With more than 90,000 sales through the first nine months of 2012—up 18.7 percent over the same period last year—it’s obvious that the 2013 Kia Soul is attracting more than just hamster fans. The latest evidence for the Soul’s broad-based appeal? A team of some 70 hardcore athletes just helped pick the ninth annual Active Lifestyle vehicle awards, and they named the 2013 Kia Soul the winner in the Urban vehicle category.
The unique recognition program is billed as “the only car-of-the-year program in the United States which combines the input of automotive journalists with elite and area athletes to determine which cars and trucks best meet the needs of buyers with active lifestyles.”
2013 Kia Soul: On Active Duty
The 2013 Kia Soul helps city-dwellers stay active by combining urban-friendly exterior dimensions with a highly versatile interior that can be stuffed with up to 53.4 cubic feet of gear; to put that into context, cargo capacity in the similarly sized Ford Fiesta maxes out at 26 cubic feet. Soul owners aren’t sacrificing when it comes to passenger volume, either: The capacious Kia offers 102.3 cubic feet worth, while the Fiesta only provides 85.1.
The Soul also can get plenty active itself, thanks to two peppy powerplant choices. The standard powertrain mates a 1.6-liter I4 engine to a six-speed manual transmission, allowing drivers to enjoy an impressive-for-its-segment 138 hp and 123 lb.-ft. of torque. And note, that’s in addition to its impressive-for-any-segment fuel-economy marks of 27 mpg city/35 mpg highway. Plus, customers also can upgrade to a 2.0-liter I4 that makes 164 hp and 148 lb.-ft. of twist, yet still garners EPA grades of 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway—with either a six-speed automatic or the DIY transmission.
Priced from a mere $14,400, the 2013 Kia Soul is on sale now.