crossover with the automatic are equipped with a system for selecting the driving mode. The driver is available three options: economical, normal and sporty. In addition, buyers will be able to choose between three multimedia complexes with color displays with a diagonal of 5, 7 or 8 inches. More modern versions with seven- and eight-inch displays can boast the presence of a navigator, a rearview camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Is It a Real SUV?

Crossover Soul in all its glory opens with the first opening of the door. Where in this “box” so much space?

Landing in the car is clearly a crossover – no clinging feet and head blows, just enter the car, and close the door. Even in people with high growth over their heads there is enough space – you can even jump a little with joy.

The inhabitants of the rear row, a fairly large distance from the knees to the front seats, and a high ground clearance made it possible to remove the tunnel separating the cabin. If you have small children, then they can play in the back, and the driver will not be disturbed – the front seats have a hard plastic back.

The luggage compartment. At first glance it may not seem very roomy, but the elevated shape of the rear body leaves a lot of free space in this part. In addition, he has a second floor, where it is convenient to fold tools, and under it is still a place with a spare “dock.” If you fold the rear seats, then the capacity of the trunk is quite crossover – 35.1 cu ft (against 12.5 cu ft without folded seats).

The construction of KIA Soul allows you to load a tent, food, family and jerk into the nature at the weekend (16.4 cu ft for nature more than enough). So, if KIA Soul and has the appearance of a volume hatchback, then inside it is a full crossover.

Under the Hood

The updated Saul is equipped with two 1.6-liter gasoline engines with a power of 124 and 132 power with a maximum torque of 112 and 118 ft lb, respectively. Also available is a 128-horsepower turbocharged diesel engine of similar volume, the torque of which in the peak reaches 191 ft lb. Power units are equipped with six-speed automatic transmission or with a manual with the same amount of gears.

Attention deserves a “hot” version of the GT with a 1.6-liter turbocharged petrol I4 under the hood. This engine develops 204 hp, and its maximum torque reaches 195 ft lb. The engine is combined with a 7-band robotic automatic transmission with two clutch discs.

Kia Soul GT of 2017 model year is equipped with more reliable brakes with larger diameter discs than the standard version.

Test Driving

The first on the test was just the top version with a 204-horsepower 1.6 Turbo GDI engine and a new transmission – a seven-speed automatic transmission with two clutches (7DCT). Dealers can convince you that this combination is more “sporty” and powerful. In fact, you should not expect from Soul, even in a more elegant version of the GT, some kind of sporting talent.

Its very square shape says that the car was created for a quiet and extremely balanced life inside the city.

A more powerful motor is needed except for more dynamic overtaking. So, to accelerate to the sixty, Soul GT will take 7.8 seconds. For comparison: the most simple 124-horsepower 1.6 MPI engine paired with the automatic accelerates the car to 60 MPH for an endless 12.5 seconds, slightly better than the 132-horsepower 1.6 GDI – 11.7 seconds .

When switching to sport mode, the steering wheel becomes noticeably more rigid, as for the dynamic characteristics, the difference is not particularly noticeable.

When accelerating to 60-70 miles per hour, the engine starts to slightly poke, but acceleration is given without the desired ease.

But in an environmentally friendly mode, Soul immediately loses a tangible share of speed – a reasonable fee for the saved fuel. If you change to a version with a 132-horsepower engine in the city, then it’s difficult to notice the fundamental difference from a turbocharged engine: a pretty car is still executing and gently driving you to your destination without causing any desire to press the gas pedal to the floor.

In general, we can say that for its parameters and tasks, Soul rides exactly as you expect from it. And if, in good weather, to open the hatch, then the degree of good mood and the level of inspiration rise sharply.