Changes for the 2014 Kia Soul:
The 2014 Kia Soul is completely redesigned, though at first glance it might be hard to tell. Familiar exterior design themes and identical engine displacements aside, the new Soul is bigger, more sophisticated, and more technologically advanced in comparison to the vehicle it replaces.
As before, the new 2014 Kia Soul is offered in base, + (Plus), and ! (Exclaim) trim levels. Upgrading to the Soul+ adds a larger and more powerful engine, an automatic transmission, cruise control, remote keyless entry, a center console storage area, cargo area power outlets, turn signal indicators on the exterior mirrors, and a set of 17-inch aluminum wheels.
Choose the Soul! and this top-of-the-line model offers 18-inch aluminum wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights, fog lights, LED taillights, and power folding side mirrors. Inside, the Soul! is equipped with UVO eServices technology, a reversing camera, a 10-way power driver’s seat, and more.
Engines and Transmissions:
Kia installs two new engines into the 2014 Soul, and their sizes mirror the previous model. The base version has a direct-injected 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 130 horsepower and 118 lb.-ft. of torque, which is less than last year’s 1.6-liter engine. The new Soul has also gained about 100 pounds, and the fuel economy ratings are lower, so we fail to see where the Soul’s new base engine improves upon anything. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard, and a 6-speed automatic is optional.
The Soul+ and Soul! have a direct-injected 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 164 horsepower and 151 lb.-ft. of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard with this engine. Horsepower matches last year’s 2.0-liter engine, but torque is slightly improved and fuel economy inches up with this stronger motor.
Kia’s Idle Stop and Go (ISG) technology is optional for both engines. With ISG, the engine shuts off when the vehicle is idling at an intersection or in traffic in order to improve fuel economy.
Fuel Economy Ratings:
Given the complexity of the 2014 Kia Soul’s powertrain choices, it’s a bit ironic that they all get 26 mpg in combined driving, except for the Soul+ with the optional ISG system. That one is rated to return 27 mpg.
As this summary is written, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not performed crash tests on the 2014 Kia Soul. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the redesigned Soul the top rating of “Good” in the moderate offset frontal-impact, side-impact, rear impact injury prevention, and roof crush strength tests. The IIHS had not performed the difficult new small overlap frontal-impact test on the redesigned Soul as this summary was written.
For 2014, every Kia Soul is equipped with electric steering that includes FlexSteer technology. FlexSteer offers the driver Comfort, Normal and Sport effort-level settings. Options include Smart Key passive entry with push-button starting, as well as a new UVO infotainment system with an 8-inch capacitive-touch display screen and eServices technology.