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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2017 Kia Soul
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Expert's Rating

4.2Excellent | Details

MPG

25 City / 30 Highway
Contributing Editor -

If lively hamsters could drive cars, they’d surely be happy in a Soul, as they were in Kia’s TV commercials when this likable little crossover first appeared. The Soul is one of the few contemporary vehicles that’s readily recognizable from afar, and its unconventional design yields a spacious interior. A friendly, youthful persona also helps in this entry-level crossover category, though plenty of older folks have fallen for the Soul’s practical qualities, as well as its quirky appearance.

What's new for 2017

A new turbocharged 1.6-liter engine goes under the hood of the Exclaim edition, giving the Soul a new level of sporty flavor. Instead of a conventional automatic, the Exclaim Turbo gets a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Kia Soul

Choosing Your Kia Soul

All Souls have front-wheel drive, ample room for five, and 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the backseat. Subcompact on the outside, the Soul offers the interior space of a compact.

Each trim level now gets its own engine. In the Base Soul, a direct-injected 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine develops 130 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque. That base engine mates with either a six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic transmission. The Soul Plus holds a 2-liter engine rated 161 horsepower and 150 pound-feet, coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission. In the Exclaim model, the new 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder develops 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, mated with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Fuel economy is estimated at 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway with the smaller base engine, while the 2-liter manages 25 mpg in city driving. Thriftiest is the Exclaim turbo, estimated at 26/31 mpg (city/highway). All Soul models comes with adjustable steering assist.

The Soul comes in three trim levels: Base, Plus, and Exclaim:

Base

Starting at $16,840 (destination charge included) with manual shift, the base Soul has an appealing list of standard equipment for its class. Included are the 1.6-liter engine, air conditioning, power windows and locks, power mirrors, a tilt/telescopic steering column, Bluetooth connectivity, rear privacy glass, and 16-inch alloy wheels. The six-speaker sound system includes satellite radio and steering wheel-mounted controls. The automatic transmission adds $1,560.

The optional Convenience package includes a 4.3-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, and automatic headlights.

Plus

For an MSRP of $20,500, the Plus edition includes the 2-liter engine and Sportmatic automatic transmission, as well as automatic headlights, fog lamps, cruise control, a rearview camera, automatic climate control, heated mirrors, remote keyless entry, a cargo cover, and 17-inch alloy wheels (18-inch optional). Options include keyless ignition, Infinity radio, navigation, a panoramic sunroof, and a heated steering wheel.

An optional Audio package includes navigation, a Harman Kardon sound system, keyless ignition, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The $4,000 Primo package adds leather seat trim, ventilated/heated power front seats, heated outboard rear seats, a panoramic sunroof, and power-folding mirrors. Also included are blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and forward collision alert.

A Designer Collection package furnishes 18-inch black-spoke wheels, a two-tone roof, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever.

Exclaim

Priced at $23,500 with its new turbocharged 1.6-liter engine and dual-clutch transmission, the top Soul also features leather/cloth upholstery, keyless ignition, mirror-integrated turn signals, UVO eServices telematics, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a chrome exhaust tip, and 18-inch wheels.

A Technology package includes extras such as a panoramic sunroof, navigation, Harman Kardon audio, front/rear heated seats, a heated steering wheel, adaptive LED headlights and fog lamps, and blind spot monitoring.

CarsDirect Tip

In basic form, each Soul ranks as an affordable, distinctive little crossover. However, buyers get quite a selection of option packages to choose from, priced from $500 to $4,000. Unless you’re really enthused about some of those additional features, the mid-range Plus trim will probably provide all you need. For thrift-minded buyers, the base Soul, perhaps with automatic, should be wholly satisfactory. The turbocharged Exclaim should attract more sport-minded Soul operators.

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Best Kia Deals & Lease Offers: August 2018

Special offers from Kia are nearly identical to last month. As before, you can lease a Forte LX from $179/month. Alternatively, the 2018 Sorento L ranks as one of the cheapest... View All Kia Lease Deals »

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