Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin and Roseville Today Weekend Events
contact add event advertise 

Kia Soul: A Funky Good Buy



2014-Kia-Soul.jpg

This is a vehicle with some definite funk. Pardon the pun, but if you're looking for a vehicle with a little out-of-box appeal, the Kia Soul is certainly worth a look.

Looks are what first comes to mind with the Soul, a four-door hatchback with an iconic boxy shape. It was introduced in 2009 as Kia decided to jump on the boxy-style bandwagon that included the Nissan Cube and the Scion xB.

This class of vehicles was characterized by its unique styling that was looking to attract youthful car buyers who wanted something "different" and could get it at a reasonable price.

Now five years later, the Cube and xB are reportedly headed toward extinction, much like the Honda Element, the original boxy vehicle, a compact crossover that stopped being produced after 2011.

Despite the lack of success overall, the Soul marches forward, arriving in 2014 with a pretty smart redesign. The new Soul is a little larger, with a wheelbase adding close to an inch and its width and height increased marginally as well.

Even though its distinctive square shape remains, the exterior changes include a smoothing out of its previous sharp corners and more angular side rear windows. There's also a new front and rear suspension design that makes the Soul a more pleasing car to drive.

On the inside, the 2014 Soul is more refined, thanks in part to upgrading its material and ditching the hard black plastic. The sound quality has also been upgraded and the overall cabin setup makes more sense. Trunk space has increased to 19 cubic feet and stretches to 61 with the 60/40-split rear seatbacks folded down.

One thing that hasn't changed with the redesign: the Soul clearly retained its funky appearance. The Soul remains a good buy as well, starting at approximately $14,900. But note that a fully-loaded Soul, which was driven here for a week, can leap to a little over $26,000.

Although not particularly powerful, especially the base model (1.6-liter, four-cylinder with 130 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque), the test-driven model featured a more powerful engine that's in the other two trims - the Soul Plus (+) and Soul Exclaim (!).

Those two models feature a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder that produces 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. This version of the Soul has been clocked at 8.7 seconds when traveling from 0-60 mph, which is about average for the small wagon or hatchback class with similar engines.

The 2.0 Soul is fun commuter car and can do fine on longer trips where freeway driving and passing situations are prevalent. This is not a sporty ride, but it has been improved and the braking is nice and firm.

Fans of the Soul will like the new improvements and have no reason not to purchase another one. For newcomers, it remains a somewhat "hip" vehicle that also provides a solid, comfortable ride.

2014 Kia Soul

  • Performance: 1.6-liter, four-cylinder, 130 horsepower; 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 164 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 30-31 mpg; 23-24 mpg
  • Estimated price: $14,900 to $20,500
  • Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain: 10years/100,000 miles; roadside assistance: 5 years/60,000; corrosion: 5 years/100,000






Weidel on Wheels author Jeffrey Weidel is an award-winning writer from the Sacramento region who has reviewed automobiles for more than two decades. He can be reached at skiweidel@gmail.com
Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.



Placer County News Headlines

Pediatric Telemedicine Consults Delivers Cost SavingsResearchers at UC Davis have conducted a comprehensive study to determine whether pediatric telemedicine consultations with rural emergency departments

50 Days of the Grateful Dead: Sugar MagnoliaIn a nod to the recent Dear Jerry Celebration held at the Merriweather Post Pavilion and an online request, we step back in time 32 years to June 1983.

Memorial Day Weekend : All Aboard as Railroad Season BeginsWhen the whistle blows Memorial Day weekend it will be full steam ahead this summer aboard the historic Virginia & Truckee Railroad

American River Project: Water Transfer ApprovedDrought Watch: At the May 21 meeting of the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors, the Board approved a resolution authorizing the release of 12,000 acre-feet

Granite Bay Cuts Water Use 32 PercentDrought Watch: Customers in San Juan Water District's retail service area reduced their water use by 32 percent in April compared to 2013.

When 20 Billion Gallons of Water Savings is Not EnoughDrought Watch: Even though customers from 19 Sacramento-area water agencies have saved more than 20 billion gallons

$900,000 Window Project: Placer County Courthouse AuburnWork is under way on a construction project that will restore and repair aging windows at Placer County's Historic Courthouse in Auburn.

Squaw Valley High Profile Development ProposedA proposed high-profile project is in the works that would transform 94 acres in Squaw Valley into a development offering numerous resort residential options and amenities

Auburn Library Opens with Flooring Project CompletionThe Auburn branch of the Placer County Library has been closed since May 1

Kaiser Permanente Roseville Honors Fallen for Memorial DayKaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center held a special ceremony yesterday honoring the memories of all who have died on behalf of our country

Raley's and iFoster Launch Foster Youth Hiring Program iFoster has partnered with Raley's Family of Fine Stores to develop a new hiring program for foster youth.

Auburn Non-Profit Above All Adventures Utilizes IndiegogoIn Placer County, 13 is the average age for first time alcohol and illegal prescription use, and binge drinking increases threefold between 9th and 11th graders


NEWS: In Case You Missed It