Kia Soul

Aimed squarely at and designed specifically for the young and young-at-heart, the 2011 Kia Soul continues to make a statement for the brand with its distinctive styling, a plethora of safety options and tremendous value. Soul still stands out from the crowd with modern, unique styling and for 2011 will offer consumers more personalization options than ever before. A true game-changer for the Kia brand, the Soul was the first vehicle launched under Kia Motors America's (KMA) ongoing design-led transformation and the most aggressive new vehicle launch cycle in the automotive industry, which continues through 2011.

2011 Kia Soul Front Angle

Soul has earned a trophy case full of prestigious awards and accolades since its launch, including earning a 2009 and 2010 "Top Safety Pick" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), being a recipient of the "Best Family Cars for 2010" designation by and Parents Magazine, recognized as "Best Hatchback of 2010" by, achieving 2009 "Top 10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000" status from Kelley Blue Book's, being named to the 2010 Ward's AutoWorld "Interior of the Year" list, being named one of the "Most Exciting Cars of 2010" by and recognition as the "Best Value" by the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) for its combination of attractive pricing, long list of accessories and standard safety features.

Available in four trims, Soul, Soul+, Soul! (exclaim) and Soul sport, pricing for the dynamic compact CUV begins at $13,3001 for the base trim, offering standard convenience features, including air conditioning, power windows, door locks and mirrors, SIRIUS® Satellite Radio capabilities with three months complimentary service2 and MP3 connectivity.

Edgy and Confident Exterior

The versatile five-door's low, wide stance is paired with an angled window line, rounded nose and large flared-back headlamps, giving it a playful and youthful appearance. With a friendly face and exuberant personality, Soul is perfect for coastline drives or cruising downtown city streets, embodying the mantra "a new way to roll."

The beltline rises from the front wheel arch to create a gentle wedge shape and continues under and around the rear side window. The rear is dominated by the vertical combination tail lamps set into the body color panel with clear outer lenses. The body and wheel arch crease line extends around the bumper for a tough, not rough, style matching the look of the front.

Offering plenty of standard features, the Soul trim offers a chrome-accented grille, clear lens auto-off headlamps, solar glass, black door handles and side mirrors, grip exterior door handles, black bodyside molding, rear wiper/washer, variable intermittent windshield wipers and 15-inch steel wheels fitted with P195/65R15 tires.

Upgrading to the Soul+ adds keyless remote entry with flip key, Bluetooth®3 wireless technology, privacy glass on the rear and rear side windows, body-color door handles and dual body-color power side mirrors along with 16-inch alloy wheels with P205/55R16 tires. Soul+ also comes with optional front fog lamps and a power sunroof.

The Soul! adds as standard equipment a power sunroof, fog lamps and 18-inch alloy wheels paired with P225/45R18 tires. The dynamic Soul sport builds off of the Soul+ features and adds unique body color front and rear fascias, side sills, rear spoiler, 18-inch alloy wheels and fog lamps, wholly personifying the athletic, urban look Soul embodies. Heated outside mirrors also are standard on the Soul! and Soul sport models.

Also adding to the distinctiveness of Soul, buyers can choose from a wide palate of exotic exterior paint colors, including: Dune and Clear White; metallic tones of Shadow, Titanium and Bright Silver; coffee-inspired Java; red-hot Molten; Alien green, flame-emulating Ignition, Denim blue and dreamy Ghost. Further adding to Soul's stylish and funky appeal, KMA is launching two all-new Special Edition Souls4 in the 2011 model year. Based on the Soul+ trim and available with automatic climate control, each additional Special Edition Soul will offer unique exterior styling along with a number of fun accessories specific to that Soul.

Spacious, State-of-the-Art Interior

Recipient of the Ward's AutoWorld "Grooviest Interior" award for 2010, inside the cabin is where Soul really shows its power to surprise. For those who want a personal lounge on wheels or an efficient cargo carrier with 14 storage zones, Soul has it covered. While Soul offers a relatively small exterior, it offers a surprisingly spacious interior. Passengers will find comfort in the roomy cabin that offers 40.2/39.6 inches of headroom (front/rear), shoulder room of 55.2/55.1 inches, 42.1/39.0 inches of legroom and a passenger volume of 102.3 cubic feet.

All five adult passengers will find ingress and egress simple and effortless, credited to tall doors and a high seating position, and each Soul has its own personality credited to multiple options for interiors with different colors, fabrics and audio system packages available for selection.

Soul's interior design is decidedly influenced by the car's highly specified audio system. An uncluttered dashboard with a three-dial instrument cluster, LCD illumination and floating center stack design is the key visual feature and offers enticing access to the AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system outfitted with SIRIUS Satellite Radio capabilities and three months complimentary service. Standard USB and auxiliary input jacks also are in the center console with full iPod® and MP3 controllability via the audio head unit and steering wheel controls achieved with an optional accessory iPod cable.

Improving the Soul's interior look and feel, Soul features metal-finish accents that appear on the steering wheel, shift lever surround, air vents and speakers. The interior door panels also are enhanced with soft-touch perforated panels and padded door armrests.

Additional standard interior features that make the Soul stand out from the rest include air conditioning, tilt steering column, power door locks, illuminated window switches, power windows with driver's side auto-down, external temperature display and digital clock in the radio, an upper storage bin, dual-level glove box, 12-volt power outlet, rear window defroster, cargo area light and a dome light with delay out. Soul is stylishly appointed with black cloth seats, adding to its comfortable interior. A 60/40 split-folding rear seat with headrest height adjustment offers multiple seating and cargo arrangements depending on driver and passenger needs.

Soul+ offers additional standard features, including cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls, hands-free Bluetooth wireless technology connectivity, dual 12-volt power outlets and tweeter speakers, all enhancing creature comforts on the road. Also standard on the Soul+ is a covered upper storage bin, dual visor vanity mirrors with covers and dual map lights, while black cloth seats are adorned with Soul logo inserts, further personalizing the cabin.

Advancing to the Soul! adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and carpeted floor mats, combined with sand-black cloth interior trim with houndstooth inserts for a distinguishing Soul style. For the Soul! and Soul sport (and an option for Soul+), a standard Audio Upgrade Package enhances the sound with a center speaker, subwoofer, 315-watt external amplifier and speaker lights that pulse to the beat of the music or simply add mood lighting.

For those with more active lifestyles looking for even more exhilaration, the Soul sport offers a sport-tuned suspension, metal pedals, prominent and bold red-black interior trim with red-trimmed cloth seats and metal-finish interior accents. For 2011, Soul! and Soul sport models offer available heated leather seats and push-button start for added upscale comforts.

Unique Platform/Chassis

Soul is different, right down to its platform. With its own distinguished style, Soul features front-wheel drive, a high roofline and a wide, distinctive stance. Built with a wheelbase of 100.4 inches, an overall length of 161.6 inches, an overall width of 70.3 inches and overall height of 63.4 inches, the Soul offers a comfortable interior with roomy seating for up to five passengers. Constructed with more than 70 percent high-tensile-strength steel to enhance structural strength without adding a lot of weight, the Kia-engineered body achieves high torsional stiffness, benefiting handling, ride quality and refinement.

Additional measures to help ensure good noise vibration and harshness (NVH) reduction qualities also are fitted throughout the Soul, including a thicker dash insulation panel, an A-pillar noise-absorber pad and an optimized exhaust silencer, a vibration-damper, a center floor anti-vibration pad, and vinyl sealing on door trim. All Soul+, Soul! and Soul sport trims also receive an added sub-frame dynamic damper and a heavy engine support dynamic damper, which help lessen transfer of NVH into the cabin.

Soul features a fully independent, sub-frame mounted front suspension system with MacPherson struts, coil springs, rear monotube gas shock absorbers and stabilizer bar designed to maximize the friction between the tires and the road, providing steering stability with responsive handling to offer passengers optimal comfort. At the rear, Soul's suspension is sub-frame mounted with a transverse torsion beam axle with trailing arms, coil springs and gas shock absorbers for a smooth ride and minimum intrusion into the cargo space. Soul sport models feature a sport-tuned suspension that includes firmer springs, re-tuned shock absorbers and a larger front stabilizer bar resulting in a lively, more energetic ride.

Under-the-Hood Options

Soul offers a smooth and spirited ride. Its 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission, which produces 122 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque. For those looking for a little more power, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is available with either the five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. The latter engine produces 142 horsepower with 137 pound-feet of torque, and is standard on Soul+, Soul! and Soul sport models. Fuel economy for the 1.6-liter manual comes in at an impressive 26/31 mpg (city/highway) while the 2.0-liter offers a thrifty, fuel-sipping 24/30 mpg for both the automatic and manual transmissions.

Standard Kia Safety Features

All Soul models continue to offer the same high level of standard safety equipment as all Kia vehicles, offering a comprehensive list of safety features, including front seat active headrests, dual front advanced airbags, front seat-mounted and full-length side curtain airbags. An Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist System (BAS) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) also are standard, as are front and rear crumple zones, side-impact door beams, impact-absorbing steering column and a Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system.

Source: Kia

Gallery: Kia Soul (2011)