The product that began Kia Motors America's (KMA) design-led transformation returns to the Kia lineup with a fresh and updated look, more power, and the same funky "outside of the box" demeanor consumers have come to love from the segment-leading compact crossover. Fine-tuned-for-2012 with a significant number of technology and powertrain enhancements, Kia's iconic urban passenger vehicle now delivers class-leading horsepower2 and significantly improved fuel efficiency of up to 35 miles per gallon on the highway. Since its debut in Spring 2009, Soul has enjoyed soaring popularity and earned a trophy case full of prestigious awards, including: a 2009 "Top Safety Pick" honors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), being named a Consumers Digest "Best Buy" for 2010, achieving a "Top Recommended℠ Vehicle for 2011" by Edmunds.com, receiving the "Best Family Cars for 2010" designation by Edmunds.com and Parents Magazine, and being recognized as "Best Hatchback of 2010" by Cars.com.
Building on the Soul's already solid foundation, the 2012 model's mid-cycle refresh adds even more style and fun-to-drive performance while also improving fuel economy by 10 percent. The 2012 Soul now delivers a class-leading 164 horsepower2 (up 22 horsepower) with a new 2.0-liter engine, and 138 horsepower (up 16 horsepower) with a 1.6-liter engine that adds GDI technology; both are now available with new efficient six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. The 1.6-liter delivers an impressive 35 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway (up four mpg), surpassing all of the competition.
The Soul's exterior design has been updated with subtle changes to front and rear fascias to project a wider stance, while new headlamps, taillights, side mirrors and wheels project a more modern look.
The Soul! (exclaim) is easily distinguishable from the other models with exclusive projector headlamps with front LED accents and LED taillights complemented by stunning new 18-inch alloy wheels. Not only does the Soul! have a striking design, it also offers class-leading features like standard UVO powered by Microsoft® voice-activated infotainment system (expected to be available this fall) with a 4.3-inch color touch screen and rear camera display matched to an all-new 350-watt seven-speaker Infinity audio system (also optional on Soul+). Navigation with SiriusXM Traffic™ also will be available.
All Soul models are improved with redesigned and upgraded interiors, significantly better noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) reduction qualities, a more refined ride and many new standard features, including a tilt and telescoping steering column, Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC). The 2012 Soul remains a class-leading value4 with the lowest price of its competitive set starting at $13,900 MSRP while the Soul A/T starts at $15,700. The Soul sport model is no longer offered.
More Power, Less Fuel
The 2012 Soul will amplify the fun-to-drive factor with significant horsepower and fuel economy increases with new six-speed transmissions and the ability to deliver up to 35 miles per gallon on the highway. A new 1.6-liter GDI engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission produces 138 horsepower (a 13-percent increase in horsepower from the previous engine) and 123 pound-feet of torque. For those looking for a boost in power, a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is available with either the six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The latter engine produces 164 horsepower (a 16-percent increase in horsepower from the previous engine) and 148 pound-feet of torque, and is standard on Soul+ and Soul! models. Fuel economy for the 1.6-liter comes in at an impressive 27/35 mpg (city/highway), four miles per gallon more than the previous engine while the 2.0-liter offers a fuel-sipping 26/34 mpg for both the automatic and manual transmissions.
More Style & Refinement
The 2012 Soul's mid-cycle update also introduces a number of significant design and performance improvements. On the outside, Soul is freshened with subtle changes that its legion of fans will instantly recognize from new projector headlamps with front LED accent lights that are slightly bulged, to a redesigned hood and new front and rear bumpers. New and modern LED rear light clusters enhance the Soul's unique design while the overall shape of the vehicle was finessed to give Soul a smoother and more streamlined silhouette.
Soul is available in three trims – Soul, Soul+ and Soul! – with the base trim offering numerous standard convenience features, including electric power steering (EPS), air conditioning, tilt and telescopic steering column, power windows, door locks and mirrors, available SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio with three months complimentary service and MP3 connectivity.
Also new for 2012 is an all-new 350-watt seven-speaker Infinity audio system that is available on Soul+ models and standard on Soul! models for a more exciting music experience. Also new for 2012 on Soul! models is UVO powered by Microsoft® voice-activated infotainment system with a 4.3-inch color touch screen and rear camera display and available Premium Package that includes heated front seats, leather seat trim, automatic climate control, navigation system (in lieu of UVO system) and push-button start with smart key for added upscale comforts.
Edgy and Confident Exterior
Lauded for its standout design, the versatile five-door's low, wide stance is complemented by an angled window line and rounded nose with a beltline that rises from the front wheel arch to create a gentle wedge shape. Offering plenty of standard features, the base Soul trim features a chrome-accented grille, clear lens auto-off headlamps, body color door handles and side mirrors, black body-side molding, rear wiper/washer, variable intermittent windshield wipers, front and rear disc brakes and 15-inch steel wheels fitted with P195/65R15 tires.
Upgrading to the Soul+ the 2.0-liter engine adds keyless remote entry with flip key, Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity, privacy glass on the hatch and rear side windows, body-color door handles and dual body-color power side mirrors with integrated turn signals, 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 a power sunroof, new and distinct LED projector headlamps, LED tail lamps and fog lamps, body-colored bumper and 18-inch alloy wheels paired with P235/45R18 tires standard. An Infinity audio system, UVO technology with HD Radio, rear camera display, unique body color front and rear fascias, 18-inch alloy wheels, heated outside mirrors, and fog lamps add to Soul's urban look.
Adding to the distinctiveness of Soul, buyers can choose from a wide palate of exotic exterior paint colors, including: Moss (new for 2012), Dune and Clear White; metallic tones of Shadow, Titanium and Bright Silver; red-hot Molten; and Alien green. Further adding to Soul's stylish and funky appeal, KMA will continue offering Special Edition Souls in the 2012 model year.
Spacious, State-of-the-Art Interior
Inside, Soul's more high-tech, futuristic cabin features a well-equipped blend of technology features at a tremendous overall value. All Soul models are improved with redesigned and upgraded interior materials, making the cabin the perfect personal lounge on wheels or an efficient cargo carrier with 14 storage zones. 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.
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 instant access to the AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system outfitted with SiriusXM Satellite Radio and three months complimentary service. Standard USB and auxiliary input jacks also can be found in the center console with full iPod® and MP3 controllability via the audio head unit and steering wheel-mounted controls achieved with an Apple iPod cable for Soul Base and Soul+ models.
Additional standard interior features that make the Soul stand out from the crowd include air conditioning, power door locks, illuminated window switches, power windows with driver's side auto-down, telescoping steering column, 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+ with manual transmission offers additional standard features, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, steering wheel-mounted controls, hands-free Bluetooth wireless connectivity, dual front 12-volt power outlets with single power outlet in the cargo area, and tweeter speakers, all enhancing creature comforts on the road. 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. An optional Audio Upgrade Package also is available for Soul+ featuring an Infinity audio system with UVO technology that enhances the sound with a center speaker, subwoofer, external amplifier and speaker lights in a rainbow of colors that pulse to the beat of the music or add mood lighting. A rear camera display is part of the audio upgrade package for enhanced visibility.
Advancing to the Soul! adds carpeted floor mats, combined with sand-black cloth interior trim with houndstooth inserts for a distinguishing Soul style. The Soul! also includes an Infinity audio system standard, UVO technology with HD Radio and a rear camera display, for a high-tech in-cabin experience.
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 162.2 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 improve 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+ and Soul! trims also receive an added sub-frame dynamic damper and a heavy engine support dynamic damper, which help reduce transfer of NVH into the cabin for a more refined ride.
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.
Advanced Safety Features
All Soul models continue to offer the same high level of standard safety equipment as in previous years, offering a comprehensive list of safety features, including front seat active headrests, dual front advanced airbags, and 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), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) 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 Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH).