We have all heard about the 7 wonders of the world, right? With each, questions surround them about how they were created as well as where the design inspiration came from. With the Kia Soul, I would like to officially enter it into the #8 spot and I would like to go ahead and demystify the design concept. It all started with a man who was in Asia and saw something about a boar. His thoughts began to wander and he imagined the boar wearing a backpack and, well, the Kia Soul would soon be born! Cool, right? I mean, with a car that is already well known for the hamsters in their ads, why not throw a wild boar into the mix!
I was recently honored to be part of the #SoulInMinny event held by the wonderful folks at Kia in the gorgeous city if Minneapolis. Myself and several other writers connected to the car industry were invited to spend a few days oohing, aahing over and driving the 2014 Kia Soul. I will admit, I had only seen one Kia and that was a rental my sister had. I was very impressed with how large the inside was but was not sold on the design of the car itself. The Kia Soul is one of the fastest turners in the Kia product line at a whopping 49%, which is extremely impressive. In 2012, the city of Miami went crazy over the boxy design and an unprecedented 115,000 were sold. With the 2014 design, the folks back at design central wanted to take the iconic design and put a fresh take on it. They also wanted to develop a body that was improved dynamically and desirable changes would be added inside and out.
Whole Lotta Soul
One of the changes they made was to take the circular design of the interior of last years Track’ster and incorporate it into the new 5 passenger Kia Soul. You can see this in areas like the side speakers in the doors, the huge speaker in the middle of the top of the console, and the combination ventilation/speaker/defroster system on both sides. They gave it a fuller, overall surface while keeping the design playful and yet sophisticated. You will be very impressed with the attention to detail inside the car like the hand stitching on the seats and soft touch materials throughout.
The leg room area is lower, wider and longer to give the driver and the passenger more comfort. The seats are so comfortable and the ride is as smooth as butter. We drove through the breathtaking scenery and the Kia Soul hugged the turns and curves like no car I have ever ridden in. The body is lighter, there is increased stability and the materials used are stronger to keep you and your family safer. You get 6 airbags, anti-lock brakes, 8 different passive/active safety systems to make it one of the safest cars on the market.
The 10 speaker, 350 watt stereo system and 3 month subscription to Sirius radio is mind blowing, but not at all surprising as the Kia people are all about the music! Kia had a stage at the 2013 Vans Warped Tour and the new hamster ad was debuted on the MTV Video Music Awards this year. The You Tube Global Music Awards are being presented by Kia and Lady Gaga will be a featured performer. Talk about a company with a whole lotta soul! Speaking of hamsters and Lady Gaga…I must talk about the new commercial. Our friendly little chubby hamsters have also had a new design and they have a sleeker, modern and hip look. With Lady Gaga’s “Applause” playing in the background, we are shown the process the hamsters go through from boxing to yoga to running on the beach. When they arrive at a red carpet event in their Alien Green Kia Soul and step out, they have completely transformed. Who knew a hamster could be so sexy? Yes, I said sexy!
The 2014 Kia Soul has an Android based navigation system, an 8″ touch screen that scrolls just like your smartphone and with it’s dual side by side display, you can see two items at once. The panoramic sunroof is a feature Kia Soul customers love and I completely understand why! It takes driving through the country on a beautiful sunny day to an entirely new level. The rectangular and trapezoidal windows give added visibility, there is added storage capacity and the iconic colored lights on the speakers are going strong. Both the front and rear seats are ventilated as well as heated. You can order your new Soul in 8 new colors like Inferno Red, Phat Blue, Solar Yellow and Alien 2. You can find the Soul in a 2L with 23/31 MPG, the 1.6L with 24/30 MPG, with the 6 speed getting an increase of 3 MPG in fuel economy. There are 2 grades; the base, plus and top which range in price from approximately $14,700 to $18,200. And in case you were wondering if my opinion has changed about the Kia Soul? Um, yes, yes, yes, 1,000,000% and I want one now please! Stay current with the latest from Kia by following them on Facebook and Twitter.