Are You Sould On Kia's Updated Soul?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
are you sould on kia s updated soul

Like the Subaru Impreza, Kia’s Soul is a car that I’ve nursed a soft spot for ever since it became the first car I ever reviewed for TTAC. When friends approach me asking for advice about practical, flexible low-cost cars, the Soul is often one of my first suggestions, and nobody has ever regretted at least test-driving one. The Soul earned further brownie points from me during the Detroit Auto Show a few months back, when our rental Soul carted us through a nasty snowstorm with aplomb. So, like the Impreza, I was a little bit nervous when Kia announced they would be updating the Soul at the New York Auto Show.

Mid-cycle refreshes rarely do it for me, and I worried that the Soul’s essential awesomeness might be lost in the process. Luckily, the Soul looks only slightly updated, and the major improvement comes where it was most needed: under the hood. A 1.6 liter direct-injection engine is the new base engine, making 135 HP (up 11%) and 121 lb-ft, while returning 28/34 MPG. The optional engine is a more-powerful 2.0 liter, making 160 HP (up 13%) and 143 lb-ft of torque, an earning a 27/33 MPG EPA rating. If these engines are more refined than the outgoing Soul’s mill, this modest update will cover the Soul’s major downside (a willing but overly-gruff engine) without losing any of its original appeal. Maybe mid-cycle refreshes aren’t something to be afraid of…

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  • BuzzDog BuzzDog on Apr 22, 2011

    This is close to my dream vehicle, which is probably impossible, given the constraints of space and physics: I'd like to own a vehicle about this size, weight and with this level of fuel economy, but I'd like to be able to fold the rear seats and have enough space to hold a few sheets of plywood (even if they have to sit on top of the wheelwells) AND be able to close the rear cargo door. Chrysler's first generation of minivans were close, but for now I'll have to stick with a folding trailer.

  • Junebug Junebug on Apr 22, 2011

    Steve McQueen would make a moped look cool. That color is calf turd brown and I can't wait for it to go away. Bring out some screeming neon colors like Plymouth tried in the 60's, that woul be cool.

  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Ed That has to be a joke.
  • SCE to AUX One data point: my rental '23 Model 3 had good build quality, but still not as good as my Hyundais.Test mule aside, perhaps the build quality of the CT will be good in 2027.
  • DenverMike He knows what he has bro, never mind the lowball offer.American, 4x4, V8, short wheel base, full size, historical, customizable, easy resto with or without the Mod, convertible and more. No subscriptions, no bull sh!t, just too cool. Plus the thing will just keep gaining in value. Talk about driving for Free. Never mind that your Ex hates it. $60K Hot Rod that shows $1,800 on paper!?Yes the hobby is pushed on by enthusiast money launderers and hidden wealth in plain sight that you can drive, to name a few.