2014 Kia Soul and what makes it great

5 Reasons Why 2014 Kia Soul is a Winner

The 2014 Kia Soul, which basically had its first full month of sales in November, is quickly becoming a hot seller for the Korean automaker with 12,870 sold. There are five solid reasons why the 2014 Kia Soul is a winner for the brand.

Let's take a look at the five reasons largely in Kia's own words with some commentary from me – just because that's kind of my job.

Design
As Kia points out, "Well-known for the close link between its concept vehicles and production models, Kia Motors had an outstanding inspiration point for the 2014 Soul. When the wild Track’ster concept made its debut in 2012, Soul enthusiasts and pundits alike urged Kia to turn the aggressively fun fantasy into reality. With 18 months from design freeze to production, the stage was set for the all-new Soul, and many of the concept’s dramatic design cues can be found in the production vehicle."

Good Interior Bits
Kia gets this next sentiment 100 percent right: "An attractive package can be a let-down if the contents don’t deliver. Fortunately, the all-new Soul is set to delight right out of the gate. Most prominent in the new instrument panel is the available eight-inch touch screen – the largest ever offered on Soul."

OK, so the line "set to delight right out of the gate" is a bit much but including an eight-inch touch screen as an available option means the interior and exterior designers worked well together to make sure the carpet matched the drapes. A car this funky has to have good technology inside.

Improved Driving Dynamics
Built on an all-new chassis that is nearly 29 percent stiffer than before, the Soul’s stout skeleton provides the base for a vehicle that places a premium on driving dynamics. Engineers put their efforts in strengthening the body at key connection points along the cowl, upper and lower B-pillars, cross members, and at the C-pillars. An impressive 66 percent of the chassis utilizes either Ultra High Strength Steel (35 percent) or High Strength Steel (31 percent).

I haven't been behind the wheel of one yet, thanks to some unfortunately timed surgery that precluded me from making the trip. However, Edmunds.com says, "Although the Soul doesn't feel especially sporty, it handles better than you might expect. The steering has a reassuring weightiness to its effort level at highway speeds, and it feels precise when you're driving around turns."

Better Ride Comfort
The shock absorbers on the torsion bar rear suspension have been turned vertically – they were positioned at an angle on the previous Soul – and lengthened. This arrangement allows for more suspension travel, improving ride comfort.

In layman terms, that means less "thunk-thunk" when traveling over bumpy surfaces. A more vertical, up and down, shock absorber gives a more natural feel to the ride. You want some stiffness so you don't float all over the road but a little satin in the shock absorbers goes a long way.


The Kia Soul Exclaim

Now that's a just great name that suggests passion (as much passion as you can get from a Korean subcompact. Plus, in addition to having a great name, it has some great features.

The top-of-the-line model has as standard features 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235/45R-18 tires, fog lights, body-color bumper “tusks,” projector head lights, front LED positioning lights and rear LED “halo” lights. Inside, standard amenities include a high-gloss piano-black center console, cooled glove box, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment and auto-dimming rearview mirror.

As stated up top, I haven't piloted one yet but the time will probably soon come. When it does, I'll give you a feel for what it's like to drive this car for seven days. In the meantime, I think I have found the five best things about the 2014 Kia Soul. Share your thoughts below if you disagree or, dare I say it, agree?

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Comments

You could not pay me enough to drive a Kia Soul. It handily failed the IIHS Small Overlap crash test and is related to the car that got the WORST rating in the same crash--the Kia Forte. Never in my life will I ride in, or worse, own a Kia or a Hyndai. These cars are NOT SAFE and should not be purchased by any one with a sound mind. Get a Subaru instead.