You know those KIA commercials with the dancing hamsters and their cool cars? My kids go crazy anytime they pop-up between our evening television shows. I mean they go CRAY-CRAY! Is that how they say it nowadays? Depending on the day, we sometimes have to stop and rewind the commercial, just to get a little energy out.
You wouldn’t be surprised, then, that when the exact Alien Green and Black Soul from TV showed up in our parking lot my boys absolutely lost it. They were smiling from ear-to-ear, but also wondering where the hamsters were. Alas, no hamsters made an appearance today, though I might have broke out “Party Rock” on the UVO head unit and started doing the running-man. Dad was cool today!
Jump to images of the 2014 KIA Soul!
Fuel Economy. The Soul we tested came with a gutsy 2.0L 4-Cyl Engine. We averaged great gas mileage, due mostly to the engine, but also in part to the really neat features included in the instrument cluster. The KIA vehicles have an awesome cluster with a beautifully animated screen that shows your gas mileage output in real-time. The Soul is rated at 26MPG overall, which is about accurate to our week-long test. With an estimated yearly fuel cost of $2000, this vehicle is perfect for small families on a budget.
- 2.0L 4-Cyl produces adequate performance versus fuel consumption
- 26 MPG average, equates to 23 city and 31 highway
Safety. My research showed an overall improvement in safety rating from previous year models. According to safercar.gov, the Soul garners a 5-star rating, the highest available. For a car that looks like a box on wheels, this dude feels perfectly comfortable carting his kids around town all day. Pretty much any safety feature you could possible include in a car is here, from 4-wheel antilock brakes to front and side air bags, all the way to the incredibly functional back-up camera.
- 2014 KIA Soul gains 5-star governmental safety ratings
- Front and side-impact airbags are standard
- 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with braking assist and traction control are standard
- Audible and visual cues from oncoming obstructions offer additional peace of mind
Style & Comfort. The Soul is certainly a head-turner no matter where I traveled this week. I’m pretty sure onlookers thought there might really be hamsters on-board. Fact is, you’re either a fan of the design or you’re not. I wasn’t exactly sure, but after testing the vehicle for a week, I can honestly say I wouldn’t mind owning one. The design also serves a purpose, and that’s interior space. This is a comfortable cabin for small families such as ours (we’re a family of four). The kids had optimal space for their long legs and gigantic feet. If you have taller children (still in car seats), you know where I’m coming from.
- The Soul is a head-turner around town
- Full glass ceiling offers amazing views and an open feeling, retracts as well
- Box design offers plenty of interior space for small families and those with taller children
- Alien Green, enough said
Gadgets. The KIA Soul is a hotbed of cool gadgets and features, and many of them are standard. But may I suggest the “Whole Shabang Package”? That’s what KIA calls it, and it’s a pretty accurate description. I’ve never experienced a heated steering wheel, so with the winter we are having, I’m glad I had it. But perhaps the greatest feature available is the UVO audio system with eServices and the generous 8″ touchscreen head unit with navigation and traffic data. This was my second experience with the UVO and I wish I could have it installed on my daily driver. It’s very useful and easy to use. My test model also had the lighted speaker surrounds that can “dance” to the music, which my kids thought were pretty sweet!
- Kids will love the “dancing” speaker surrounds, reminds them of hamsters
- UVO audio system with eServices is incredibly intuitive and accurate on large 8″ touchscreen head unit
- Heated steering wheel and heated/vented seats are surprisingly useful features
Conclusion. The 2014 KIA Soul is just a really cool car and it’s not surprising that it’s extremely popular. The vehicle oozes style and has exceptional functionality. If anything, it will make you the cool dad if your kids discover one in the driveway.