The all-new 2014 Kia Soul compact SUV

Published | 17/03/2014
  • Smooth new look inspired by 2012 Kia Track’ster concept
  • All-new platform, stiffer bodyshell and upgraded suspension improve driving dynamics and ride comfort
  • Significantly quieter cabin, with higher quality materials throughout
  • More space for people and cargo, plus a range of new premium features
  • Extensive range of customisation options available  in 2014
Sicily, 17 March 2014 – The all-new 2014 Kia Soul compact SUV, made its European debut at the 65th Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) in Frankfurt, and will go on sale in Europe in the spring of 2014.  The smooth new-look exterior is inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept and introduces a thoroughly fresh, more grown-up appearance without losing its individualistic edge.

Although the new Soul is ‘all-new’ – none of the exterior body panels are carried over, and the interior is a new design – the 2014 Soul’s upright stance, squared shoulders, wraparound greenhouse, high-mounted tail lights and confidence-inspiring ride height are all hallmark design elements which will ensure the new model is instantly recognisable as a Soul.

“The Soul has attracted a loyal following among Kia buyers, so it was important that the all-new model remained true to the original iconic design.  Beyond design, our main focus was infusing it with improved driving dynamics, developing a higher-quality cabin and adding desirable features that improve the Soul’s appeal, value and sophistication,” comments Artur Martins, Vice President Marketing, Kia Motors Europe.

“Keeping what made the current Soul special while addressing areas for improvement presented Kia’s design studio in California and engineers in Korea with a tough challenge.  Many of the Track’ster’s dramatic design elements – first seen in 2012 – can now be found in the new Soul.  Kia has maintained the iconic design while adding modern styling cues to make the 2014 Soul even more desirable,” adds Martins.

Exterior similarities between the new Soul and Track’ster concept are clear.  The large trapezoidal lower front air intake is carried over from the concept, and the fog lights – located low down and pushed to the outer edges – mirror those found on the concept.  Kia’s signature grille is present, though reworked to more closely resemble the concept and bring it in line with other models in the product line-up.

Chassis and powertrain
The biggest technical change for the new 2014 Soul is the adoption of an all-new platform, based on that of the latest Kia cee’d.

The re-engineered bodyshell is now made of 66% ultra-high strength or high strength steel, with stronger connections along the cowl, upper and lower B-pillars and between the C-pillars.  The result is a 29% increase in torsional rigidity compared to the outgoing model.  Thanks to the use of ultra-high strength steel, the A-pillars are 20 mm narrower, improving forward visibility.

The MacPherson strut front suspension is now mounted on a subframe with four bushings (none are used on the first-generation Soul) to better isolate the cabin from vibrations and minimise ride harshness.  The steering box has been moved forward, improving steering response and reducing impacts felt through the wheel.  At the rear, the shock absorbers are longer and are mounted vertically, delivering greater suspension travel and smoother operation to improve ride comfort.

The stronger bodyshell, together with suspension upgrades, has enabled Kia engineers to create a car with significantly improved driving dynamics, ride quality and greater refinement.

Buyers will be able to choose between the latest versions of Kia’s 1.6-litre GDI gasoline and 1.6 CRDi diesel engines, as well as six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions.

The 2014 Kia Soul has subtly larger dimensions. The overall length is increased by 20 mm (to 4,140 mm) and the wheelbase has been extended by 20 mm (to 2,570 mm).  The new model is also 15 mm wider (to 1,800 mm) and 10mm lower (now 1,600 mm). The new dimensions also allowed improvements to the vehicle’s practicality.  The tailgate opening is now 60 mm wider, providing easier access to a larger cargo area, which has had its capacity increased by 4% to 354 litres with the rear seats upright.

Upgraded interior
Driver and passengers in the new Soul will enjoy a significantly quieter cabin, with higher quality materials throughout, and greater sound proofing compared to the outgoing Soul – interior noise levels are reduced by approximately three decibels.  

The cabin is also larger, with increased front headroom (by 6 mm),  1,040 mm front leg room, and increased shoulder room (up 7.5 mm).  Rear legroom is also increased (by 4 mm).  Allowing even easier entry and egress, the new Soul’s step-in height has been reduced (by 5 mm), while seat hip points are lower (by 12 mm), front and rear.

Buyers can make a choice between single- and two-tone interiors, with black, brown and grey leather and fabrics available.  Blue, red and orange high-gloss interior highlights will  also available with a new range of interior packages during the life cycle.

Specification and premium features
Promising a more rewarding ownership experience, the 2014 Soul will be available in Europe with a range of new premium features (depending on model), including: front LED daytime running lights and rear LED ‘halo’ lights; HID headlights; keyless entry and push-button engine start; automatic climate control air-conditioning; Infinity premium sound system; 8” Navigation system; DAB radio (in some markets); cruise control; leather seat trim; ventilated front seats; heated front and rear seats; panoramic glass sunroof; and heated and foldable exterior mirrors.  There is also the promise of advanced new connectivity features in future, while an optional Infinity sound system – tuned specifically for the new Soul – will also be available.

The new Kia Soul can be specified with a number of safety and convenience features to further give the new vehicle a ‘big car’ feel.  These features include: High Beam Assist, a first for Kia in Europe; Smart Parking Assist System, now with parallel and perpendicular parking functionality; and a Lane Departure Warning System.

Increased customisation
The new Soul will also carry over the outgoing model’s reputation for customization.  When the car goes on sale in 2014, buyers will be able to choose between 11 exterior paint finishes, as well as four two-tone body colours  – red and black, white and red, blue and white and vanilla shake and black.  Seven different alloy wheels– ranging from 16-inch to 18-inch in size – will be available, including four new designs with coloured inserts to contrast – or match – the body colour.

The Soul is available with a new SUV Styling Pack, featuring piano black bumper garnish, side skirts, wheel arches and black painted roof.  The new range of Soul accessory kits, available later in 2014, are designed to enable owners to fully enjoy and exploit the versatility of this unique compact SUV.

The all-new 2014 Kia Soul will go on sale across Europe next year when the full model line-up, choice of gasoline and diesel powertrains, performance, economy, equipment specifications and prices will be confirmed.


2014 Kia Soul

Body and chassis 
Five-door, five-seater B-segment compact SUV with all-steel unitary construction bodyshell. Choice of transversely-mounted four cylinder gasoline and diesel engines driving the front wheels via a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

Engine / Gasoline    
1.6-litre 132 ps    
Name 1.6 GDI  
Type (4-in-line), DOHC, four-cylinder, with CVVT
Capacity 1591 cc (1.6-litres)  
Power 132 ps (97 kW) @ 6300 rpm  
Torque 161 Nm (16.4 kg.m) @ 4850 rpm  
Fuelling Direct injection  
Engine / Diesel    
1.6-litre 128 ps    
Name 1.6 CRDi  
Type (4-in-line), DOHC, four-cylinder, with 16-valves
Capacity 1582 cc (1.6-litres)  
Power 128 ps (94 kW) @ 4000 rpm  
Torque 260 Nm (26.5 kg.m) @ 1900-2750 rpm  
Fuelling Common-rail direct injection  
Transmissions 1.6 GDI 1.6 CRDi
Manual 6-sp 6-sp
Automatic 6-sp 6-sp
Suspension and damping    
Front Fully independent by MacPherson struts, with coil springs and twin-tube gas-filled shock absorbers. Anti-roll 22 mm stabiliser bar
Rear Semi independent by CTBA (coupled torsion beam axle) with separate coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers
Type (MDPS) Electric motor driven power-assisted rack and pinion
Steering ratio 15.7:1 (1.6 GDI), 16.0:1 (1.6 CRDi)  
Wheel turns 2.85 (1.6 GDI), 3.0 (1.6 CRDi) lock-to-lock  
Turning circle 10.6 meters  
Power Single 10.0-inch booster  
Front 280 x 26 mm ventilated discs  
Rear 262 x 10 mm solid discs  
Assistance ABS anti-lock  
100-to-0 kph 35.5 metres  
Wheels and tires    
Standard, steel 16 inch x 6.5 205/60 R16 tires
Options, alloy 16 inch x 6.5 205/60 R16 tires
  17 inch x 6.5 215/55 R17 tires
  18 inch x 7.5 235/45 R18 tires
Spare Temporary 'space-saver' wheel/tire  
Dimensions (mm)    
Overall length 4140  
Overall width 1800 (excluding door mirrors)  
Overall height 1593 (16", without roof bars) - 1618 (18", with roof bars)
Wheelbase 2570  
Front track 1560 to 1576 (depending on wheels)  
Rear track 1573 to 1588 (depending on wheels)  
Front overhang 840  
Rear overhang 730  
Ground clearance 143  
Interior Front Rear
Headroom 1006 1003
with sunroof 962 963
Legroom 1040 994
Shoulder room 1410 1390
Hip room 1352 1252
Fuel tank (litres) 54.0  
Luggage (VDA) 354 litres (rear seats upright, luggage board in lower position)
  1367 litres (rear seats folded, to roof)
Manual models    
Weights 1.6 GDI 1.6 CRDi
Kerb weight (kg) 1212-1371 1308-1463
Maximum (kg) 1820 1920
Top speed (kph) 185 180
0-to-100 kph (sec) 11.0 11.2
Economy and emissions*    
Litres / 100 km** 6.5-7.3 4.8-5.0
CO2 (g/km)** 151-170
Automatic models    
Weights 1.6 GDI 1.6 CRDi
Kerb weight (kg) 1245-1398 1331-1482
Maximum (kg) 1850 1940
Top speed (kph) 180 177
0-to-100 kph (sec) 11.7 12.2
Economy and emissions*    
Litres / 100 km** 7.6 6.0
CO2 (g/km)** 176 158
*combined cycle tests (based on Euro 5 emissions standard)
**emissions don't vary according to different wheel sizes

MARCH 2014