2018 Kia Soul Turbo Review The Kia and Hyundai have long struggled to break in to the sport-compact space. And to be honest, it is a hard nut to crack, what with favorites of ours such as the Volkswagen GTI and Ford’s Fiesta ST and Target ST clogging up the tubes. Korea’s attempts to court enthusiasts therefore far, which includes the Hyundai Veloster Turbo along with the Kia Forte SX Turbo, have fallen just short of correct hot-hatch status largely due to detail shortcomings this kind of as vague steering and rubbery shift action.
2018 Kia Soul Turbo Review
At first glance, the new turbocharged model of your Kia Soul seems to be taking part in a similar sort of game. Red exterior accent lines are evocative of the GTI’s aesthetic, a flat-bottomed steering wheel suggests some degree of raciness, and bigger 18-inch wheels give the boxy Soul a much more athletic stance. Furthermore, it features a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four making 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque-not specifically barnburner numbers, but not shabby, both.
Kia is keen to point out the Soul is not really whatsoever a sport compact or maybe a scorching hatch. Rather, it’s a modest crossover create to compete with the likes of the Mazda CX-3, Chevrolet Trax, and Fiat 500X. The Soul is by now the best-seller in that section, and Kia desires to help keep the fantastic instances rolling. Buyers had been asking for two issues: extra power and all-wheel drive. Using the latter proving tricky in terms of packaging and price, Kia chose to prioritize the desire for additional grunt and make the one.6-liter turbo engine common for the Soul’s leading trim degree, which can be simply denoted “!” (and pronounced Exclaim, in accordance to Kia).
2018 Kia Soul Turbo Review - Interior:
As when the identical engine is installed from the Kia Optima along with the Hyundai Tucson and Sonata, the turbocharged mill pairs only using a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic-no manual transmission is provided with the turbo, and Kia’s justification may be the now familiar spiel about low get rates plus the expensive certification system for distinctive powertrain combinations. If you would like a guide gearbox with this particular engine, Kia will happily steer you towards a Forte5 SX Turbo hatchback with a six-speed stick.
The Soul Turbo’s aforementioned sporty touches are not meant to recommend that this is certainly a effectiveness machine. Its fundamental suspension setup is definitely the similar strut front and torsion-beam rear as the lesser models inside the lineup, whilst Kia says the Turbo’s springs and dampers are tuned somewhat differently. Its 45-series all-season tires and 18-inch wheels will be the exact same size since the optional wheels and tires offered within the Soul Plus (or “+”), which has a 161-hp naturally aspirated two.0-liter. Kia did install slightly greater, twelve.0-inch-diameter front brake rotors for that turbocharged model, but the 10.3-inch rear discs will be the same on all Souls.
With out the expectation of high-performance driving on its shoulders, the turbocharged Soul’s mildly sportier demeanor hits its mark well. The 1.6-liter turbo four is really a satisfied and smooth engine, with generally linear energy delivery, strong midrange torque, as well as a decent-sounding engine note. The dual-clutch transmission is a smooth operator too, delivering rapid shifts and minimum low-speed clunkiness with the kind that often plagues these torque-converter-less automatic gearboxes. Paddle shifters are notable by their absence, despite the fact that the console-mounted shifter does possess a guide shifting mode. We favored driving within the Sport mode, which adjusts transmission shift factors and throttle response to be a little much more aggressive; the gearbox can be reluctant to downshift in Regular mode, which combines using a little bit of turbo lag to generate for a significantly less eager frame of mind.
2018 Kia Soul Turbo Review - Features:
Selecting Sport mode also helps make the steering truly feel a bit heavier but does not alter the electrically assisted steering rack’s lack of feedback and on-center come to feel. Even so, the Soul’s stiff structure and well-tuned damping make to get a satisfying balance of ride and managing, not less than around the glassy-smooth pavement in Northern California wherever we drove the brand new model. Body roll is nicely controlled in corners, the all-season rubber features a fairly large grip threshold when pushed on twisty roads, and there’s a commendable lack of torque steer. Even though the Soul Turbo is short about the fluidity and harmoniousness from the ideal compact automobiles such as the Volkswagen Golf as well as the Mazda three, the Mazda CX-3 is the only tiny crossover that surpasses the Soul’s total dynamic goodness; additionally, it delivers all-wheel drive, the missing element in Kia’s contender.
The squared-off Soul shames the CX-3-and almost all other subcompact crossovers-in terms of practicality and interior area. The cabin is airy and spacious, with great sightlines all all over, an expansive rear seat with an abundance of headroom, as well as a substantial cargo region that very easily expands by folding the back seat flat. With the seats down, there may be as much as 61 cubic feet of room back there, which tops even the versatile Honda HR-V.
Pricing is one more sturdy suit for that Soul Turbo, which begins at $23,500-just $1350 over last year’s Soul ! model together with the two.0-liter naturally aspirated engine. That starting price tag brings a decent level of regular kit, which include push-button get started and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay; even our loaded check automobile having a panoramic sunroof, blind-spot detection, navigation, as well as a Harman/Kardon audio method topped out at a still reasonable $27,620. As with other Soul versions, the interior layout is ergonomically sound, and materials high-quality is top-notch inside the sub-$30,000 arena.
2018 Kia Soul Turbo Review - Machine:
If you’re still not convinced that the turbocharged model could be the clear selection with the Soul lineup, take into account this: Regardless of acquiring forty more horsepower compared to the 2.0-liter automobile and 71 far more horses than the base 1.6-liter model, it beats both in EPA fuel economic system, at 26/31 mpg city/highway.
Kia says that the vast majority of Soul shoppers are value-oriented people today, so it makes sense that products planners assume the much less high priced naturally aspirated versions to continue to be far more well known. The Kia Soul is an beautiful, practical, and well-rounded box (having said that oxymoronic that sounds), irrespective of the trim degree.
We could effortlessly be upsold to the Soul Turbo. Although it’s not the sharp-edged sizzling hatch some is likely to be hoping for from Kia, the Soul with a bit additional pep in its phase is pleasurable to drive and an appealing all round bundle with numerous practicality baked in. And fans shouldn’t stress, for the reason that we’re even now holding out hope for your two-door, 250-hp, hard-core Soul Track’ster.