All photos by Kia
The 2012 Kia Soul is the result of a good thing that just keeps getting better. Kia continued the out-of-the-box fresh looks of the Soul and refined the interior and more power under the hood. You can’t help but have a good time driving the Soul, and at a reasonable sticker price, the good times keep rolling!
Our test model was unique looking from the alien green paint and the Soul 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. For 2012, the Soul's exterior design has been updated with subtle changes to front and rear fascias to project a wider stance, while new auto on/off projection headlamps, taillights, side mirrors and wheels project a more modern look. Our test model also sported a power tilt sunroof, fog lights and a finished product that says “modern good looks.”
The fun doesn’t stop with the exterior as the 2012 Kia Soul has one of the best interiors for a car that runs just above 20k. When you step up to the Soul, you get features like standard UVO powered by Microsoft(R)3 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(TM) was also included along with push button start with smart key, black leather seats with heated front seats, climate control, A/C, remote keyless entry, AM/FM/CD/MP3, Bluetooth wireless, tilt and telescopic steering column, leather wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, steering wheel mounted audio controls, auto dimming rearview mirror and luggage under floor tray. There is room for adults in the rear seats along with plenty of storage which can be increased with the available seating arrangements.
The 2.0 liter DOHC CVVT 4 cylinder engine coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission (with active eco system) delivers the power one would expect from the Soul. The electric power steering was precise, anti-lock brake system was steady, electronic stability control worked like a charm, and together had us feeling under control in all facets of our driving time behind the wheel. The 6-speed transmission does its job in improving fuel economy to 26mpg in the city and 34mpg on the highway. The standard 2.0 engine in the I model engine produces 164 horsepower (a 16-percent increase in horsepower from the previous engine) and 148 pound-feet of torque which added to the fun in the Soul.
There are times when you test cars for work or test cars for purchase that you get something good but a drop off in other areas. With the 2012 Kia Soul, it’s pretty much “all good” inside and out from exterior to interior pricing. Our loaded Soul stickered out at $22,850 and that is a bargain that will certainly have some competitors losing sleep at night. The refreshed 2012 Soul made serious improvements in all aspects of the vehicle and there is no doubt that consumers will take notice.
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