Kia Soul
Kia Soul
Kia Soul 1.6 GDI Spirit (II) - Frontansicht, 17. April 2014, Düsseldorf.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Kia Motors
Production 2009-present
Body and chassis
Class Subcompact crossover SUV (J)
Body style 5-door SUV

The Kia Soul is a front-engine, front-wheel-drive, five-door subcompact crossover (Mini MPV) manufactured and marketed worldwide by Kia and now in its second generation.

Designed at Kia's design center in California, the Soul debuted at the 2008 Paris Motor Show and is manufactured in South Korea. Since 2014, Kia has marketed an electric variant as the Soul EV in North and Central America as well as Europe.

First generation (2009-2013)

First generation (AM)
2010 Kia Soul Base.jpg
Pre-facelift Kia Soul (US)
Overview
Manufacturer Kia Motors
Production 2008-2014
Model years 2009-2013 (Asia)
2010-2013 (other markets)
Assembly Gwangju Plant, Gwangju, South Korea
Yangcheng Plant, Jiangsu, China (DYK)[1]
Kaliningrad, Russia (Avtotor)
Oskemen, Kazakhstan (Azia Avto)
Designer Mike Torpey (2005)
Body and chassis
Class Subcompact crossover SUV (J)
Body style 5-door SUV
Layout FF layout
Platform Hyundai-Kia PB
Related Hyundai i20
Kia Venga
Powertrain
Engine 1.6L Gamma I4 122 hp (2009-2011)
2.0L Beta II I4 142 hp (2009-2011)
1.6L U I4 Diesel 126 hp
1.6L Gamma GDI I4 138 hp (2012-)
2.0L Nu I4 164 hp (2012-)
Transmission 5-speed manual (2009-2011)
4-speed automatic (2009-2011)
6-speed manual (2012-)
6-speed automatic (2012-)
Dimensions
Wheelbase 100.4 in (2,550 mm)
Length 161.6 in (4,105 mm) (2009-2011)
162.2 in (4,120 mm) (2012-)
Width 70.3 in (1,786 mm)
Height 63.4 in (1,610 mm)
Curb weight 2,615-2,945 lb (1,186-1,336 kg) (2012-)

The Soul concept was styled by Mike Torpey in early 2005. As a new member of Kia's Design Team in Irvine, California, Torpey was sent to Kia Korea to brainstorm a new vehicle.

After seeing a television documentary on wild boars and learning of their importance in Korean culture, Torpey sketched a caricature of a boar wearing a backpack. The New York Times reported "the boar's attitude of strength and capability was the image [Torpey] wanted for a new model aimed at hip urban youths."[2]

According to the Automotive News, the Soul had been criticized for a "plasticky" interior and a harsh ride.[3] Both the ride quality and interior were upgraded during the first year of production.[]

Features

The interior features two front bucket seats and a rear flat-folding bench seat that can adjust to prioritize passenger or cargo volume.[4]

Interior
Pre-facelift Kia Soul CRDi (UK)
2011 Kia Soul Exclaim (US)
2011 Kia Soul Plus (US)

The first generation was marketed with a six-speaker stereo system that includes a CD player, a USB port for iPod connection, and Sirius Satellite Radio. Additional features available for upgrade included additional speakers, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and Bluetooth for hands-free connectivity.[5]

Options included themed special editions as well as 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, racing stripes, "dragon" and "houndstooth" graphics, and LED turn indicators.[5]

For 2011, the Kia Soul was updated with more conventional pull-out door handles, standard metallic interior trim, redesigned instrument cluster, leather shift boot, and switchblade style fold-in integrated key and remote, with an optional Smart Key available in the Exclaim ("!") trim.

2012 Kia Soul Plus (US)

For model year 2012, the Soul received revised exterior and interior styling and new powertrains. In North America the updated 1.6 liter engine, featuring direct injection, makes 138 hp/123 lb-ft; the 2.0 liter engine makes 164 hp/148 lb-ft of torque. The 1.6 now delivers 25-26 mpg in the city and 30-31 on the highway. The 2.0 returns 23-24 in the city and 28-29 on the highway.[6] New features included navigation, UVO infotainment, leather and heated seats and automatic climate control.[7]

As part of the 2012 upgrades, European models were fitted with new 1.6-liter GDI gasoline or 1.6 CRDi diesel engines, both of which can be specified with an automatic gearbox or a new six-speed manual gearbox, replacing the five-speed unit in the old version. As a result, the gasoline offers a 14 bhp uplift in power compared to its predecessor, while returning improved fuel economy. The modified 1.6 CRDi diesel returns 57.6mpg and has cut its CO2 emissions from 138g/km to 129g/km - particularly important for the European market where taxation is based on carbon emissions.[8]

The 2013 North American Kia Soul received upgrades including 3 new colors, a bulged hood, revised grille with black chrome accents, LED red tail lights, LED amber front turn signals under the headlights and white LED running lights under the front turn signals. The exterior Kia badges became now smooth instead of raised lettering. Inside, audio controls were relocated to the steering wheel and Bluetooth became standard across the range. Upper trims included power folding heated mirrors with turn signal repeaters. The center display for sound system was previously red LED and was revised to include a full color range. The Kia Soul will be a mini SUV after 2013 in its second generation which the Kia Track'ster will succeed the first generation Kia Soul.

Special Editions

Kia Soul Denim (2010)

The Denim is a limited (1200 units) version of 2010 Kia Soul Soul+ for US market featuring a blue body color with white racing stripes, white painted side-view mirrors, and white, 18-inch, alloy wheels. It appeared in June 2009.[9][10]

Kia Soul Dragon (2010)

The Shadow Dragon edition is based on the Soul trim line and was limited to about 1900 units. Exterior details include shadow black paint with matte-black dragon graphics on its hood and tailgate, gloss-black bumper inserts, a body-color rear wing and 18 inch black alloy wheels. The interior features heated, black leather trimmed seats. MSRP for Shadow Dragon Soul starts at $18,195 with a five speed manual transmission or $19,195 with the available four-speed automatic. Kelly Blue Book - Detroit Auto Show

Soul Flex (2010)

Kia Motors presented the Soul Flex at the 2010 São Paulo International Auto Show. The Soul Flex is the first Korean flexible-fuel vehicle capable of running on any blend from E20-E25 gasoline (mandatory Brazilian blend) to E100 (neat ethanol). The new Soul Flex delivers a 44% improvement in fuel efficiency compared with the existing gasoline model, as well as superior power and torque.[11]

Engine

The North American version of the Soul was initially available in 2010 and 2011 with one of two inline four-cylinder gasoline engines. The base model is powered by a 1.6-liter unit producing 122 bhp (91 kW) and mated exclusively with a five-speed manual transmission.[12] Higher trims feature a 2.0-liter unit producing 142 bhp (106 kW) connected to a standard five-speed manual transmission with a four-speed automatic available as a stand-alone option.[13] A 1.6-liter diesel engine producing 126 bhp (94 kW) and 260 N?m (190 lb?ft) torque is offered in European models instead of the 2.0-liter gas, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.

For the 2012 model, the Soul received two new transmissions and a new engine: 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmissions replaced the old choices, and the new 2.0-liter Nu engine replacing the old Beta engine; the 1.6-liter Gamma engine remained as the base model choice. The Gamma 1.6 gets a new dual variable valve timing (128 HP), and in some countries, gets a direct injection fuel system.[14]

Safety

Kia Soul earned a maximum five star safety rating from Euro NCAP .[15] In 2009, According to Euro NCAP, the five star safety rating places Kia Soul among the safest B-segment family cars in the world.[16] The Soul was awarded the maximum five star safety rating by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), but only on the New Zealand version. Australian versions get 4 out of 5 stars.

IIHS scores[17]
Moderate overlap frontal offset Good
Small overlap frontal offset Poor
Side impact Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints & seats Good

Euro NCAP test results for a LHD, 5-door hatchback variant on a 2009 registration:

Euro NCAP test results
Kia Soul (2009)[18]
Test Points %
Overall: 5 /5 stars
Adult occupant: 31.2 75%
Child occupant: 42 86%
Pedestrian: 13.9 39%
Safety assist: 6 86%

Concepts

Kia Soul Concept (2006)
Kia Soul Concept
Kia Soul Concept (Montreal).jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Kia
Body and chassis
Class Compact crossover SUV (J)
Body style 5-door SUV
Layout FF layout
Related Kia Mesa
Powertrain
Engine 2.0 L I4
Transmission 5-speed automatic

The design was based on the Kia Mesa concept and it was initially introduced as a compact crossover SUV with a 5-door SUV body styling with 5 seats and suicide doors. It included a 2.0 L I4 engine, 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift capability and adaptive cruise control.

The vehicle was unveiled at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.[19]

By late 2008, Kia announced it would put the car into production as a 2009 model.[20]

Kia Soul Burner, Diva, Searcher (2008)

The Kia Soul Burner, Diva, and Searcher are concept vehicles, created by Kia's European design team, under the guidance of Kia's Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer.[21]

The Soul Diva was created as a fashion accessory for a style-conscious young-at-heart woman, who regards her car to be as important as her entire outfit. It included a white, gold and black color scheme, full-length tinted glass panoramic roof, glossy black imitation leather, using 'quilted' stitching and trimmed to look like sofas, and black long-pile 'Pony-hide' carpet.

The Soul Burner was described as the 'bad boy' of Soul concepts. It included a solid roof panel and no roof rails, 245/40R19 tires, 4 bucket seats,[22] and L-shaped day-light LED driving lamps around the outer edges. At the rear, two vertical exhaust pipes were placed at the extremes of the bumper.

Kia's Soul Searcher was designed to capture the spirit of Korean and Far Eastern culture, with a focus on achieving personal inner peace and creating a calm cocoon for the occupants. It included an old leather finish on the bonnet, powered folding roof, tailgate panel, dashboard, door panels and steering wheel rim, plus gray-beige felt floor and seats.

The Soul Hamstar Edition, introduced in 2011, featured body colored bumpers, rear sport spoiler, black 18-inch wheels, black fender vents w/side marker repeater, rear bumper applique, matte alloy fuel door, hamstar exterior graphics, black leather seating, heated seats, hamstar edition floor mats, smart key push button starting, automatic climate control, fog lights, and leather steering wheel and shift knob.

The vehicles were unveiled at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show.[23] The Soul Burner later appeared in the 2008 SEMA auto show.[24]

Kia Soul Hybrid (2008)

The Soul Hybrid/Eco-Soul is a concept vehicle with Gamma 1.6L gasoline engine, an electric motor rated 15 kW (20 PS; 20 hp) and 105 N?m (77 lbf?ft), continuously variable transmission, ISG (Idle Stop&Go), regenerative braking.

The vehicle was unveiled at the 2008 Paris Motor Show[25][26] and later at Auto Shanghai [27] and later at the Canadian International Auto Show.

Kia Soul'ster Concept (2009)

The Soul'ster is a concept vehicle which is a subcompact crossover SUV with a 2-door, 4-seater cabriolet SUV body styling with an open roof over the rear seats. It includes dual chrome exhaust, polished aluminum exhaust tips featuring carbon-fiber interior sleeves, and 19-inch 5-spoke aluminum alloy wheels. It is similar to the Jeep Wrangler. The vehicle was unveiled at the 2009 NAIAS.

The production version includes a choice of 1.6L I4 rated 120 hp (89 kW) with 5-speed manual transmission or 2.0L I4 rated 120 hp (89 kW) with 5-speed manual transmission.[28] It went on sale in 2010.[29]

Marketing

Kia Soul exhibit at the 2009 SEMA auto show in Las Vegas.

After the Soul's release, Kia USA launched commercials in a campaign titled "A new way to roll", created by Los Angeles-based ad agency David&Goliath,[30] and featuring city streets with animated hamsters on stationary hamster wheels. The commercials have attracted popularity on video-sharing sites[31] and were awarded "Automotive Ad of the Year" at the Nielsen Automotive Advertising Awards.[32]

Featured songs include "Do What You Do" by Marz, "Fort Knox" by Goldfish, "Junkyard" by The Potbelleez, "colors" by Calvin Harris, "The Choice Is Yours (Revisited)" by Black Sheep, "Applause" by Lady Gaga and, during the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO.

A 2013 Soul commercial, released August 2012, featured the song "In My Mind (Axwell Remix)" by Ivan Gough, Feenixpawl and Georgi Kay[33] with hamsters at an 18th-century opera house to the song.

In October 2011, the Kia Soul Hamsters were inducted into the Madison Avenue Walk of Fame, advertising industry's equivalent of Hollywood and Vine.[] As of 2011, Kia is also the only car manufacturer to be inducted. From 2010 to 2012, Kia released a series of commercials for the Soul featuring professional golfer Michelle Wie.[34][35]

As an April Fool's Day joke, Kia published a press release on a new environmentally friendly concept based on the Soul in 2010, called the Air Propulsion and Retardation Installation Line. The concept used sensors on the bumpers and retractable panels to harness the flow of wind.[36]

Reviews and awards

Second generation (2014-present)

Second generation (PS)
2014 Kia Soul Plus US front left.jpg
2014 Kia Soul Plus (US)
Overview
Manufacturer Kia Motors
Production 2013-present
Assembly Gwangju Plant, Gwangju, South Korea
Kaliningrad, Russia (Avtotor)
Designer Peter Schreyer
Body and chassis
Class Subcompact crossover SUV (J)
Body style 5-door SUV
Layout FF layout
Related
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,570 mm (101 in)
Length 4,140 mm (163 in)
Width 1,800 mm (71 in)
Height 1,600 mm (63 in)
Curb weight 1,264-1,426 kg (2,787-3,144 lb)

Unveiled at the 2013 New York[55] and Frankfurt auto shows,[56] the second generation Soul is based on Kia's Track'ster concept,[] and offers an increase in torsional rigidity of 28.7%, wheelbase increased to 2,570 mm (101 in), width increased to 1,800 mm (71 in) and the same overall height of 1,600 mm (63.0 in). The redesign features a wraparound greenhouse, high-mounted tail lights, large trapezoidal lower air intake and "floating" body color panel set into the liftgate.

The U.S. model went on sale as 2014 model year vehicle, and early models included a choice of 1.6-liter Gamma GDI or 2.0-liter Nu GDI engines, mated to 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmissions. Trim levels included base, + (Plus), and ! (Exclaim) models.[57]

2015 Kia Soul 1.6 EX (Europe)

The European model was set to go on sale in early 2014, with UK launch in Spring 2014. Early models include a choice of 1.6-liter GDi gasoline or CRDi diesel engines (from the previous generation Kia Soul), six-speed manual or automatic transmission, three different roof colors (black, white, and red), a choice of 11 body colors. Korean market models received the same two engines, with the 2.0-liter gasoline engine currently reserved for North American buyers.

Overview

The second-generation Kia Soul shares its platform with the second generation Kia Cee'd hatchback. 66 percent of the chassis utilizes either Ultra High Strength Steel (35 percent) or High Strength Steel (31 percent). The front subframe uses four bushings (the first generation has none) and the shock absorbers on the rear torsion bar are now mounted vertically allowing for more suspension travel.

Kia Track'ster concept (2012)
2012 Kia Track'ster concept

This is a 3-door concept subcompact crossover SUV which presaged the second generation Soul. It is now having a subcompact crossover SUV-like styling and it abandons the compact crossover SUV-like styling, it has custom 19-inch wheels designed by Kia's California design team and HRE, 14-inch Brembo vented and cross-drilled front disc brakes with six-piston calipers, 13.6-inch rear brake discs with four-piston calipers, angled roof accented with Inferno Orange, lengthened front door with smooth billet push-style handles, carbon fiber lower side valances in Inferno Orange and incorporate functional rear-brake cooling ducts, back hatch incorporates a horizontal Inferno Orange "backpack" panel five inches wider than a production Soul, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated 250 hp, electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system, short-throw six-speed manual transmission with a stubby spherical shift lever, Inferno Orange suede-covered racing seats, Granite Gray leather upholstery, Granite Gray suede wraps the sport steering wheel and door panels, red-glowing nacelles, rear seats removed and replaced with a fully integrated equipment tray and spare-tire well, paneled bins in Inferno Orange behind seats, custom rear strut brace incorporates a quick-release handle to allow for fast wheel changes.

The vehicle was unveiled in 2012 Chicago Auto Show.[58]

Facelift (2017)

For model year 2017, Kia Soul underwent a mid-cycle facelift. Included in the changes are some minor body trim changes, new paint colors, and new headlight options.[59] The biggest change comes at the top trim level, in which the old 2.0-liter Nu engine is replaced by the 1.6-liter turbo gasoline engine, which adds 40 horsepower and 45 lb-ft over the outgoing model. [60] The engine is mated to a 7-speed Dual-clutch transmission, replacing the 6-speed automatic. The powertrain change resulted in the car being one of the fastest in its class.[61]

Special Editions

"Red Zone" edition (2014-)

It is a limited (2000 units) version of 2014 Kia Soul Plus with white body color, body kit with red accents, redesigned front grille, front and rear fascias, and side skirts; custom 18-inch alloy wheels, 2.0-liter gasoline direct injected (GDI) four-cylinder engine, six-speed automatic transmission, black cloth seats with red stitching, leather steering wheel, black-leather dash hood with red stitching, black carpeted floor mats with red piping, sport pedals; shift knob ring, air vent ring, dash speakers and console tray trim in red.[62]

Kia Soul EV (2015)

In 2013, Kia started testing prototype versions of a Soul electric vehicle. In November 2013, Kia announced they would be producing the Soul EV and it would go on sale in 2014. The Soul EV would be based on the second generation Kia Soul. Powered by a 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, the Soul EV has a target range of over 120 miles and fast charging capability of 100 kW DC via a CHAdeMO connection.[63] Its motor is rated at 81.4 kW (109 bhp) and torque 285 Nm (210 lb.-ft).[64]

The vehicle was first showcased at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2014[65] where Kia said the Soul EV will be offered in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. Kia is targeting regions with the largest EV markets and infrastructure, and plans to offer the Soul EV in other markets in the near future.[66]

Kia Soul Autonomous Vehicle (2016)

Kia demonstrated their upcoming "Drive Wise" sub-brand at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show with a Kia Soul EV modified with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) technology.[67]

Engines

Gas engines
Model Years Type/code Power, torque@rpm
1.6 Gamma GDi 2013- 1,591 cc (97.1 cu in) I4 (1.6 Gamma GDi)/G4FD 140 PS (103 kW; 138 hp) @6300, 17.0 kg?m (167 N?m; 123 lbf?ft) @4850
2.0 Nu GDi 2013- 1,999 cc (122.0 cu in) I4 (2.0 Nu GDi) 163 hp (122 kW; 165 PS) @6200, 151 lb?ft (205 N?m) @4000
1.6 Gamma II MPi (Base) 2017- 1,591 cc (97.1 cu in) I4 132 PS (97 kW; 130 hp) @6300, 116 N?m (86 lb?ft) @4850
1.6 Gamma T-GDi (Optional) 2017- 1,591 cc (97.1 cu in) Turbo I4 204 PS (150 kW; 201 hp) @6000, 264 N?m (195 lb?ft) @4500
Diesel engines
Model Years Type/code Power, torque@rpm
U II 1.6 VGT 2013- 1,582 cc (96.5 cu in) I4 turbo (1.6 U II VGT) 129 PS (95 kW; 127 hp) @4000, 26.5 kg?m (260 N?m; 192 lbf?ft) @1900-2750

Transmissions

Gasoline engines
Model Years Types
Gamma 1.6 GDi 2013- 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
Nu 2.0 MPi 2013- 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
Gamma 1.6 TGDi 2017- 7-speed Dual-Clutch automatic
Diesel engines
Model Years Types
U II 1.6 VGT 2013- 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic

Safety

IIHS scores[17]
Moderate overlap frontal offset Good
Small overlap frontal offset Good
Side impact Good
Roof strength Good

Euro NCAP test results for a LHD, 5-door hatchback variant on a 2014 registration:

Euro NCAP test results
Kia Soul (2014)[68]
Test Points %
Overall: 4 /5 stars
Adult occupant: 28.6 75%
Child occupant: 40.7 82%
Pedestrian: 21.3 59%
Safety assist: 7.3 56%

Marketing

Kia Motors once again teamed up with David&Goliath to promote the Soul using anthropomorphic hamster characters. The most recent commercial was for the Turbo model, featuring the Motörhead song "Ace of Spades".[69]

Awards

The Soul won the 2014 Red Dot Award for Passenger Car Design[70] and the iF Design Award for Discipline: Product in 2014 and Discipline: Communication in 2016.[71][72]

Gallery

Third generation (2019-)

Kia Motors is set to release the third generation Soul (codenamed SK3) in October 2018. Unlike the previous generations, the new Soul will be in the SUV category.[73]

Sales

As of 2015, Kia has produced over a million units of the Soul.[74] In the United States, over 100,000 units have been sold each year from 2011 to 2017, becoming the best selling subcompact car in front of the Nissan Versa.

Calendar year United States[75] Canada[76] Global
2009 31,621 8,489
2010 67,110 9,857
2011 102,267 11,651
2012 115,778 7,560
2013 118,079 7,618
2014 145,316 9,944[77]
2015 147,133 13,335[78] 203,518[79]
2016 145,768 12,672 195,802[80]
2017 115,712 11,691

See also

References

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  2. ^ Ghetti, Clifford (13 August 2009). "Inspired by a Boar With a Backpack". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014. 
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  4. ^ "Kia Soul Will Join Line-Up in 2008 as a 2009 Model". Kia Motors. 2008-11-12. 
  5. ^ a b "A Splash of Color in a Sea of Gray". Kia Motors. 2008-11-12. 
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  78. ^ https://www.kiamedia.ca/content/news/sales/2015/december.pdf
  79. ^ http://www.kianewscenter.com/News/kia-motors-posts-0.3--rise-in-2015-global-sales/s/e578391e-6783-4ce8-bd4a-d6c0103fcd1e
  80. ^ http://www.kianewscenter.com/News/ALL/kia-motors-posts-3.2--rise-in-2016-global-sales/s/bbbb5165-5178-4a22-b9ac-fbe29cf2d4f2

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