I have published articles before covering greener vehicle features and with information on hybrid cars but I was recently offered the opportunity to drive different vehicles and give my opinions! The first car I have driven and will review is the 2013 KIA Soul. I had the chance to drive the KIA Soul for 5 days so that I could share with you my experience first-hand.
The Short KIA Soul Review
I felt like the KIA Soul was spacious, drove well, had great maneuverability, very good gas mileage and great safety, so I was impressed. I was also impressed with the price. The base model (which has power windows, power locks and mirrors, air conditioning, and an iPod-compatible stereo) starts at just $14,400.
In case these numbers mean anything to you:
|ENGINE||1.6L I4||2.0L I4||2.0L I4|
|Type:||4-cylinder, aluminum block & head||4-cylinder, aluminum block & head||4-cylinder, aluminum block & head|
|Valve gear:||Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT)||Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT)||Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT)|
|Displacement:||1,591 cc||1,999 cc||1,999 cc|
|Horsepower (SAE net):||138 hp @ 6,300 rpm||164 hp @ 6,500 rpm||164 hp @ 6,500 rpm|
|Torque (SAE net):||123 lb.-ft. @ 4,850 rpm||148 lb.-ft. @ 4,800 rpm||148 lb.-ft. @ 4,800 rpm|
KIA SOUL Fuel Economy
While the KIA Soul is not a hybrid, it does get pretty good gas mileage. The estimated MPG (City/Highway) is 27/35 on the base KIA Soul 2013. So I said, “sure, let me drive it!” When I got the tour of the KIA Soul interior I also noticed it has an ECO button. Pushing the ECO button helps the car shift more conservatively- the transmission will shift earlier causing lower RPM’s and subsequently getting even better mileage by a couple of gallons. If you prefer to drive a little more aggressively on occasion, you still have the option of not pushing the ECO button.
KIA Soul Safety
As a mother who drives with two little ones in the back seat 90% of the time, I want to know about car safety! The KIA Soul has a lot of safety features that are standard-six airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, and lower anchor and tether controls for keeping kids safe. The IIHS rates vehicle safety based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. The KIA Soul 2012 received the highest rating in all 20 safety areas scored.
As an added bonus, Soul models with the navigation system include a rearview camera system which came in very handy. I really liked that the rear view camera system marks out what is within 12″ and 24″.
My Impressions of the 2013 KIA Soul
After checking out the mileage and the safety, I just wanted to see how the KIA Soul felt. What really struck me about driving the KIA Soul was that it is really spacious. My husband is 6’4″ and he had tons of room. His knees weren’t squished and there was even a ton of room above his head. You could push back all the way and there was still plenty of room in the back seats. The rear door opens up to give you a decent sized cargo area and the back seats can fold down if you are trying to move something big with the KIA Soul.
|Passenger volume:||102.3 cu. ft.|
|Cargo volume (rear seat up):||19.3 cu. ft.|
|Cargo volume (rear seat down):||53.4 cu. ft.|
I had the fully loaded KIA Soul so there were tons of cool features to keep me busy. I loved the Sirius XM radio and the display that told me the song and the singer and the great speakers! I had fun with the smart proximity key and the push button start which I had never tried before but really enjoyed. I loved the Navigation system. The Bluetooth wireless hands free technology was pretty nifty. I found the speaker lights to be totally useless but totally fun! They light up and change colors or beat to the music if you select that! My kids loved the power sunroof. In fact, my kids loved the car!
KIA Soul J.D. Power Awards:
“Highest ranked compact multi-purpose vehicle in initial quality”
“Highest ranked vehicle appeal among compact multi-purpose vehicles”
If you want any more stats or info, you can check the official website for KIA.
I was provided with the KIA Soul to use for 5 days by STI Inc with the hopes that I would share my honest opinions. I received no monetary compensation and the opinions expressed are my own.