Changes for the 2015 Kia Soul:
One year after a complete redesign, Kia’s funky Soul lineup adds a new electric version called the Soul EV, while the rest of the range gets a handful of updates. The Soul EV is covered in a separate summary.
As for remaining Souls, the base model is now offered with a new UVO eServices Package containing that technology plus a reversing camera, automatic headlights, and fog lights. The top Soul ! (Exclaim) trim level is offered in a new Cloud White paint color and can be optioned with an Umber Color Package containing premium Nappa leather seats and armrest accents coupled with glossy black aluminum wheel inserts.
Three versions of the 2015 Soul are on sale: base, + (Plus), and ! (Exclaim). The latter two models are more powerful and equipped with aluminum wheels in addition to offering escalating levels of standard equipment as well as greater access to remarkably sophisticated options.
Engines and Transmissions:
A 130-horsepower, 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard for the 2015 Soul, paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic transmission. Upgrade to Soul+ or Soul! and the spry little multi-purpose vehicle gets a 164-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that includes a standard 6-speed automatic.
What this little box on wheels really needs, though, is the Forte’s turbocharged engine.
Fuel Economy Ratings:
Regardless of engine and transmission choice, the 2015 Kia Soul is rated to get 26 mpg in combined driving, according to the EPA. However, if you buy the Soul+, and you equip it with the Eco Package for Kia’s Idle Stop & Go system and a set of low rolling-resistance tires, then this car is rated to get 27 mpg in combined driving. The Idle Stop & Go system automatically shuts the Soul’s engine off when idling in traffic or at intersections in order to conserve fuel.
In crash tests conducted by the NHTSA, the 2015 Soul earns a 5-star overall protection rating. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Soul receives top marks, but note that as this summary is written the Soul has not been assessed for its small overlap frontal impact protection levels.
Every 2015 Soul is equipped with FlexSteer, an electric steering system offering Comfort, Normal, and Sport settings. Additionally, the standard equipment list includes Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port.
Kia’s UVO eServices technology is optional for the Soul base and Soul+, and includes a reversing camera. This subscription-free technology pairs with your smartphone to provide a range of features such as 911 Connect, which helps to speed rescue following a collision, and a Parking Minder that can help you to find the Soul in a crowded parking lot. You can stream music, upload your favorite tracks to the Jukebox memory, and more. Parents of younger drivers will appreciate the programmable Curfew Alert, Speed Alert, and Geo-Fence boundary alert features.
Additional upgrades include a navigation system, a premium sound system, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel.
Written by Christian Wardlaw
August 30, 2014
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