• 2014 Kia Soul

The Kia Soul was introduced in 2008 as a concept, and later as a production model for the 2009 model year. It didn’t come to the states until 2010, where the first generation lasted through the 2012 model year. For 2014, Kia brought us the second-generation Soul that included design elements from the Tack’ster Concept from 2012. On the outside, the Soul received new exterior light units, a slightly revised front and rear fascia, and new side view mirrors. Inside, the interior was fitted with softer materials on the dash, center console, and door panels to help improve its “premium” appearance. Other interior features included a round shifter knob, push-button start, and revised steering wheel controls. Under the hood, consumers had the choice of a 130-horsepower 1.6-liter or a 164-horsepower 2.0-liter engine. A six-speed manual came as standard equipment, but a six-speed automatic was available at a premium. To round out the new Soul, it had an all-new chassis that was stiffer than before, heavily revised suspension, and a one-piece steering system.

In all reality, the Soul really didn’t change all that much, and to the untrained eye, the subtle changes that came with the second generation may not even be noticeable. Then again, Kia put a lot of work into the chassis and suspension, so ride quality and overall structural rigidity were increased significantly. Unfortunately, the second-generation model didn’t come with the cool hipster hamsters either, but that didn’t make the boxy little SUV any less fun to drive. With that said, check out our full and detailed review below to learn more about the second-generation Kia Soul.

  • 2014 Kia Soul
  • Year:
    2014
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    164 @ 6200
  • Torque @ RPM:
    151 @ 4000
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    10 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    124 mph
  • Price:
    14900
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2014 Kia Soul High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 499954
Despite Kia's attempts to soften the Soul with rounded shoulders and hips, it is still really funny looking and very top heavy.

The Soul is already offered an unmistakable design language, but for the new generation, it received design elements we saw on the Track’ster Concept that Kia unveiled in 2012.

The new Soul has grown in size and received a more aggressive appearance. Up front, it gets larger trapezoidal lower air intake, an updated grille that is now almost identical to the concept, new exterior mirrors, squared shoulders and distinctive fender flares. For the rear, Kia installed high-mounted taillights, tall ride height and rear LED "halo" lights similar to those seen in recently unveiled Kia models, like the Sorento and Forte.

Customers will also have the possibility to choose between seven new exterior colors, two of them already unveiled in the Big Apple: Solar Yellow and Inferno Red.

Exterior Dimensions:

Wheelbase 101.2 inches (up 0.8 inches)
Width 70.9 inches (up 0.6 inches)
Height 63.4 inches

Interior

2014 Kia Soul Interior
- image 499939

For the interior, Kia focused on offering a more premium appearance. For this, soft-touch materials have been used for the instrument panel, center console and door panels. The car’s seats received improved lateral and thigh support, while the center console and dash now feature a high-gloss piano-black trim.

From the Track’ster concept, the new Soul received a round gear shift knob and push-button start, while the steering wheel controls offer easier use of the audio and navigation systems.

Interior dimensions:

Front leg room 42.9 inches (up 0.8 inches)
Rear leg room 39.1 inches (up 0.2 inches)
Front headroom 39.6 inches (up 0.2 inches)
Front seat shoulder room 55.5 inches (up 0.3 inches)

Standard features for Base Soul:

  • Power windows
  • Door locks
  • Heated outside mirrors,
  • Telescoping steering wheel
  • A six-speaker AM/FM/MP3 audio unit are all standard
  • Bluetooth hands-free wireless technology
  • SiriusXM satellite radio

Soul Plus adds:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 215/55R17 tires
  • Outside mirror turn-signal indicators
  • Auto-on/off head lights
  • Unique fender garnish
  • Floor console stowage box with integrated arm rest
  • UVO eServices
  • Rear Camera Display
  • Rear seat center arm rest

Soul Exclaim adds:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235/45R18 tires
  • Fog lights
  • Body-color bumper "tusks"
  • Projector head lights
  • Front LED positioning lights
  • Rear LED "halo" lights
  • High-gloss piano-black center console
  • Cooled glove box
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob
  • 10-way power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror

Drivetrain

2014 Kia Soul High Resolution Exterior
- image 499959

For the 2014 model year, the Soul will be offered with a choice of two engines. Base models will be come with a 1.6-liter all-aluminum DOHC four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 130 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque.

Top versions will get a 2.0-liter NU engine with an output of 164 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and a peak torque 151 pound-feet of torque at a 4,000 rpm.

Both engines will be come standard with a six-speed manual transmission or you can opt for a six-speed automatic.

Suspension and Brakes

2014 Kia Soul Exterior
- image 499942

The 2014 Kia Soul is built on an all-new chassis that is now 29 percent stiffer than before. It gets a redesigned cowl, upper and lower B-pillars, cross members and C-pillars. 66 percent of the chassis is now made in either ultra-high-strength steel (35 percent) or high-strength steel (31 percent).

There front and rear suspension has also been heavily revised with four bushings used for the front subframe. Additionally, the stabilizer bar has been moved rearward on the McPherson strut front suspension and the steering box has been moved forward.

The steering system is now made in one piece, and not in two pieces as the current model. As an option, Kia is offering a new Flex Steer system with three distinct steering settings: Comfort, Normal and Sport.

Driving Impressions

2014 Kia Soul High Resolution Exterior
- image 539363
2014 Kia Soul High Resolution Exterior
- image 539362
2014 Kia Soul High Resolution Exterior
- image 539355

I got my first crack at a Kia Soul here recently, and I must say it was a lot of what I expected and a bit of what I really didn’t expect. First, let’s talk about what I did expect: it’s ugly. Despite Kia’s attempts to soften the Soul with rounded shoulders and hips, it is still really funny looking and very top heavy.

Now onto some of the surprises I ran into when I had my week-long date with the Soul. Allow me to preface this by saying that Kia gave me the top-of-the-like Soul! (the "!" is the trim level, not punctuation). Well, looking at the outside you would never expect what awaits you inside: a very luxurious interior. That’s right, I said a Kia Soul’s interior is "luxurious," so sue me.

2014 Kia Soul Interior
- image 539380
2014 Kia Soul Interior
- image 539367
2014 Kia Soul Interior
- image 539366

Soft leather seats fit my body nicely, the glow rings around the speakers are far less tacky in person, the audio system is precise and rich, the navigation screen is large and easy to read, the NVH levels are really low (unless you are at full throttle), the panoramic sunroof it fantastic and the UVO system is as good as it’s ever been. One downside, however, is the fact that there’s no CD player. I guess much like the shock of the first car not to have a cassette player, this will soon be the norm.

2014 Kia Soul Interior
- image 539361

Cargo room was another sweet spot in the Soul!, as the high roofline and folding seats made sliding a in-the-box IKEA pantry in nice and easy. There is the aggravation of that silly cargo cover that is utterly useless in this model, but it comes off easily once you figure it out.

2014 Kia Soul High Resolution Exterior
- image 539354

Additionally, the drivetrain is rather competent. No, it is not fast by any means, but it is plenty to get the Soul! up and moving with traffic pretty easily. It handled bumps and jars pretty nicely, and rarely tossed me around the cabin.

The only problem is that looking at it in my driveway made me dry heave, but this body style may be your cup of tea. Hey, at least it’s not the Nissan Cube...

Prices

The new Kia Soul will be put on sale in the third quarter of this year. Prices will be announced at a later date.

Competition

Jeep Compass

2014 Jeep Compass High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 494081

For the 2014 model year, the Jeep Compass has been updated with a series of changes to both the exterior and the interior, plus new North and Sport trims. Customers will have to choose between two engines: a 2.0-liter gasoline engine delivering 156 horsepower and a 2.2-liter turbo-diesel engine with an output of 136 horsepower.

Nissan Cube

2010 Nissan Cube
- image 274055

In the U.S. market, the Cube is comes with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 122 horsepower, making it the least powerful from all three models. Also, the Cube has the disadvantage of featuring a quite unique — borderline hideous — exterior, so it will definitely be our last choice.

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Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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