Garry Fabian road tests and reviews the 2014 Kia Soul.
The fully redesigned second generation Kia Soul can be described as a spunky number that will appeal to those who want to be seen to stand out from the crowd.
The 2014 Kia Soul delivers fun, space and a range of features at a low price point, though it lacks the refined handling of some of its rivals.
The version for Australia has a 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine with the choice of a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic (a $2,000 option).
Its fine around town, but the engine tends to struggle with four passengers on-board, especially when passing on the highway or tackling steep hills. For the record the engine produces 113kW and 191Nm.
The automatic shifts smoothly, and the manual is also quite user friendly, but due to a lack of engine grunt gears needs to be changed frequently, especially on any kind of incline.
Expect to use around 12.0L/100kms in city driving though, with a claimed combined fuel use of 8.4L/100kms – acceptable but not fantastic fuel economy.
The Soul provides a comfortable ride even on bumpy roads and the steering is accurate and responsive. The Soul comes standard with 17” alloy wheels and 55 series tyres.
Inside the cabin you’ll find plenty of standard features, including a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary inputs and steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls.
The use of high-quality materials adds to the good features, as do the comfortable, supportive seats. The interior is roomy, which is further enhanced by a generous amount of luggage space for a car in this class.
Summing it up: The updated Kia Soul retains its hipster feel and fun to drive nature and the upgraded engine is a welcome addition.
While the price tag is a little higher than some of its rivals in this segment of the market, the build quality and long list of standard features makes the Soul pretty good value for money.
This is of course is enhanced by the generous five-year warranty.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 2.0 litre petrol producing 113kW and 191Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: Five years
Origin: South Korea
Price: From $23,990