2014 Kia Soul Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Loads of available features
- attractive cabin with user-friendly controls and ample passenger space
- long warranty.
- Harsh ride quality with larger wheels
- desirable options are buried in expensive packages.
The 2014 Kia Soul's funky styling and fun-to-drive attitude make it great for city commutes, and its hatchback versatility makes it practical as well.
Introduced four years ago, the Soul is one of Kia's best-selling models. We've always liked this small, box-shaped wagon's unique styling and generous level of equipment. The 2014 Kia Soul represents the car's first major redesign. Although it's not a radical change from the original, there are just enough improvements to make the Soul a compelling proposition for budget-minded buyers looking for an alternative to mainstream sedans and hatchbacks.
Although the base 1.6-liter engine's power ratings are down this year, the more powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that most Soul buyers choose is significantly revised. It still makes 164 horsepower, but this engine now delivers more thrust at low rpm, helping the Soul feel peppier during city driving.
The quality of interior materials is better this time around, too, and while passenger room is similar to last year, Kia has carved out more cargo capacity, which now tops out at a crossover-like 61 cubic feet. Optional equipment closely follows last year's Soul, but new items include a panoramic sunroof and an upgraded Uvo eServices package that includes streaming Internet radio capability for smartphone users.
On the whole, the 2014 Kia Soul is more appealing than your average entry-level sedan or hatchback, and it will certainly meet most consumers' daily-driving requirements. Depending on your needs, though, it's worthwhile to shop around a bit in this segment. The 2014 Ford Fiesta's sharper handling will appeal to enthusiast-minded drivers. Or, if you're really serious about fuel economy, you might prefer the 2014 Toyota Prius C.
Other fine choices include the 2014 Chevy Sonic and the original box-shaped wagon, the 2014 Scion xB, which boasts a massive 70 cubic feet of cargo space. If you're looking for more of a crossover, the 2014 Nissan Juke offers funky styling and available all-wheel drive, but it has far less cargo capacity than the Soul. Apart from its roomy interior, the 2014 Kia Soul doesn't have any major advantages over most of these rivals, but it's a well-rounded car that's worth considering if space, style and affordability are high on your priority list.
2014 Kia Soul models
The 2014 Kia Soul is a four-door hatchback with seating for five. It's available in three trim levels: base, + and ! (also known as Plus and Exclaim).
The base model's standard equipment includes 16-inch steel wheels, hill-start assist, rear privacy glass, full power accessories, power-heated side mirrors, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel (with audio controls), a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.
The Soul+ adds a more powerful engine, 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, cruise control, front seat center console storage with an armrest and a fold-down rear-seat armrest (optional on the base).
There are several optional trim packages to choose from on the Soul+. The Uvo eServices package adds automatic headlights and the Uvo infotainment interface with voice control, Bluetooth audio connectivity, streaming Internet radio capability and a rearview camera (roadside assistance and maintenance reminders will be added to Uvo later in the 2014 model year). You can buy the Audio package in combination with the Uvo package and you'll get automatic climate control; a navigation system with an 8-inch touchscreen display, HD radio and an upgraded Infinity Audio system; speaker lights; and piano-black and satin-metallic interior accents. If you buy the Uvo and Audio packages, you can also order the Primo package, which adds a panoramic sunroof (eliminating the Soul's standard roof rack mounting points), foglights, keyless ignition, leather upholstery, a 10-way power driver seat, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Finally, the Eco package adds fuel-saving features like an automatic stop-start system and low-rolling-resistance 16-inch tires; note that it's not available in combination with any of the above option packages.
The top-of-the-line Soul! builds upon the + model's standard equipment, adding 18-inch wheels, body-colored bumpers, LED daytime running lights, upgraded headlights, foglights, power-folding side mirrors, the 10-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a cooled glovebox and all the items in the Uvo eServices package as standard. The optional Sun and Sound package provides the panoramic sunroof, automatic climate control, navigation system, upgraded Infinity Audio system and speaker lights. If that's not enough, you can order The Whole Shabang package in combination with the Sun and Sound package; it adds xenon headlights (low-beams only), keyless ignition, an upgraded instrument panel, leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats.
Performance & mpg
The front-wheel-drive 2014 Kia Soul is offered with two different engines. The base Soul gets a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 130 hp and 118 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard (including a hill-start assist function) and a six-speed automatic is optional. The EPA's estimated fuel economy for the base Soul comes in at 26 mpg combined (24 mpg city/30 mpg highway) with either transmission.
Soul+ and ! models have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that puts out a healthy 164 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only available transmission. Fuel economy with the 2.0-liter engine is an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined (23 mpg city/31 mpg highway). Soul+ models with the Eco package fare slightly better, earning a rating of 27 mpg combined (24 mpg city/31 mpg highway). We've had little difficulty matching these mpg numbers in our testing, but they're below average among small wagons and hatchbacks.
In Edmunds performance testing, a top-of-the-line Soul! went from zero to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds, which is average for a small wagon or hatchback with an upgraded engine.
Standard safety equipment for all 2014 Kia Soul models includes four-wheel antilock disc brakes, hill-start assist, stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. A rearview camera is optional on the Soul+ and standard on the Soul! model.
In Edmunds brake testing, the Soul came to a stop from 60 mph in 110 feet. While this is a very short distance for the segment, it's noteworthy that our Soul! test car had 235/45R18 tires (an exceptionally large tire size for a car in this class), and Kia Souls with smaller tires may not perform the same.
In government crash tests, the Soul received a top five-star rating overall, with five stars for total frontal impact safety and total side-impact crash safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Soul its highest possible rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. The Soul's seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
With respectable power on tap from the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the 2014 Kia Soul is enjoyable around town and feels satisfyingly quick when merging onto a highway. The engine gets a bit raspy-sounding during hard acceleration, but the automatic transmission shifts smartly and does a good job of holding gears on uphill grades to help the car maintain a consistent speed. We've yet to drive the 1.6-liter base Soul, but we think most buyers will be happier with the gutsier 2.0-liter, especially since it's just as fuel-efficient.
Although the Soul doesn't feel especially sporty, it handles better than you might expect. The steering has a reassuring weightiness to its effort level at highway speeds, and it feels precise when you're driving around turns. The brake pedal has a reassuringly firm feel, too. Unfortunately, the Soul! model loses some of its appeal on long highway trips. Its large wheels and tires contribute to a rough ride, even on relatively smooth pavement. In addition, the Soul's boxy shape results in excessive wind noise at highway speeds.
With its modern look and expressive styling details, the 2014 Kia Soul's cabin offers a nice balance between form and function. Quality materials make the interior feel more refined than you might expect for a car in this price range.
Gauges and controls are logically located and intuitive to use, and using the Uvo interface to control your smartphone is a snap. In addition to upgrading the sound quality, the optional Infinity audio system includes illuminated trim rings for the speakers that flash to the beat of your music. It's a little gimmicky, but we have a feeling some Soul buyers will find it kind of fun.
One of the benefits of the Soul's boxy design is abundant head- and legroom, even in the backseat. Behind the rear seatbacks you'll find 19 cubic feet of cargo room, which grows to 61 cubic feet with both sections of the 60/40-split rear seatbacks folded down. This is greater than most competitors, but those who need maximum schlepping capacity should consider the Scion xB as it offers a cavernous 70-cubic-foot cargo hold.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover14.7%
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
Used 2014 Kia Soul Overview
The Used 2014 Kia Soul is offered in the following submodels: Soul Wagon. Available styles include 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 6A), + 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 6A), ! 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 6A), and 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 6M). Pre-owned Kia Soul models are available with a 1.6 L-liter gas engine or a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 164 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2014 Kia Soul comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2014 Kia Soul comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2014 Kia Soul?
Price comparisons for Used 2014 Kia Soul trim styles:
- The Used 2014 Kia Soul Base is priced between $10,700 and$17,990 with odometer readings between 16180 and88576 miles.
- The Used 2014 Kia Soul + is priced between $8,799 and$16,590 with odometer readings between 56414 and161430 miles.
- The Used 2014 Kia Soul ! is priced between $16,990 and$21,590 with odometer readings between 16123 and81638 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which used 2014 Kia Souls are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2014 Kia Soul for sale near. There are currently 37 used and CPO 2014 Souls listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,799 and mileage as low as 16123 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2014 Kia Soul.
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Should I lease or buy a 2014 Kia Soul?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.