KIA Soul is a mono-drive “sub-comact urban crossover”, which conceals the facets of several modifications of the body: all-terrain vehicle, hatchback and compact van. This car is one of several in its niche, which embodies the “unique design courage”, so it is the car that many young drivers, as well as more experienced potential buyers decide to stay on.
One of the most important advantages is the practicality of the model. There are only 2 generations of cars. In September 2016, the Korean company showed everyone at the Paris Motor Show a sports version of the 2 families of parquet flooring with the index “GT”. The whole model range is Kia.
- Car history
- Generation I (2008-2013)
- Exterior generation I
- Interior generation I
- Specifications generation I
- Price and equipment
- Soul I generation competitors
- KIA Soul II generation (2013-present)
- Specifications II generation.
- Crash test
- Complete sets and price of II generation
- Comparison with competitors
- Varieties of KIA Soul
- Electric parquet flooring KIA Soul EV
- The “warm” version of KIA Soul GT
- Reviews from the owners
- The pros and cons
- We sum up
- KIA Soul photo
- Test drive
- Video overview
KIA Soul is called a five-door compact machine made in Korea. The car was first presented in 2008 during the Paris Motor Show. In the company’s “family” this five-door model is located between the “Sid” and “Sportage” versions. Vehicles were launched in Europe in 2009.
Over the years, the car has won a large number of awards from a variety of publishers of automotive subjects. Before the appearance of the hero of our review, the management of the company showed the whole 4-th conceptual version: the debut was shown in 2006, and the remaining 3 – in 2008.
As it is already known, in the same year the world community saw the assembly line of the parquet flooring, which began to rapidly gain recognition in many markets. Even today, the machine is sold pretty well everywhere – every year about 200,000 copies are bought.
The name of this car from English can be translated as a “soul”. In addition, there is a music stream of the same name in jazz.
Generation I (2008-2013)
Exterior generation I
The appearance of Kia Soul of the 1st generation will not be able to define the traditional or customary. If you take one area, the size of the car speaks about its attitude to the division of hatchbacks, and the other – how the car is composed, brings it to the microwaves. However, there is also a third area – the exterior as if hints at a propensity to all-terrain vehicle.
The appearance of the Korean vehicle has simple faceted shapes. This includes a flat roof of horizontal type, a straight rising window line, large headlights and lanterns, as well as towering wheel arches that give the “Korean” a serious look.
The front side received a small radiator grille and a more massive air inlet, located slightly lower. On the sides of the nose bumper there are round and large “foggers”. The side part was made of steel, 15 inches diagonally in the basic version. Higher versions provide for the use of 16 – or even 18-inch “rollers” made of light alloy.
KIA Soul won an authoritative victory in 2009 as a result of the annual competition “Towcar of the Year”, which was held by the publishing house Caravan Club, located in the UK. The super-compact urban crossover was named the best car in the niche for towing a trailer in the price range of up to 16,000 pounds sterling.
The luggage compartment door is vertical. The massive wheelbase, together with the high roof of the KIA Soul 1st family, had a good effect on the capacity of the interior. The exterior of the car is not frankly new or fantastic. Here it is necessary to tell, that though the model is constructed enough refinedly, appearance nevertheless “on the amateur”. The design of the debut version was the responsibility of the design team led by Peter Schreyer.
They were able to masterfully brighten up the parts of the oval type of proportional shapes of rectangular type and decorate them with a little non-standard lines of lateral glazing. As a result, the “armored car” of modest size was released – that’s exactly what the domestic owners decided to call the car. In 2011, the appearance of the “South Korean” has undergone minor changes, not having a global character. They affected only the “cosmetic” part of the car.
Interior generation I
Unusual, but the Korean salon is much more pleasant than the appearance of the parquet flooring. The design team decided to take advantage of unusual and bold solutions, which gave the interior decoration of KIA Soul 1 generation a special individuality. It will not be superfluous to highlight the presence of a kind of oval console finish, installed in the center and the general ergonomics of the front, which provides comfortable control of all services of the machine.
The upper part of the unusual central area is crowned with a considerable speaker. The driver is presented with a rather convenient multifunctional “steering wheel”, behind which the three-well instrument “board” is clearly visible. Two-color interior decoration eloquently reflects the sports and youth orientation of the vehicle.
Only small details testify to the “advanced age” of the car. This is the old-fashioned Rio steering wheel without any settings and a small camera screen mounted in the rear of the car.
Interestingly, in the period from 2008 to 2015, a similar car was purchased by about 1,000,000 buyers all over the world. This affected 2 generations.
KIA Soul I generation can accommodate up to 5 passengers without any effort by moving the rear sofa. It is worth noting that for this “comfort”, the development department has decided to donate the size of the trunk. In the standard version, its volume does not exceed 222 liters (including the underground department).
When it is necessary to partially dismantle the second row of seats, which leads to an increase in the trunk up to 818 litres. In general, the design of the cabin 5-door hatchback to become a price tag and the class of the vehicle – looks unusual, but it does not cost so much. All controls on a habitual place, do not cause discomfort, and also do not distract from management of a compact crossover.
Specifications generation I
Only two engines were provided by the development department for KIA Soul 1st family: one running on diesel and the other on gasoline. Our most common vehicles are those with a four-cylinder atmospheric engine, 1.6 liters in volume and running on gasoline. It manages to give away 129 “mare” and 156 Nm.
The engine likes to eat AI-95 and consumes 6.6 liters of gasoline for every 100 km in a combined mode with 6-speed “mechanics”. In addition, there is a 6-speed automatic box, in which consumption increases to 7.3 liters. The vehicle does not accelerate more than 180 kilometers per hour, and it is possible to reach the first hundred in 10.8 seconds for a mechanical and 11.5 seconds for an automatic box.
If to speak for diesel execution it also received 4 cylinders and 1 600 cubic centimeters. This variant has turbocharging and direct fuel injection technology. It develops such “engine” of 128 “horses”. The maximum speed does not exceed 177 kilometers per hour, and from zero to 100 km/h it is possible to accelerate in 11.7 seconds.
Korean engineers synchronized the diesel unit only with a 6-speed automatic box. The engine consumes about 5.9 liters per 100 km. The debut Soul KIA was designed on the Hyundai i20 “bogie” and equipped only with a front drive. The front of the car has a full-fledged independent suspension of spring type, which is built on McPherson racks, and the aft area has a semi-independent design of spring type with a torsion beam. As “brakes” disk devices are installed in front (which are ventilated) and drum structure at the back.
Price and equipment
Our dealers offer cars with 5 sets of equipment. The simplest version is the Classic version and is rated from $101555. It had a gasoline-powered engine and a box of mechanics. In addition, there were electric adjustments and functions of heating of external mirrors, roof rails, front airbags, ABS electronic technology, technology that can unlock the doors during the impact in automatic order, air conditioning, “board computer”, audio system with adjustment keys on the “helm”, steering wheel settings on the inclination and departure, as well as electric windows.
The most expensive equipment Burner has a diesel-powered engine and an “automatic” box. The cost is not less than $14687. It has black light alloy rollers designed for 18 inches, bumper and exterior mirrors of glossy black type, electric hatch, spoiler, side airbag and inflatable curtains, active head restraints, course stability technology, “Bluetooth”, “climate”, auxiliary speaker, subwoofer and amplifier, “cruise”, aft camera and electric heater.
Soul I generation competitors
The main competitors of the Korean model Kia Soul of the 1st family include Nissan Note, Ford Fusion, MINI One D Countryman, Suzuki SX4 and Seat Altea Freeetrack.
KIA Soul II generation (2013-present)
The compact version of the second generation of Kia Soul’s “urban crossover” was officially presented in March 2013 during the New York City Motor Show, and in the same autumn during the Frankfurt event. Designing the car of the 2nd family, South Korean designers managed to treat rather carefully the “original version”, so the model “remained the same”, but changed almost everywhere.
Besides, it has grown in size, and its equipment “has reached a new level”. In the summer of 2015, “Koreans” decided to carry out a small restyling of their car, which affected small changes in appearance. But everything is more detailed further.
The Korean design team, led by Peter Schreyer and a group of engineers, was tasked with making the Kia Soul 2 generation not only extremely similar to the outside of the debut family, but also to increase its convenience, comfort, functionality and safety. The exterior of KIA Soul 2 was designed by 3 studios located in 3 different locations around the world: Frankfurt (Germany), California (USA) and Seoul (South Korea).
The result of the work of car decorators in front of our eyes. Even if you look at the second family of Korean cars, you can notice the familiar relationship and lines that are inherent in the past family of cars. Designers managed to modernize the exterior of the vehicle, taking into account the “grown” body size and operation of the latest “trolley”.
The front part is now presented more weighted and bravely with the help of the latest headlamps, which are connected in common blocks and complemented by LED filling lines. The transformed bumper, which received a “predatory mouth” of the air duct, as well as the “cannons” of massive foggers and a visible lip of the aerodynamic shape, was able to improve its appearance. The hood can be opened simply by means of pneumatic supports. The hands are barely dirty. In 2014, 2 families of cars were able to earn an authoritative award in the field of design Red Dot Desighn Award. It turns out that KIA Soul II repeated the result of the first generation.
The side part has also been changed: the rear door opening is larger, the aft roof rack now looks more powerful, and the wheel arches and door surfaces are now more inflated. It feels like the car was in a rocking chair – the car shows its muscularity and originality.
The clearance height does not exceed 165 millimeters. As wheels, the novelty has 16-, 17- and even 18-inch light alloy wheels. It is nice that the company has decided to increase the color palette of enamel for dyeing the vehicle. Now there is white, silver, vanilla, olive, salad, dark red, dark blue, dark grey, black, bright yellow and bright red (the last 3 – new colors).
The second-generation Soul Arsenal has the “Top Safety Pick”, which is the highest award for safety from the American (IIHS).
The stern area of the machine has new stand-alone lighting equipment, which fits perfectly into the vertical image of the rear area. In addition, there is a small boot door and a powerful bumper that fits perfectly into the front cowl style. As for the appearance of the new car Kia Soul 2, it turned out to be bright, fast, attractive and stubborn.
According to experts, from Korea, the body of the novelty has now become 29 percent stiffer and is made of strong and high-strength steel by 66 percent. Improved torsional stiffness data, revised suspension and steering structure connection points, gave KIA Soul 2018 clearer control. The Soul body does not have any unnecessary slots or gaps where dirt and dust can enter. The rear part has a luggage door that works on pneumatic supports – this is convenient and practical.
The interior decoration of the Korean novelty has also been transformed. The changes were made to the front panel architecture, as well as to the console installed in the center. Now the driver had a new multifunctional steering wheel in front of it, which supports the heating function in the richer versions, as well as other appliances.
The latter in the “junior” version has separate wells with sensors, and in the “senior” version there is a Supervision panel, where there are strict dials and a compact screen of the on-board computer designed for 4.3 inches. If you look at the upholstery of the door cards and the shape of the inner handles, they have also received a new design.
Based on the company’s words, the materials used in the interior decoration have become much better. The quality of noise and sound insulation inside the new Kia Soul 2018 has been improved. The level of equipment became richer. As it should be for the crossover, the thresholds and bumpers are covered with a durable unpainted plastic. The volume of the glovebox will be a real pleasure, as well as the presence of a huge panoramic hatch and black ceiling trim fabric.
The central console is substantially refreshed. There is a regular audio system with a modest display (in more expensive equipment is 8-inch “TV”, as well as a unique block of “climate”, which received a round monochrome “window”. Seats can be made of fabric or leather.
The front seats themselves are comfortable and have received elastic side support, dense filler and acceptable adjustment intervals. I am very glad that the interior has a large amount of space not only for the driver and front passenger, but also for the residents of the rear sofa.
Due to the fact that the wheelbase has grown, the legroom has increased by 20.3 millimeters in front and by 5.1 millimeters in the back row. With the help of the increased body width, it was possible to expand the dimensions inside (in the shoulder area) by 7.62 millimeters. Of course, this addition seems to be minimal, but the driver and passenger now feel more comfortable and the rear passengers are more comfortable thanks to the larger doorways and 12.5 millimetres above the seats.
The central headrest and the almost flat floor are a pleasure, which can be envied by even more eminent cars. We also want to highlight the heating function of the cushion. The volume of the luggage compartment has been increased to 345 liters (up to the shelf) or 685 liters (under the ceiling) with five passengers. It is important to note that the Korean experts consider the volume, bringing in a department under the floor and space under the finish line. If necessary, it is envisaged to increase the trunk by folding the rear backrests, which provides 1,550 liters of useful space.
Specifications II generation.
For our citizens, the Korean company has provided two engines running on gasoline (prerestyling option has a diesel unit). The factory version is a four-cylinder atmospheric 1.6-liter engine running on gasoline, which has a distributed gasoline supply and sixteen-valve gas distribution mechanism type DOHC.
All this allows the engine to produce 124 “horses” and 152 Nm. A mark of 100 km/h is achieved in 11.3-12.5 seconds. Maximum speed is 177-182 km/h. “Eats” such a power unit from 7.3-7.9 liters for every 100 kilometers in a combined cycle.
In addition, there is a 1.6-liter “atmosphere” with four GDI cylinders running on gasoline, which has a system of direct fuel injection into the combustion chamber. It produces such an engine with 132 horsepower and 161 Nm of rotational force. It will take 11.7 seconds to reach 100 kilometers per hour. The car accelerates no more than 180 kilometers per hour. In mixed mode, the car “asks” about 7.6 liters for every hundred kilometers.
The “top” power plant (since summer 2017) is a 2.0-liter version of the “atmospheric”, which has 150 “mare” and 192 Nm. It takes only 10.2 seconds for the 5-door hatchback Kia Soul 2 2018 to reach the 100 km/h speed limit.
Back in the 2014-2015 versions there is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder diesel engine with a 16-valve gas distribution mechanism and direct injection system. This engine has 128 “horses” and 260 Nm. Up to a hundred the machine is accelerated in 12.2 seconds. The car can accelerate up to 177 kilometers per hour. To overcome 100 kilometers in the combined mode 6 liters of diesel fuel are required.
The basic 1.6-liter 124 hp unit is synchronized with a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. A similar engine in volume but already developing 132 “horses” is compatible only with the automatic transmission. The “Top” 2.0-liter version cooperates with a six-band automatic transmission. And the 1.6-liter diesel unit is compatible only with the “automatic” box.
The 2nd generation Kia Soul crossover is built on an elongated Kia Cee’d trolley. Ahead of the designers decided to use a spring suspension with stands such as McPherson, and rear torsion beam with hydraulic telescopic shock absorbers. All versions have an electric “hand wheel” amplifier with 3 modes of operation. The vehicle has disc brakes on all wheels (front are ventilated), which are complemented by electronic systems ABS and BAS.
The new version of KIA Soul 2 2018 has the highest rating of 5 stars. This rating was obtained after the NHTSA crash-tests. Through the use in the body structure of high strength and abundance of safety features – Kia Soul was able to demonstrate 5-bit results in the frontal and side crash test and in the tests for safety during the tipping over.
The scope of application of the latest materials during the construction of the new Kia Soul 2 body is striking: 31 percent of its structure is made of high strength steel and 35 percent – ultra-high strength. KIA Soul II 2018 has a higher degree of protection. This includes the already familiar “airbag”, in the amount of 6 pieces (2 in front, 2 on the side and 2 curtains along the entire length of the side windows).
In addition, there is a list of current engineering systems, which can include a 4-channel ABS with 4 sensors, electronic technology that distributes the braking forces and knows how to check the load, as well as distributes the weight of the machine, forming an acceptable force for each of the brakes.
As additional systems, there is technology to help you get started on the slope (HAC), the Tire Pressure Monitoring Service (TPMS), ESC and TCS. It is also possible to highlight the ERA-GLONASS emergency communication technology, which can connect the owner to the operator in unexpected situations to find out if everything is okay. If necessary, it can call emergency services.
Complete sets and price of II generation
This vehicle should be the next step in the process of forming a crossover unit. The Korean company offers a choice of 5 Kia Soul configurations: Classic, Comfort, Luxe, Prestige and Premium. The Classic version, which comes with a basic engine and manual or automatic gearbox, starts.
For performance on “mechanics” ask from $13923, and for “automatic” – $15017. Such a big price tag is due to a good tooling. There is a presence of heating of armchairs, electric drive and heating of external mirrors, 16-inch steel disks, front airbag, electronic technology ABS and BAS, system of course stability, electric amplifier “steering wheel”, technology which helps to move in a slide, multifunctional steering wheel, the musical system calculated on 6 loudspeakers and the conditioner.
Next comes the “Comfort” version, which is estimated at $15095. It received a heating function for the rear row of seats, as well as for the steering wheel, light alloy wheels and additional safety systems. The next set of “Suite”, and it has a standard engine under the hood, and can be supplied with a strong 2.0-liter “engine”. The price list starts from $16892.
All variants of this complete set have only an automatic box. In addition, the already available options are joined by climate control and 17-inch “rollers” made of light alloy. The design, called “Prestige”, costs from $18611. There are parking sensors, rear camera, keyless access system and advanced audio system.
“Premium” can be bought only with 2.0-liter power units and automatic transmissions. There are 18-inch rollers with black inlays, climate control system, cruise control, xenon front optics, electrically powered panoramic roof, multimedia center monitor, designed for 8 inches and more. The price of the question is $21267.
Although the KIA Soul II generation car has a pleasant and modern appearance, some car owners still decide to add their “zest” to improve and distinguish their car among the urban stream. There are those who like to set up a dodger. By replacing the factory bumpers, thresholds and skirts with more massive, low and streamlined skirts will improve the exterior of KIA Soul, give a certain swiftness and sporty.
In addition, its aerodynamic data is increasing. It is possible to install different door handles, window and hood deflectors, chrome-plated edges that emphasize the originality of the car. However, it is worth saying that the spoiler or anti-wing on such a car will not look good. After all, you can do an airbrush or vinylography, which will definitely distinguish you.
Kia Soul tuning is also provided inside. It is possible to put on the steering wheel leather, make leather covers, upgrade the handle of the gearbox, cup holders and so on. Those who lack silence in the cabin can worry about improving the noise isolation of the cabin. Any domestic driver burns with the desire that his car move quickly, but does not consume a lot of fuel. This can be achieved by replacing systems, parts or the entire engine, as well as “flashing” the control unit or electronic systems.
Some owners make chip tuning KIA Soul, which allows you to change the initial settings of the engine and optimize them for a specific driving style with the help of computer software. The result is increased power and more economical gasoline consumption.
Comparison with competitors
It is not so easy to note potential opponents in the class of the Korean crossover KIA Soul II generation. This is partly due to the fact that the crossover is not so big, has good cross-country ability and attractive appearance, as well as quality equipment. But the “Korean” has competitors: Nissan Terrano, Nissan Qashqai, Suzuki Vitara, Suzuki SX4 and Renault Duster.
All these machines belong to about one niche. Of course, KIA Soul 2018 has its own advantages over its opponents, as well as its competitors, so it will not be possible to distinguish the best car. Each buyer decides for himself. Separately, we can single out the electric version of the 5-door hatchback, which has almost no analogues.
Varieties of KIA Soul
Electric parquet flooring KIA Soul EV
The model with electric motor was presented at the auto show in Chicago, which was held in winter 2014. KIA Soul EV almost completely copies the exterior of the usual crossover, but still received a list of differences. This can include a different pattern of lighting, a large overlay on the grille, modified bumpers and aerodynamic wheels, 16 inches.
Inside, Kia Soul EB is distinguished from the regular car only by the presence of a characteristic dashboard, some keys, colors and finishing materials. You can sit in the front and back comfortably – there is plenty of free space, but the passengers in front of their feet were not given as much “freedom” as in the standard Soul. The trunk varies from 250-890 litres of usable space – everything depends on the position of the backrest of the seats. Under a raised floor there is a presence of a complete set and a wire for charging from a house network or “fast” station.
The “EV” design serves as the debut serial electric machine in the history of automobile production of the Korean company KIA.
Kia Soul has a 110 hp electrical installation that develops 285 Nm of torque from scratch. It works with a reduction gearbox, which transmits all efforts to the front wheels. The electric motor is powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery with a capacity of 27 kWh. It is placed under the floor and provides up to 167 kilometers of travel on one charge. It is possible to accelerate up to the first hundred in 11.2 seconds, and the maximum speed does not exceed 145 kilometers per hour. All other technical data is completely identical to the “standard” version of Soul. You can buy this car in America from 31,950 $.
The “warm” version of KIA Soul GT
The novelty was presented during the Paris Motor Show in September 2016. The compact crossover received an addition in the name of “GT”, as well as sports notes in the exterior and became more powerful power plant.
The exterior of the hot KIA Soul GT has transformed bumpers, whose appearance eloquently testifies to the car’s propensity for a sports theme, “dual-barrel” exhaust system, discs of unique design with a diagonal of 18 inches, a colorful red band around the car and a nameplate “Soul” of the same color on the lid of the luggage compartment.
Otherwise, the appearance of KIA Soul GT is similar to the “stock” version. But the height of the road surface was reduced by 10 millimeters, now it is 150 mm. It is quite logical that the sports notes moved from the appearance to the interior of KIA Soul GT. They can be seen, if you pay attention to the steering wheel, which received a sports truncation at the bottom, a combination of leather and fabric, with a contrasting orange stitching.
More “beautiful” dashboard will please fans of “chase”. All other interior elements remain the same. The heated version of the KIA Soul GT 1.6-liter T-GDI unit powered by gasoline, which is part of the Gamma division, powers the heated version.
It received a head and cylinder block made of aluminum, a pipe compressor combined with a discharge manifold, a distributed injection system and phase shifters at the outlet and inlet. All this allows to develop 204 “horses” and 265 rotating forces. Power is transferred to the front wheels by means of the 7DCT seven-band preselective “robot”, which has two clutches.
Acceleration up to a hundred takes 7.8 seconds, and the maximum speed is hitting the 200 km/h mark because of the speed limiter. This engine consumes about 7.4 liters in combined mode for every 100 kilometers of travel. Almost all other technical elements are similar to a simple “five-door”. The exception is the presence of more durable and larger brake pads in front. You can buy KIA Soul GT 2018 from us for at least $22531.
Reviews from the owners
Based on KIA Soul owner feedback, we can conclude that the car buyers choose because of the unusual appearance, spacious interior and high clearance. Small size clearly has a positive effect on maneuverability, especially in urban areas. Owners note the quality finish of the interior and pleasant ergonomics. The function of heating the back row of seats was pleasant.
Doors open wide, there is a function of automatic locking of doors on the move. The ceiling is high, which will please tall people. “Flowmeters” are not so expensive. The owners refer to the bad suspension, which is very rigid, low dynamics with a 1.6-liter engine and overestimated fuel consumption.
A large windshield collects a lot of garbage. Despite the small size of the car, the engine is not always enough. The rear seats are not fully unfolded. I would also like a more spacious trunk. There is an effect of sailing.
The pros and cons
- Unusual appearance;
- Small size;
- Newest front and rear optics;
- Not bad assembly;
- Nice interior;
- The quality of materials used for finishing has increased;
- There is plenty of room;
- Many individual options as well as equipment;
- There is a function of heating the back sofa;
- It is possible to choose a sports GT-version with a more powerful “engine”;
- Sufficiently acceptable price;
- Good security level.
Cons of a car
- No four-wheel drive (because the model is positioned as a crossover);
- Small trunk;
- Simple motors are not always enough;
- Clearance could be higher;
- Rigid suspension;
- Excessive fuel consumption.
We sum up
At the end of the article it was not possible to understand what kind of car is in front of us, to which category it should be classified. In fact, if it is a crossover, then where is the solid height of road clearance, powerful engines and all-wheel drive. If it is a compact van, why isn’t there as much space inside as it is usual for such cars?
Perhaps the Korean specialists wanted to do something average to please everyone. Anyway, they did it. KIA Soul has fallen in love with a lot of people and it can be found quite often on our roads. The car has a unique and attractive appearance, stylish lighting, nice interior, good level of comfort and acceptable safety, on which the “Koreans” make a weighty bet.
On the other hand, the crossover does not always have enough power and luggage space, which is very important for every motorist. A little bit too much fuel consumption and a very rigid suspension are upsetting. Otherwise, the car causes pleasant emotions and is perfect for a small family living in the city limits. Fans of “driving” will like the sports version of the “five-door” KIA Soul GT, which allows you to squeeze the best out of the 204-horsepower engine.
And those who are worried about nature on our Earth, can buy environmentally friendly KIA Soul EV, which received a battery and electric motor. However, on the territory of our country, this version, unfortunately, is not sold. As you can see, Kia has managed to attract the attention of the public, trying to satisfy the preferences if not all, then many motorists.
We advise you to read the article: Kia Motors History