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2013 Kia Soul Overview
After the 2012 freshening that saw the vast majority of drivers' desires manifest in the Soul, Kia carries the model over to 2013 with one small difference in the way the maker's Soul entered 2012: the option of idle-shutoff technology and other gas-sipping considerations, dubbed the Eco package. The package was a late 2012 addition that spurred sales of automatic-equipped Souls and received equally rave reviews. Apparently having perfected their Soul, Kia kept it just the same for 2013, minus perhaps a few cosmetic differences like new paint colors and the like.
Shorter in stance than Kia's Rio sedan, the 4-door front-wheel-drive Soul offers more elbow and headroom, being slightly wider and taller in the body, but with more utility and all the same maneuverability of their shared subcompact class. Although this buggy wasn't built for the great outdoors, the Soul does afford low-speed maneuverability, cargo-area compartments and many cabin cubbies amidst its ample legroom and simplistic gauges, making it ideal for running errands around town with 4 of your closest friends—and I say closest because 3 abreast in the back is reportedly a wee bit tight, but entry and exit through its tall doors couldn't be easier if someone needs to catch their breath.
The familiar 3 trims return for 2013, the Base Soul powered by a 135-hp 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, with the Soul+ and Soul! fetching a 164-hp 2-liter 4-cylinder by default. A 6-speed manual is standard for the Soul and Soul+, but either can opt for the 6-speed automatic included in the Soul! and gain the option of idle-shutoff technology, low-rolling-resistance tires and throttle response dimming by tacking on the Eco package.
With this package the Soul's gas engine shuts off when stopped and starts up again when you let your foot off the brake, then rations engine power as you press the accelerator for a balanced, fuel-efficient use of its torque. As can be expected this does cut back on the Soul's natural 7-seconds-to-60-mph pep, but it also enables the Soul to get as much as 29 mpg city/36 highway with the 1.6 and 27/35 for the bigger 2-liter. Otherwise the 1.6 fetches 27/35 while the 2.0 gets an equally respectable 26/34, all with the same regular fuel.
As for features, the Base Soul is just that, having mainly the basic comforts like air conditioning, power windows and locks and tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and the standard safety equipment in all Souls, such as ABS, traction control, antiskid and curtain-side and front-side airbags. Kia's UVO infotainment system and rear-view camera become optional with the mid-level Soul+ and come standard in the Soul!, while the Soul! solely gains the options of leather upholstery, heated front seats, keyless ignition/entry or a navigation system instead of the UVO.
by Patricia Mayo
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