A Car with Some Soul
The Kia Soul is the second best-selling car in Kia’s North American lineup, so there’s a lot riding on the planned redesign which is scheduled to debut at dealerships early in 2014.
The 2014 Kia Soul has been photographed while out testing by several enterprising automobile columnists, and although the carmaker has heavily disguised many of the exterior changes it is clear that some changes are coming to its outside appearance.
The major changes appear to be a slightly lower roof line and a wider stance, while still retaining the boxy look and feel that gives this vehicle its appeal.
Other appearance differences when compared to earlier models include the nose of the vehicle having grown but not by very much; Kia wants to continue improving the model, but not at the expense of alienating Kia Soul’s current fans (perhaps they learned from the less than wildly successful remake of the Scion).
Image Credits: Topspeed.com
Apparently the Kia Soul’s front grille will be moving up slightly so that it can make room for a larger air intake, and the new headlights will be more squared off in appearance.
In addition, the headlights and taillights may both have an LED strip that is similar to the redesign of the Kia Forte. It’s also reported that the 2014 Kia Soul will have a newly redesigned (and lower) rear bumper as well as longer front fenders.
The engine is likely to be the same 1.6 liter, direct-injected 4 cylinder engine that currently powers the Kia Rio5. This engine produces 138 horsepower and 123 pounds per foot of torque. There may also be a larger 2.0 liter engine available that will produce 164 horsepower and 147 pounds per foot of torque.
There will be two transmissions available including a six speed manual transmission as well as a six speed automatic transmission; both will use a dual clutch gearbox that is reported to be sourced from the Hyundai Veloster. The stop-start system on the Kia Rio subcompact may also make an appearance on the Soul, mostly because of its ability to maximize fuel economy.
Interior changes reportedly include contrasting stitching that will be used throughout the cabin and a cleanly laid out steering wheel. This steering wheel will probably include voice control toggles for the UVO (an in-car voice-activated system that provides information and entertainment to drivers and passengers).
Image Credits: Motor Trend
You can also use your Bluetooth-enabled phone to make hands-free phone calls as well as streaming music simply by saying the command when using the UVO (found only in Kia models).
Pricing will probably increase slightly for 2014 models of the Soul, but even a top-of-the-line version of the current Soul barely tops $20,000.00, with base models starting at $15,175.00.
There have been no reports found about the fate of the hip-hop hamsters that currently star in the Kia Soul’s iconic television commercials, but presumably they will be around next year as well. The furry little spokesanimals are wildly popular with the viewing public and unforgettable as well.