2012 Kia Soul Review: Powertrain and Fuel Economy
What's New for 2012:
- two new engines with improved power and fuel economy
- new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions
- low-cost Idle, Stop and Go (ISG) option
How Does It Go:
Although the 2012 Kia Soul is offered with an all-new, direct-injected 1.6-liter inline-four as the base engine, this test car came with the tried-and-true 2.0-liter engine that has been reworked to produce more power and fuel economy than the same engine in the 2009-2011 Soul. With an output of 164 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque, this is gain of 22 hp and 11 lb-ft isn't as noticeable as the vastly improved fuel economy numbers that now return an EPA estimated 26 miles per gallon in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and a rating of 29 mpg in combined driving (up from 24/30/26 mpg in the 2011 model). Other than the more advanced engines, a big factor in this impressive fuel economy is the addition of more modern transmissions. A six-speed manual transmission replaces the old five-speed gearbox and is standard on the Soul and Soul+, but the new six-speed automatic, which this test car had, is up two gears compared to the 2011 model and can be equipped on all three trim levels of the Soul.