Top 10 Urban Cars

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From squeezing between a Dumpster and a wall to holding your breath as a bus hard aports past your bumper, cities can be an automotive minefield. And cars are often the casualties. Need proof? Look no further than auto insurance rates. A 40-year-old male with a 2012 Honda Accord in Manhattan's West Village would pay 27 percent more for the exact same coverage than if he lived across the Hudson River in Hoboken, N.J., according to CarInsurance.com's analysis of six leading carriers.

Related: Top 10 Most Overlooked New Cars

Yet scores of Americans still prefer to live in the city. From New York to San Antonio, the country's 25 largest urban centers are home to 31.9 million people within city limits, according to the 2010 Census. That's 10.3 percent of the entire U.S. population in 2010, and given the trend of increasing urbanization, it doesn't look like it will recede anytime soon.

Most city-zens still have to drive. Not to worry: Our latest Top 10 nominates cars best suited for urban driving. Editors considered our candidates' overall size relative to their competitors, as well as visibility, city gas mileage, turning radius, city drivability, utility and more.

Here are our picks, in order of which cars received the most votes. In cases of a tie, we ranked by turning circle and other dimensions.

By Kelsey Mays | August 11, 2014 | Comments (9)

2015 Kia Soul: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: UVO eServices Package, which includes a multimedia/telematics system and a backup camera, is a new option for base models with automatic transmission.

Price change: Up $200 across the board. The base model starting price is $15,900, with the Plus at $19,400 and the Exclaim at $21,500, including destination.

On sale: End of July/early August

Which you should buy, 2014 or 2015? 2015

Kia's "urban hatchback" was redesigned for 2014, and it appeals to a broad range of buyers, from the under-21 crowd wanting to make a fashion statement on a limited budget to their grandparents looking for a functional vehicle that also is economical.

Related: 2014 Kia Soul Real-World Mileage

The base model starts at an enticing $15,900, but that is with a manual transmission. Adding an automatic transmission boosts the price a hefty $2,000, and for most buyers that will be the starting point (cruise control, remote entry and other features also come with the automatic). In addition, the base model uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that generates modest power, and the more expensive Plus and Exclaim models, starting at $19,400 and $21,500 respectively, come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that shows more vigor. Destination charges, included in the prices above, have increased by $5 to $800.

By Rick Popely | July 29, 2014 | Comments (4)

Recall Alert: 2014 Kia Soul

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Vehicles Affected: More than 51,600 model-year 2014 Kia Soul cars manufactured between July 21, 2013, and Jan. 17, 2014

The Problem: The plug that secures the pinion gear to the steering gear assembly may loosen due to an improper application of thread-locking adhesive during the assembly process. This could cause the pinion gear to separate from the steering gear assembly, causing a loss of steering and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Kia will begin notifying owners this month, and dealers will replace the pinion plug with a new one that has properly applied adhesive, for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Kia at 800-333-4542 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or go to www.safercar.gov, for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | July 18, 2014 | Comments (1)

Most-Watched Videos of the Week

Our First Look featuring the 2015 Subaru Outback made its way up front on this week's list of most-watched videos, while a crop of newcomers led by the 2014 Jaguar F-Type Exhaust Note rounded out the top five. Check out what else was popular.

1. 2015 Subaru Outback — First Look
2. 2014 Jaguar F-Type Exhaust Note
3. 2015 Jeep Renegade — First Look
4. 2014 Kia Soul ("MotorWeek")
5. 2015 Acura TLX — First Look

By Matt Schmitz | May 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

Most-Watched Videos of the Week

The new No. 1 and No. 2 this week on our list of most-watched videos both come from the 2014 New York International Auto Show, reflecting on Nissan's Smart Rearview Mirror and talking cars with media mogul Martha Stewart. Check out what else was popular.

1. Nissan Smart Rearview Mirror — First Look
2. Talking Cars With Martha Stewart
3. 2014 Toyota Highlander Review
4. 2014 Kia Soul ("MotorWeek")
5. 2015 Subaru Outback — First Look

By Matt Schmitz | May 10, 2014 | Comments (0)

Can the 2014 Kia Soul be a Family Car?

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Based on this urban hatchback's size and styling, it's common for many families to dismiss the idea of a Kia Soul as a family car; all the moms at my daughter's dance class certainly did after I rolled up in one recently. Don't laugh the idea off just yet, Mom and Dad — the Soul can be a competent, comfortable and cool family car.

2014 Kia Soul: Real-World Mileage

From the outside, the Soul looks small, but its high roofline and a low floor make for the ultimate family-friendly configuration. The height inside gives the cabin an airy, uncrowded feel, and the boxy shape allows for a few inches of wiggle room. Everyone in the family — from toddlers to parents to grandparents — will get in and out of this car with ease.

By Carrie Kim | May 2, 2014 | Comments (1)

More Electric Cars Than Ever, Still Not Available Everywhere

Where the electric cars are

As more manufacturers introduce electric cars, these battery-powered vehicles are becoming something people see on the road every day. At least in some parts of the country, they are.

More Alternative Fuel News

The number of purely electric vehicles offered in the U.S. will grow to a dozen by the end of this year. Many of those EVs are available only in a small number of states, however, with California being the epicenter of electric-car sales.

By Rick Popely | March 11, 2014 | Comments (4)

2014 Kia Soul: Car Seat Check

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Kia's boxy compact hatchback isn't just for hamsters. Small families will find a lot to like about its wide, flat backseat. The Kia Soul was redesigned for 2014, and exposed Latch anchors, along with surprising amounts of head- and legroom for a compact car, helped this little hatchback earn good grades in our Car Seat Check.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Jennifer Geiger | February 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Kia Soul EV Video

Kia's boxy hatchback was redesigned for 2014, and the automaker is adding an electric model to the lineup for 2015. Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays took a close look at the Soul EV after its debut last week at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show.

More 2014 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Kia says plant-based plastic was used in 19 items in the car and that drivers can expect about 80 to 100 miles of range from the EV. The 2015 Soul EV goes on sale this summer in California and other select states. Watch the video for more.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 10, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Kia Soul EV Photo Gallery (30 Photos)

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You don't have to live in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey or Maryland to get a look at the 2015 Kia Soul EV, the Korean automaker's first foray into the all-electric-vehicle market. While those coastal states will be the only places you can buy one when it first goes on sale in limited quantities this summer, the zero-emissions hatchback is making its debut this week at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. Truth be told, it doesn't look drastically different — inside or out — from the standard Soul, save for a blocked-out grille opening where charging ports are hidden, 16-inch wheels and a Mini Cooper-esque two-tone paint scheme, as well as handful of EV-specific interior flourishes.

More 2014 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Under the hood, however, the Soul EV couldn't be more different. It runs on an 81.4-kilowatt, 109-horsepower electric motor that drives the front wheels through a single-speed transmission. The battery is a 27-kilowatt-hour, air-cooled lithium-ion battery pack that provides 80 to 100 miles of range under normal conditions and powers the vehicle from zero to 60 mph in less than 12 seconds on its way to a top speed of 90 mph.

Check out the gallery below. Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | February 6, 2014 | Comments (0)

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