Premium interior look and feel; refined ride; ample cargo space; rich feature content; distinctive styling; still a great value
Mediocre fuel economy; uninspired acceleration
The 2014 Soul is fully redesigned
The Exclaim's Whole Shabang package is tempting, but it results in a pricey Soul, so we suggest looking at the Plus model with the Audio package. The UVO eServices package is part of the deal, as well, so you get voice-command functions, the big touchscreen with navigation, Infinity sound, upgraded interior trim and automatic climate control, all for about $21,000.
The 2014 Kia Soul 5-passenger hatchback is offered in base, Plus (+) and Exclaim (!) trim levels.
The base Soul ($15,495) starts with the manual transmission, the smaller 1.6-liter engine, 16-in steel wheels, power accessories, variable intermittent wipers, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, driver-selectable steering feel, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a trip computer, manual air conditioning and a 6-speaker audio system with satellite radio and USB and auxiliary audio jacks.
The Soul Plus ($18,995) adds the automatic transmission, the larger 2.0-liter engine, 17-in alloy wheels, turn-signal indicators on the exterior mirrors, cruise control, keyless entry, a front center console with an armrest, a rear center armrest with cup holders and 12-volt power outlets in the cargo area (the base model only has them in the main cabin).
The Soul Exclaim ($21,095) boasts 18-in alloy wheels, LED running lights and taillights, fog lights, automatic headlights, power-folding exterior mirrors, UVO voice-command functionality, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a refrigerated glove compartment, a 10-way power driver seat and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
Options on the base model include the automatic transmission, automatic engine stop/start, 16-in alloy wheels, cruise control, keyless entry and the rear center armrest with cup holders.
The Plus model offers the UVO eServices package (automatic headlights, voice-command functionality and a rearview camera), the action-packed Audio package (leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, upgraded dashboard and door trim, automatic climate control, a navigation system with an 8-in touchscreen and an Infinity sound system with a subwoofer and pulsating speaker illumination) and the Primo package (panoramic sunroof, fog lights, keyless entry with push-button start, a heated steering wheel, a 10-way power driver seat, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats and leather upholstery).
Note that the Plus can also be equipped with the ECO package (automatic engine stop/start and smaller 16-in alloy wheels with low-rolling-resistance tires), but only if you forego the three packages described above.
The Exclaim, meanwhile, is eligible for the Sun and Sound package (panoramic sunroof, navigation with touchscreen, Infinity audio, speaker illumination and automatic climate control) as well as the memorably named Whole Shabang package (xenon low-beam headlights with auto leveling, LED running lights, keyless entry with push-button start, an upgraded 4.3-in color driver information screen, a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats and leather upholstery).
|Basic||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||10 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||5 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
Honda Fit -- The Fit's amazingly capacious interior is great for hauling stuff, and it gets better fuel economy, to boot. Its loud, chintzy interior pales in comparison, however.
Mazda CX-5 -- If you're looking at a Soul Plus or Exclaim with some options, stop by your Mazda dealer and see if there's a CX-5 for about the same price. We really like the Mazda's mix of style, performance, space and efficiency.
Toyota Prius -- You might not think of the Soul and Prius as rivals, but the Prius is likewise a roomy hatchback that's not too expensive, and it offers the added benefit of incredible fuel economy.