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

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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.

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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)

Kia Charges Into 2014 With Soul EV

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Kia says its Soul is electrified. The automaker today announced that the Soul EV — its first all-electric, zero-emissions vehicle marketed outside Korea — will go on sale next year in the U.S. It will use the second-generation 2014 Soul's platform and have a target range of 120 miles on a full charge of its 27 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery pack. Kia said the single-speed, front-wheel-drive car's electric motor will be good for 109 horsepower and 210 pounds-feet of torque, with a zero-to-60-mph time of less than 12 seconds and a top speed of about 90 mph.

The automaker says the new efficiency won’t come at the sacrifice of practicality or driving fun. "Although it is Kia’s first globally sold all-electric vehicle, the Soul EV is our second-generation battery electric vehicle and significantly benefits from the in-depth knowledge gained during development of the Ray EV sold in Korea," said Orth Hedrick, Kia’s executive director of product planning, in a statement.

By Matt Schmitz | November 12, 2013 | Comments (2)

Cars.com Reviews the 2014 Kia Soul

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With an effective, if overdue, redesign, Kia has, if you will, saved its Soul. Cars.com reviewer Kristin Varela wasn't exactly in love with the previous generation, but improvements to the 2014 Kia Soul have addressed many of its shortcomings, smoothing out a once-harsh ride, tastefully updating the interior and offering impressive features. The youth-marketed hatchback, Varela says, has grown up a bit without losing its offbeat attitude. Read the review below and decide if you could give your heart to the Soul.

2014 Kia Soul Review

By Matt Schmitz | October 8, 2013 | Comments (2)

2014 Kia Soul Starts at $15,495

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The second generation of Kia's boxy hatchback gets longer and wider for 2014; its price also grows slightly. When the new Soul goes on sale this fall, it'll start at $15,495, a slight increase over the 2013 model's base price of $15,200 (all prices include the destination fee). 

Base, Plus and Exclaim versions carryover. Base versions use a 130-horsepower, 1.6-liter four cylinder and standard six-speed manual transmission; a six-speed automatic is optional. Plus models get a 164-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to the standard manual or optional automatic; prices start at $18,995. Topline Exclaim versions (thankfully Kia ditched the + and ! designations this year) use the same engine and a standard six-speed automatic transmission and start at $21,095.

By Jennifer Geiger | August 29, 2013 | Comments (0)

Kia's Hamsters Hit the Gym With Lady Gaga

Kia's Soul is getting a makeover for 2014 and so are the car's mascots. The portly fur-balls are hitting the gym in the automaker's newest ad. Although Kia's compact hatchback grows slightly bigger inside and out, the hamsters slim down in the spot, titled "Totally Transformed."

Kia's been relying on funky fur to sell cars since 2009, and it doesn't sound like the automaker has plans to change its ad campaign anytime soon. "When the first Soul arrived on the scene, everyone at Kia believed we had a hit on our hands but we didn't realize how big that hit was going to be, and our year-over-year success is a direct result of the hamster commercials entertaining the young and young-at-heart with their baggy clothes, excellent taste in music and slick dance moves," Michael Sprague, Kia's spokesman, said in a statement.

With Lady Gaga headlining the new commercial, however, the hamsters' taste this time is questionable, but the Soul's past sales success is not. It's been a strong seller for the brand since its debut. The updated for 2014 Kia Soul goes on sale this fall.

Related
Kia's Hamsters Bring Down the Opera House
2014 Kia Soul at the 2013 New York Auto Show
2014 Kia Soul: Photo Gallery

By Jennifer Geiger | August 27, 2013 | Comments (5)

2014 Kia Soul: Up Close

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The original Soul was nothing less than the first product that suggested Kia was more than just a clone of parent brand Hyundai. (Unfortunately, it might have been the last, too.) Its first redesign, for 2014, maintains the Soul's defining characteristic — its profile. Many car designers claim they styled their vehicles to look as if they're in motion even when they're standing still. With a roofline that slopes downward from the front to the rear, a stationary Soul also looks like it's in motion — backward. Whatever the case, I've always liked that aspect.

More 2013 New York Auto Show Coverage

However, once I walked in any other direction around the vehicle, I wasn't sure Kia had done much to keep the model distinctive — at least not in a positive way. Something about the more prominent headlight clusters says Mini Countryman to me. Around back, I love the now-Kia-signature taillights, which have a diffuse neon-looking glow formerly seen only on concept cars. I'm less wild about the gloss black finish that surrounds the taillights and rear window and traverses the liftgate. It's overdone, busy. Perhaps trim levels lower than the two Exclaim models at the show will be more modest.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | March 27, 2013 | Comments (1)

Cars.com Reviews the 2013 Kia Soul

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Although popular culture has many convinced that the Kia Soul is only for the younger crowd and hip-hop hamsters, Cars.com reviewer Kristen Varela says the five-seat wagon's 2013 version has just about everything a family with children could want. The Soul's boxy shape translates to ample headroom, and that spaciousness extends to rear-passenger legroom. The Soul is zippy on the highway and maneuverable in tight spaces, making it great for running errands. Still, surprisingly limited cargo space and rough bump absorption at higher speeds are drawbacks. "Party Rock Anthem" playing on repeat is optional.

2013 Kia Soul Review

By Matt Schmitz | March 18, 2013 | Comments (0)

Kia to Unveil Crossover Concept, Superman Car at 2013 Chicago Auto Show

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Kia's showing in Chicago next week will be a mix of concept, in the Kia Cross GT, and just plain conceptual, in its Superman-inspired Optima Hybrid. Both cars are set to be unveiled at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, which runs Feb. 9-18 at McCormick Place.

Kia released a sneak peak of the Cross GT concept this morning. The photo shows what appears to be a seven-seat crossover larger than the 2014 Kia Sorento. Kia describes the Cross GT concept as "inspired by nature, driven by technology" and stated that it "hints at the future of Kia’s design language in the form of a premium Crossover Utility Vehicle." We’ll have full coverage of the concept next week from the show.

By Matt Schmitz | January 30, 2013 | Comments (3)

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