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2019 Kia Soul Overview
The current generation of the Kia Soul has been around since 2014 -- and the model itself has been around for a decade. For better or worse, it’s still one of the more distinctive cars on the road, thanks to funky styling and loud paint colors, all while offering decent fuel economy and plenty of interior room. There aren’t many changes for 2019: they include a standard 5.0-inch touchscreen, rear camera display, and voice recognition technology for the base model. An all-electric Kia Soul EV model is also available, but it’s covered separately.
Kia Soul buyers have a surprising amount of choice under the hood. A 1.6-liter four-cylinder is the standard engine, making 130 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque and driving through either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. A 2.0-liter inline-four is also available with 161 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque driving through a 6-speed automatic. Finally, there’s a 1.6-liter turbocharged four with 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque that drives through a more modern 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. In addition to more grunt, the turbocharged model is actually the most efficient of the bunch, managing 26 mpg city, 31 highway, and 28 combined. The normally aspirated 1.6-liter engine manages 25 mpg city, 30 highway, and 27 combined. The 2.0-liter will do 25 mpg city, 30 highway, and 27 combined.
While the Soul has ample room up front, the back seat is adequate; seating three back there will get tight. Behind the rear seats, the Kia has 24.2 cubic feet of storage space, and the split-folding rear seats make even more space available. Standard equipment for the base model includes air conditioning, Bluetooth compatibility, and satellite radio compatibility. An infotainment system isn’t standard on the base model, but the Soul+ adds Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus a touchscreen measuring either 7.0 or 8.0 inches, heated side mirrors, and fog lights. The Soul+ is also available with a sunroof, heated front and rear seats, cooling for the front seats, and a few extra active safety features. The Soul!, meanwhile, adds gloss trim, leather seats, and keyless ignition.
In most crash tests, the Soul gets top Good scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and it gets the coveted Top Safety Pick+ rating, the IIHS’s highest safety rating. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), meanwhile, gives the Soul five out of five stars overall. Automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking are all available options.
Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.
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