2017 Kia Soul Turbo, Kia and Hyundai have lengthy struggled to break in to the sport-compact room. And to be honest, it is a difficult 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 fans therefore far, including the Hyundai Veloster Turbo and also the Kia Forte SX Turbo, have fallen just short of true hot-hatch status largely on account of detail shortcomings such as vague steering and rubbery shift action.
2017 Kia Soul Turbo Review
At first glance, the new turbocharged model on the Kia Soul appears to be enjoying a equivalent type of game. Red exterior accent lines are evocative from 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. In addition, it features a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four generating 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque-not precisely barnburner numbers, but not shabby, both.
Kia is keen to stage out the Soul just isn't in any way a sport compact or possibly a sizzling hatch. Rather, it is a modest crossover setup to compete together with the likes from the Mazda CX-3, Chevrolet Trax, and Fiat 500X. The Soul is by now the best-seller in that segment, and Kia desires to help keep the excellent instances rolling. Consumers had been asking for two things: additional electrical power and all-wheel drive. With all the latter proving tricky regarding packaging and value, Kia chose to prioritize the need for further grunt and make the one.6-liter turbo engine regular for the Soul’s best trim degree, that's only denoted “!” (and pronounced Exclaim, in accordance to Kia).
As when the identical engine is set up inside the Kia Optima as well as Hyundai Tucson and Sonata, the turbocharged mill pairs only which has a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic-no manual transmission is made available with the turbo, and Kia’s justification is definitely the now familiar spiel about lower consider rates along with the pricey certification approach for unique powertrain combinations. If you'd like a guide gearbox with this particular engine, Kia will happily steer you toward a Forte5 SX Turbo hatchback which has a six-speed stick.
2017 Kia Soul Turbo Review - Features:
The Soul Turbo’s aforementioned sporty touches are not meant to propose that this can be a functionality machine. Its fundamental suspension setup could be the similar strut front and torsion-beam rear as the lesser designs from the lineup, while Kia says the Turbo’s springs and dampers are tuned slightly differently. Its 45-series all-season tires and 18-inch wheels are the very same dimension since the optional wheels and tires provided to the Soul Plus (or “+”), which includes a 161-hp naturally aspirated two.0-liter. Kia did install slightly more substantial, twelve.0-inch-diameter front brake rotors to the turbocharged model, however the ten.3-inch rear discs will be the similar on all Souls.
Without the expectation of high-performance driving on its shoulders, the turbocharged Soul’s mildly sportier demeanor hits its mark well. The one.6-liter turbo 4 is actually a delighted and smooth engine, with primarily linear power delivery, strong midrange torque, and a decent-sounding engine note. The dual-clutch transmission is really a smooth operator at the same time, delivering speedy shifts and minimal low-speed clunkiness of your type that occasionally plagues these torque-converter-less automatic gearboxes. Paddle shifters are notable by their absence, whilst the console-mounted shifter does have a guide shifting mode. We preferred driving in the Sport mode, which adjusts transmission shift factors and throttle response to be somewhat far more aggressive; the gearbox could be reluctant to downshift in Ordinary mode, which combines that has a bit of turbo lag to make to get a much less keen perspective.
Deciding upon Sport mode also can make the steering come to feel somewhat heavier but doesn’t modify the electrically assisted steering rack’s lack of feedback and on-center truly feel. Even so, the Soul’s stiff construction and well-tuned damping make for a satisfying stability of ride and handling, at least around the glassy-smooth pavement in Northern California in which we drove the brand new model. Entire body roll is nicely controlled in corners, the all-season rubber features a fairly substantial grip threshold when pushed on twisty roads, and there’s a commendable lack of torque steer. When the Soul Turbo is short around the fluidity and harmoniousness from the greatest compact cars such as the Volkswagen Golf and the Mazda 3, the Mazda CX-3 will be the only small crossover that surpasses the Soul’s general dynamic goodness; additionally, it features all-wheel drive, the missing component 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 excellent sightlines all about, an expansive rear seat with an abundance of headroom, in addition to a huge cargo region that conveniently expands by folding the back seat flat. Using the seats down, there exists up to 61 cubic feet of area back there, which tops even the versatile Honda HR-V.
2017 Kia Soul Turbo Review - Interior:
Pricing is yet another strong suit to the Soul Turbo, which commences at $23,500-just $1350 greater than last year’s Soul ! model together with the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine. That beginning price tag brings a good quantity of standard kit, like push-button start out and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay; even our loaded check motor vehicle that has a panoramic sunroof, blind-spot detection, navigation, and a Harman/Kardon audio procedure topped out at a still acceptable $27,620. As with other Soul models, the interior layout is ergonomically sound, and materials excellent is top-notch from the sub-$30,000 arena.
2017 Kia Soul Turbo Review - If you are nevertheless not convinced the turbocharged model may be the clear choice in the Soul lineup, take into consideration this: In spite of acquiring 40 a lot more horsepower than the 2.0-liter vehicle and 71 more horses compared to the base one.6-liter model, it beats the two in EPA fuel economic system, at 26/31 mpg city/highway.
Kia says the bulk of Soul consumers are value-oriented persons, so it makes sense that products planners count on the much less costly naturally aspirated versions to stay additional popular. The Kia Soul is an attractive, useful, and well-rounded box (nonetheless oxymoronic that sounds), no matter the trim level.
We could conveniently be upsold for the Soul Turbo. Whilst it’s not the sharp-edged scorching hatch some is likely to be hoping for from Kia, the Soul that has a bit a lot more pep in its phase is exciting to drive and an interesting total package deal with numerous practicality baked in. And fanatics shouldn’t get worried, for the reason that we’re even now holding out hope for the two-door, 250-hp, hard-core Soul Track’ster.