By on November 15, 2016

Kia Motors 2017 Soul Turbo

Korea’s second largest automaker knows that the Soul is getting a little long in the tooth. So, to hold the public’s interest, they’ve subtly revamped the styling and added an optional turbocharged engine that makes the previous offerings seem paltry.

Kia’s current 2016 Soul Exclaim makes use of a 2.0-liter direct-injection four-cylinder that produces 164 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. While Kia is retiring that powerplant from the 2017 Soul Exclaim, it will remain in the Soul Plus.

The 2017 Soul Exclaim will enjoy a 201-horsepower T-GDI 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that offers improved fuel economy over the old 2.0-liter. This mimics the strategy — and motor — that Kia’s sister brand Hyundai used to add spice to its entry-level compact by way of the Elantra Sport.

Like the new turbocharged Hyundai, Kia’s boosted box will receive the same seven-speed dual clutch transmission and some subtle visual updates.

Kia Motors 2017 Soul Turbo

With 18-inch wheels, twin exhaust, unique body trim, special tailgate, and a chrome grille accent, it’s a slightly more handsome version of what has always been fairly odd-looking car.

Interior details include a flat-bottomed and leather-wrapped steering wheel, smart key with push-button start, and Kia’s UVO eServices infotainment system — which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. The Exclaim can also be outfitted with navigation, a touchscreen, twin USB center console charge ports, and a 315-watt, eight-speaker audio system by Harman Kardon.

You’ll be able to see the company’s self-proclaimed “funky urban runabout” this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Kia Motors 2017 Soul Turbo

[Images: Kia Motors]

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39 Comments on “2017 Kia Soul Turbo – Boosting the Box...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The sales rate for the Soul is near an all-time high – pretty amazing for a car introduced in 2009.

  • avatar
    Old Man Pants

    Is it my imagination or has the beltline subtly risen as the overall silhouette stays the same? The windows on new ones seem slightly less tall, particularly in back.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    No manual with the turbo? Please tell me that’s an oversight by the writer, not Kia.

    • 0 avatar
      Lack Thereof

      In the 2016 model, the manual is only available on the base trim – all the upper level trims are automatic-only.

      So long as the exclaim remains automatic-only, there will be no stickshift turbos.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I have to tell you to be disappointed because there will be no manual. Get this – enthusiast car with no manual. woo-hoo! No wonder most people driving it are over 55. But don’t jump before time – they say that engine sounds agricultural. doesn’t feel refined. I like the style and interior of this car but my car need 3 pedals. No 3 pedals, no spot on my driveway.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    What makes the tailgate special on the turbo?

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    Not bad… but a pity the boosted engine can’t be had in the Soul Plus. There’a lot of crap in the Exclaim that I could do without.

  • avatar

    9 out of 10 Souls I see are the base model which offers only a few basic colors to choose from. In base trim it is cheap and cheerful. Hopefully color choices expand beyond white, silver, black, a coffee tone and a horrific lime green.

  • avatar

    I am not sure these changes are really much of an improvement at all. That lower grill is frankly LESS attractive than the current model. Don’t care for those wheels too much either. Will have to see what the cheap and cheerful version will look like.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I’ve always liked the looks of these. I think that they’d make a decent 1st vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      mshenzi

      It might make a good later vehicle, too. I’m going to be considering a 2017 Exclaim with all the trimmings as a replacement for my TDI Golf once the check comes in. Curious to drive the Niro, too– saw one in a US Kia showroom last week, but they’re not available to drive yet. It’s mission and target market is different from the Soul, but there’s some overlap in that Venn diagram and I might be in it.

  • avatar
    carguy

    The flat-bottomed steering wheel has overtaken the rear spoiler to become the go-to pointless accessory for the pretend sport variant of a utilitarian car.

    Look for it in the next Camry SE.

    • 0 avatar
      Trucky McTruckface

      Toyota’s one step ahead of you; the last generation Corolla S had a flat-bottom wheel.

      The current one does not, perhaps Toyota was concerned the car wasn’t soul-crushingly dull enough, so something had to give.

  • avatar
    baconator

    Every time I get a Soul at the rental car counter, I’m reminded of what fun they are to drive. The suspension is really very good, and the interior is far better-made and stylish than expected at this price point. I can see why Kia is selling boatloads of them. Turbo is just more power, more bettah.

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      How is the NVH compared to other things you’re rented? I’m currently driving a 300.

      • 0 avatar
        ZCD2.7T

        NVH is pretty good, as long as revs are kept below about 4K, at least with the 2.0L. Beyond that, the engine is coarse.

        In normal driving, it’s well behaved, and it cruises comfortably and quietly on the highway, which is more than can be said of many small cars.

        We really like ours, and it’s been trouble-free in 55K miles…

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I took my car to 4k RPM this past weekend, and I felt like I was mistreating it.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Why did you feel this way?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I guess because I’m always so gentle on my cars. Probably better for the engine if I take it to 4k more often. None of them have small engines, so I never -need- to go past say 2500.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            doood, rev your cars man!

            Every on-ramp and merge should be a glorious morning stretch for the car!

            Revving is better than not revving all day!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Normally there’s some fool in a Corolla in front of me, who’s ready to enter the interstate at 49mph. Seriously.

            But I will make a concerted effort when I’m able to do some entry ramp flooring.

          • 0 avatar
            ZCD2.7T

            LOL.

            In our case, 2 out of 3 cars produce more than 400 lb ft of torque by about 3K rpm, so I know what you mean.

            The Soul, however, notsomuch…

            That said, it gets around just fine in normal driving without revving it out past 4K…

  • avatar
    bd2

    Kia’s hybrid/PHEV/EV Niro crossover is purportedly getting e-AWD, so it’s likely that the next generation Soul will be getting it as well.

  • avatar
    Old Man Pants

    If only there were a 12″ deeper cargo area behind the rear seats these would be unrejectable to me. Tallish, squarish, cheap, maneuverable and of J-car quality but annoyingly truncated back dere.

    Neither I nor the rest of the puttering oldster contingent attracted to these would find pertinent any negative consequences for “handling” that might incur. We all managed to survive the Overhang Era with bias-ply tires and drum brakes.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Right on. This practicality of this thing falls apart when you want to have rear passengers AND some luggage. Toyota give me my Probox!

      • 0 avatar
        Old Man Pants

        ” Toyota give me my Probox!”

        You’re one of the glaring exceptions to my Kids Are Always A Mistake rule.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        “This practicality of this thing falls apart when you want to have rear passengers AND some luggage.”

        So often the case these days. I watched a (gushing) Fifth Gear review on the Discovery Sport. If you have all the seats up in there, the cargo area would not even hold two grocery bags.

        http://indianautosblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Land-Rover-Discovery-Sport-boot-when-the-seats-are-in-place-at-the-2014-Paris-Motor-Show.jpg

        So many of these “utility” vehicles are practical for people OR cargo but not both.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          I remember Clarkson gushing about being able to fit 7 people and two larger dogs into the 1st gen XC90 and how roomy they were. All I could think was “those poor dogs.”

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Maybe one in the back cargo area, not able to move against the rear door, and the other in the middle row behind someone’s feet.

  • avatar
    Moparmann

    I agree with mjz, this new grille has more of the UGLY “bottom feeding fish” look so prevalent nowadays, and maybe I should get my glasses, as I’m really looking for the chrome accents! :-)

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    This thing could have 500HP and I wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole. The steering feel in these things is downright awful. I am not kidding in any capacity when I say my Fanatec CSR racing sim wheel delivers better steering feel, weight and feedback… especially on center

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    If the turbo engine was available with a stick, then I would seriously consider this car. Yeah I’m in the minority.


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