2014 Kia Soul Wagon - Rating Details


B
Edmunds Rating
Vehicle Tested 2014 Kia Soul Wagon Driven On 11/26/2013 Ratings Summary The 2014 Kia Soul is an intriguing alternative to compact sedans/hatchbacks and compact SUVs. It's priced similarly to the former, but its generous interior size and disappointing fuel economy are similar to the latter. Superb braking and surprisingly sharp handling are off-set by a rough ride and elevated noise levels.
B
Performance The numbers suggest the Soul brakes like a sports car, handles like a hot hatch and accelerates quicker than most cars you'd compare it to. It doesn't feel like that, though, with its raspy engine, tall body and unengaging (if competent) transmission.
Acceleration
B
0-60 mph in 8.7 seconds, which is a quick time for either compact sedans/hatchbacks or compact SUVs. However, the engine sounds wheezy and unsophisticated. Quick, but doesn't feel it.
Braking
B
A panic stop from 60 mph in 110 feet is sensational for a car with all-season tires. Brakes are jumpy at beginning of stroke, feel responsive.
Steering
B
Standard electric power steering system works well. Sport mode is well weighted and provides commendable feedback on mountain roads, while Normal is more relaxing on freeway and around town.
Handling
A
Body roll present, but good steering and grip yielded an engaging drive on mountain route. Handling test numbers (65.3-mph slalom, 0.83g skidpad) nearly put it in the hot hatch class.
Driveability
A
Adjustable steering settings provide driver choice. Throttle responsive without any fuel-economy-tuned sluggishness. Transmission shifts smartly, held gear on grade, but hardly sporty.
C
Comfort While the seats are comfortable and space is generous, a rough ride and excessive wind noise make this Soul less appealing the more you drive it. It wouldn't be the ideal first choice for a road trip.
Seating Comfort
B
Firm, leather-covered seats with an elevated placement were very supportive and comfortable during two 3-plus hour drives. Better than average for a car in this price range.
Ride Comfort
C
Under damped and slightly over sprung. You float upward, then thump harshly down on road undulations. Even a relatively smooth stretch of freeway elicited a jiggly, jarring ride.
Quietness
C
Boxy shape, not surprisingly perhaps, creates more wind noise than normal. Engine has a raspy, raucous tone that doesn't encourage revving it. Road noise acceptable.
A
Interior While it may not be quite as spacious as smaller compact SUVs like Kia's Sportage, it's far more spacious and useful than subcompact or compact cars. Controls are easy to use, with an electronics interface that could be considered a benchmark.
Ergonomics
A
All controls within easy reach, even with seat all the way back. Huge nav screen a model of simplicity for its audio controls -- big 'buttons,' logical menu structure, some redundant physical controls.
Ingress/Egress
A
Elevated seat height makes climbing in and sitting down very easy. There's no fall-in like in a car, or climb up like an SUV. Wide door openings help as well.
Space/Room
B
High-mounted seats yield generous space up front for a 6-plus-footer with 8-way power seats that adjust broadly. Back seat also mounted high, feels like a compact SUV in terms of space.
Visibility
B
It's easy to know where the perimeter is with boxy shape. Tall windows make view forward clear, but thick rear pillars impinge crossview when reversing. Equipped with standard rearview camera.
Cargo/Storage
B
60/40 fold-flat seats create 61.3-cu-ft cargo max -- more than Kia's Sportage and other compact SUVs, but seat-up space (18.1 cu-ft) is less. Large bin under trunk floor, huge glovebox.
B
Value The price tag on our particular 2014 Kia Soul is high, but an equal amount of equipment on small SUV would be at least $5,000 more. It's a similar price to an equally loaded Kia Forte. Sub-par fuel economy hurts its ultimate value, though.
Build Quality (vs. $)
B
This may be a loaded Soul, but remove the gizmos and this is still a very nice cabin. Soft touch points abound, materials and switchgear are nicer than average. Feels like a $26,195 car.
Features(vs. $)
B
Kia Soul! Trim for its $20,300 base price (plus $795 destination) includes power driver's seat, satellite radio, Bluetooth phone/audio, USB/Aux jacks and backup camera.
Cost
B
$26,195 for Soul! with Whole Shebang package is hefty, but includes heated/cooled front seats, heated wheel and back seat, HID headlights, panoramic sunroof, Bluetooth, navigation, leather.
MPG
C
EPA estimated 26 mpg Combined and its average of 27.9 mpg on the Edmunds evaluation loop are unimpressive. Compact SUVs are equally efficient, while compact hatches are moreso.
Warranty
A
The Soul's 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty tie Hyundai for industry bests.
Ownership
B
Roadside assistance is covered for 5 years/60,000 miles, which the Ford Focus matches. Most don't. Kia doesn't offer a free maintenance program.
B
Fun To Drive Both in the way it drives and looks, the Kia Soul is definitely more fun than the average compact sedan or SUV (whichever you compare it to). This is the type of car you'll enjoy seeing in the garage every morning. Certainly not dull.
Driving Experience
B
Given its standard FlexSteer system and eye-popping handling numbers, the Kia Soul is a surprisingly fun little car. The rough ride does get tiresome, however.
Personality
A
The Soul drips with personality -- the unique exterior styling, interior design flourishes like the speakers (circular ones on dashtop, multi-color ones in doors), even the trim names.
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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Kia Soul Wagon in VA is:

$139 per month*
* Explanation
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