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Review: Kia Soul 2013
The trio of gangsta hamsters that appear in Kia commercials may not be your thing, but the 2013 Kia Soul that they drive definitely should be.
The Soul delivers a perfect blend of good looks, technology, and efficiency, all wrapped up in an incredibly affordable package. It’s that combination that makes the Soul appear to more people that the hamsters target market.
The Soul crossover received a few little engine and styling tweaks last year, but it still retains it’s box-shaped appearance and affordability that appeals to younger drivers.
All you need is an apprecaition of cool styling, fuel economy, precticality, and a ton of great features like Bluetooth, iPod, and USB connectivity. And don’t foget that amazing Kia warranty.
The Soul does its very best to be unique in an industry that seems to revel in sameness, and it does so by offering options and accessories that can help personalize your vehicle.
Kia are not shy about saying what the Soul is, ane maybe more importantly, is not. It’s simply a car, not a compact utility, nor an SUV or crossover. It’s not even a derivative of the minivan.
Looked at mechanically, it’s a small 5-door hatchback that does not come with all-wheel or 4-wheel drive options.
Trims: Soul, +, !
The Kia Soul 2013 Model Year comes in three models: Soul, Soul+ (Soul plus), and Soul! (Soul exclaim).
The basic Soul starts at $14,400 and comes with an inline, 138-horsepower, 4-cylinder, 1,6L engine.
You will also find standard features such as air conditioning, power windows and door locks, 15-inch steel wheels, black trim, body-color door handles and mirrors, MP3 audio unit, USB and auxiliary inputs, Bluetooth with steering-wheel controls, 6-way manual drivers seat, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, 60/40 split folding rear seat, remote keyless entry, and variable intermittent wipers.
This version of the Soul comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, but there is a 6-speed automatic option available which adds $1,800 to the MSRP.
Additional options include alloy wheels and an ECO package that comes with the idle-stop-and-go (ISG) technology. That package also has power mirrors, illuminated visor mirrors, luggage under floor tray, and low rolling resistance tires.
The accessories you get include cabin lighting, cargo net, rear spoiler, auto-dimming mirror, floor mats, and more.
Kia Soul +
Moving up to the Soul+ means upgrading to a 2,0L 4-cyl. engine, alloy wheels, leather finishes on the steering wheel, stereo tweeters, metallic trim, and some cool looking Soul logos on the upholstery.
The Plus starts at $16,700 which means a 6-speed manual transmission. An automatic can be added for an additional $1,000.
There are a number of options to be found on the automatic model, including power dunroof, fog lights, the UVO entertainment syste, rear camera, HD radio, and the ECO package we mentioned earlier.
The cream of the crop is the Soul! Which comes in at $19,900. Your only choice here is the 2,0L engine with 6-speed automatic, but there are a ton of standard features included, too.
Those include 18-inch alloys, LED running lights, body color trim, projector headlights, the Kia UVO entertainment system, and upgraded upholstery inserts.
The big option with the 2013 Kia Soul! Is the premium package which see the addition of leather, heated seats, climate control, push button start, and XM traffic.
2013 Soul Specs, Tires, Engine, Safety Features
Safety features: All three models come with a wide atrray of safety equipment that includes six airbags, active front headrests, LATCH seating system, electronic stability control, antilock brakes, and a tire pressure monitor.
Design: The rear windows deliver something of an optical illusion in tha they create the look of a downward slope to the roof. The narrowness of the rear windows and the rising beltline complete the illusion.
You will also find a black, horizontal, ding strip on the doors that is both functional and design savvy.
The rounded edges found on Kia Soul help lessen what could easily have been a hard edged look to the box-style design.
The grille is small and makes the car look as though it is smiling. It’s a functional grille that sucks in all the air the engine needs.
The front lighting elements are new and are highlighted by LED running lights and projector headlamps. In the rear, large vertical LED taillamps complete the wraparound look.
The rear window and liftgate are smooth and stylish, with an indented handle and a chrome Soul badge on display.
Tires, alloy-wheels: The 16 and 18-inch alloy wheels are much bigger than any other vehicle included in this segment. Interior:
Inside look: The interior of the Soul crossover is beautifully designed with simplicity and functionality on display.
The front bucket seats offer plenty of legroom and comfort, as well as ample head space, even for drivers who top the 6-foot mark. The cloth and vinyl used in the interior is of above average quality.
The legroom in the rear is perfectly acceptable for average size adults, and the 60/40 split makes foldin the seats easy.
Trunk space: Extra storage space can be found in a compartment under the trunk floor, with a space-saver spare tire below that.
There is 19 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, but that quickly becomes 53.4 cubic feet with the seats folded down.
Extra storage can be found in the shape of cupholders, door pockets, and a deep storage console compartment. The dual-level glovebox is pretty big as well.
There are map nets on the backs of the front seats, as well as grab handles situated over every door. You will find auxiliary audio, iPod, and USB port connections, plus a pair of 12-volt outlets.
The usual controls are found on the steering wheel, with the three-ring instrumentation nicely designed and easy to read in daylights thanks to an eave over the gauges. The center stack is fairly unassuming, with knobsand buttins that are business-like.
You will also find a revised shifter and the UVO entertainment system with rear camera.
Music fans will love the colored lights that surround the front door speakers and throb to the beat. This funtion can be turned off or programmed so that it reacts in different ways to the beats.
Under the hood: 2012 saw the 2,0L engine get a bit of a refresh. That included an extra 26 horses of power, which is now rated at 164. Torque was also increased by 11 pound-feet. The entry-level 1,6L GDI engine generates 138-hp.
The transmissions also got an upgrade, with a much smoother feel to the 6-speed automatic. Get to know about other changes for the 2013 Soul here.
Behind The Wheel: The Soul is peppy and definitely fun to drive. Braking and handling is more than acceptable for its class, and it has a level of utility that make the 2013 Kia Soul a very adaptable daily vehicle.