From my perspective, the redesigned 2014 Kia Soul is the most accurate automotive example of the phrase “class-above” that I’ve experienced to date. Lots of auto-industry marketers have been using “class-above” to describe their products and infer both quality and value, but where other vehicles whisper this status, the new Kia Soul screams it. And then clobbers you over the head just to make sure you got the message.
To provide backstory and perspective, I’ll tell you that I’ve always been a fan of the Kia Soul. From those ridiculous rapping rodents in the advertisements to its jaunty personality and expressive styling, the Soul has moxie at a price point where most vehicles all look and drive the same way. The Soul is distinctively different from every other vehicle on the road, and for that I love it. The first-generation Soul, though, required a degree of acceptance and forgiveness for its rudimentary level of mechanical sophistication and inexpensive interior materials in order to be appreciated for what it was: cheap, useful, stylish, dependable transportation with loads of personality.
The new Soul need not make apologies. It’s not perfect, and if you load one up with Exclaim trim and The Whole Shabang Package (yes, that is what they call it) it sure as hell ain’t cheap, but I wouldn’t hesitate to park a 2014 Kia Soul in my own driveway.