The KIA Soul has been redesigned for 2014. The redesign adds subtile exterior changes that enhance the look and aerodynamics of the Soul.
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The KIA Soul while looking very much the same, has exterior features that set it apart from the previous model. First think you notice while looking from the front is the fact that while the grill looks very similar to the 2013 model, it is not open now. The grill itself is solid to give it a slightly enhanced look while increasing the vehicles aerodynamic profile to give you better MPG. The side badging that was once open on the front panels, is also now filled in for a new look. While these changes are subtile, the add a large styling difference.
Lets jump to the place you will spend most of your time, the interior. The driver’s seat is wrapped in Black leather and has 10 way power seat with lumbar support. To keep you even more comfortable during those long trips, the drivers and passengers seats include heating and cooling. The rear seats are heated to keep everyone happy. The seats, while being comfortable, are small for a man of my 6’4″ stature. While the seats may have been small, the KIA Soul has plenty of head room, even more so than my SUV that I drive daily. The rear seats are comfortable for smaller children to teens, but can be cramped for taller people. Aside from that, the seats provide good support for the longer trips. The rear seat is also 64/40 split folding for getting those longer items in the back of your car.
When on a long trip, music is important to both keep you awake and entertained. The KIA Soul is equipped with a stereo system to keep you rocking for all hours. The KIA Soul tested has the Infinity Sound System with 8 speakers includes AM/FM/SiriusXM/USB/iPod/Navigation. The stereo also features a built-in sub-woofer in the back. The audio quality for this car is very good with the Infinity System. It’s built to handle what the head unit can throw at it without screaming for you to stop. The front speakers also include one of the signature pieces of the KIA Soul, the lighted speaker rings. You can set the lighting to pulse with the music, of use the lights as mood lighting. KIA has also included the option to turn the lighting off should you not like it.
The center console includes a 8″ touch screen that controls the GPS/Radio functions as well as being the screen for the integrated backup camera. The screen also allows you to access the UVO EServices.
The steering wheel contains almost everything you need to control the stereo, hands free-calling, and cruise control without taking your eyes off the road. After just a few trips in the car using the controls was like second nature. Also, for those cold winter months, the steering wheel is wrapped in leather with internal heating to keep your hands toasty and warm.
The lighting for the front is 4 LED lights that have the option to be on with the door, on all the time, or off all the time. On the roof with the lighting is also a switch to open and close the sliding sunroof cover ans well as open the Panoramic sun roof. The Sunroof shade retracts to the rear of the car allowing for all occupants to enjoy the light and looking at the stars at night. The front panel of the sunroof is the on that opens. You can either open it as a vent, or have it slide back over the rear glass. With the sunroof open, the back seat passengers can still see out of the roof to enjoy the view.
To move you along on those long trips, the KIA Soul features a 2L 4 cylinder engine that gives you 23 city MPG and 31 highway MPG. This is with 165 hp that you can use in both automatic or in a sportier auto-shift mode. The Soul, with only having a 4 cylinder motor can throw you around in your seat going around the corners. The Soul does have very little roll in the corners to give you great handling. Combine that with the 17′ factory tires and you are good to go.
Added features for the 2014 KIA Soul include a rear cargo tray to give you added storage in the back as this is a smaller vehicle. The HVAC system features an Air Ionizer to keep your air clean, even when stuck in traffic.
One of the changes that I don’t really like on the 2014 KIA Soul is the placement of the handle for the rear hatch. KIA moved it lower towards the bottom of the door. For a taller person like me, even with gorilla arms, you have to bend over to open the hatch.
Overall, the 2014 KIA Soul has retained what make it as popular of a car as it is, while giving some enhanced styling with function. If you are looking for a fun to drive car that gets good gas mileage, this may be just the car for you. Check your local KIA dealer or KIA.com for pricing and availability.