- Adds a few new features for 2016
- Enticing mix of utility and standard equipment at a low price
- Performed well in both IIHS/NHTSA crash tests
The 2016 Kia Soul shuffles around its features and adds standard equipment for the new model, while also debuting two new options packages, the Premium Package and the Designer Collection Package.
The Premium Package, available on the top Exclaim trim level, adds two safety features new to the Soul: forward collision warning and lane departure warning. Also included are navigation with an 8-inch display, upgraded stereo, heated/ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, push button start, and several exterior upgrades as well.
We’ve always had a soft spot for the Soul; whenever we are asked for recommendations for affordable transportation (especially for young people), the Soul is one of the first cars we go to. It has a ton of standard features for a car in this class and its unique shape pays dividends when it comes to both cargo and passenger room. Styling remains quirky with its boxy shape and curvy bodywork. Personally, I like the look of the Soul, but I do realize that it isn’t for everyone. 16-inch steel wheels are standard, with 16-, 17-, and 18-inch alloy wheels optional. Also available are a panoramic sunroof, front fog lights, and LED daytime running lights.
The Soul is offered in three trim levels, Base, + (Plus), and ! (Exclaim). Base models get the Soul’s base engine, a 130-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder that is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic. The Plus and Exclaim models both get a larger, more powerful 164-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that is only offered with a six-speed automatic. An Eco package, which adds a stop/start system and low rolling resistance tires for added efficiency is available on Plus models. Base models get 24/30 mpg city/highway, while the Plus and Exclaim return 23/31 mpg (the Eco package adds 1 city mpg).
Inside, the Soul’s cabin offers plenty of space; behind the rear seats you’ll find 24.2 cubic feet of cargo room. Standard features include Bluetooth (with audio streaming), power windows and locks, 60/40-split folding rear seat, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and air conditioning. The UVO eServices technology suite is optional and offers features like geo-fencing, speed and curfew alerts, and a Driving Score app for parents of young drivers. There is also a new Kia app store, which allows the download of supporting applications from both iTunes and Google Play. Also available are a navigation system, automatic climate control, HD radio, heated front and rear seats, and leather upholstery.
The 2016 Soul got a full five-star overall rating from the NHTSA, their highest score. Six airbags, antilock brakes, and an electronic stability system are standard, while a rearview camera is optional. The Soul is also backed by one of the best warranties in the business, with 10 year/100,000 mile coverage on its powertrain.