Saturday Road Test – Kia Soul ! Turbo – Baby Got Soul!!!



                            2017 Kia Soul ! Turbo

                          It adds more Soul to the Soul

By Ron Amadon

DAMASCUS, MD. – Yes, the upcoming mid-engine Corvette will be a ridiculously fun car to drive. And who would ever turn down the chance to get behind the wheel of the 710 horsepower McLaren 720S or the 500 horsepower Porsche 911 GT3. Or any Ferrari?

 All will carry gulp inducing price tags and therefore be reserved for the very wealthy.

 What about the masses? Is it possible that one can have fun in a little box pulled around by just a 1.6-liter four with a mere 201 horsepower? The answer is OMG YES!

 For some time the Kia Soul has checked all the boxes one could ever come up with in a small cargo and people hauler, except one. Acceleration was just okay.

 Does the turbo make a difference? Yes! The difference between the old 101 Strings playing James Brown’s “I Feel Good” and the man himself doing it.  

 You will “feel good” driving it and listening to Ray Charles doing “Hit the Road, Jack” with Aretha kicking in some “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” out on the highway ‘cause this Soul now has Soul.

 Zero to 60 in just 6.5 seconds and that is a whopping two seconds better than the non-turbo. Floor it and from the driver’s seat the pace feels quicker than what the stats indicate.

 Here are the facts:

 201 hp @ 6,000 rpm

 195 lb.-ft. @ 1,500 – 4,500 rpm

 Those numbers are married to a fast acting and smooth 7-speed dual clutch automatic, not a CVT and for that we say, “Hallelujah”

 That is 40 additional horsepower by the way, and fuel economy is a combined 28 mpg, slightly better than the 2.0 without the turbo. And it drinks the low priced 87 octane.

 There is no stick shift offered, but operators can change gears manually using the console shifter.

 O yea, have another “Piece of my Heart,” Janice.

 Just sit in the Kia Soul Exclaim and everything seems perfect. The driving position is upright and comfortable facing the sporty D shaped leather wrapped steering wheel. Visibility is fantastic.

 Controls – easy to reach and define. You can drive it home without getting a graduate degree from the dealer on how even simple, every day chores are accomplished.

 Since this is the top of the line model, one gets keyless start, automatic climate control, leather and cloth covered seats, lots of stitching, and a 7-inch touchscreen with rear view camera. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto of course.  And a sexy red stripe outside.

 Look up and you will find a Sunroof that was close to silent wind wise up to 40 mph and a bit noisy above that level.  

 And since mankind has adopted the box as the best way to carry things, there was lots of storage space. With the 60/40 rear seats raised, there was just over 24 cubic feet of carrying capacity. They are easy to lower and create 61.3 cubes.

 Real people might be hesitant to ride in the back seat of such a small car, but once inside two of them will find a generous 39.5 inches plus of leg room.

 Handling was up to the task of making favorite rural roads fun and merging onto semi infested 70 mph I-70 was an easy task thanks to the turbo. The little four calms down nicely once cruising speed has been attained.

 Passing slow moving trucks on South Mountain (not a mountain in Colorado terms) probably had uninformed truckers wondering, “What is that thing?”

 I did miss blind spot detection on the test Soul, but it is available via the option list.    

 So how much does it cost to “Let the Good Times Roll?” With delivery and no options, the Exclaim tester came to an easy to take $23,820. And that folks, in today’s market, is a steal.

 Sam Cooke would say, “Ain’t That Good News,” Marvin Gaye would agree the Soul is “What’s Going On.” All you have to do is “Reach Out” to a little box with a 10 year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

 Drive it down the road and sing out because … “You Really Got a Hold on Me”

Some Stats:

Wheelbase: 101.2”

Length: 163.0

Width: 70.9

Height: 63.5

Ground Clearance: 5.9

Head Room Front: 37.9

Head Room Rear: 37.9

(Both with Sunroof)

Leg Room Front: 40.9

Leg Room Rear: 39.1

Turning Circle: 34.8’










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