2012 Kia Soul

MSRP ?

$13,900 - $19,600
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Engine Engine 1.6LI-4
MPG MPG 25 City / 30 Hwy
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2012 Soul Overview

Front Runner Improves On All Fronts The Kia Soul certainly didn't need a refresh. With more than 10,000 units flying out of showrooms each month and a growing list of awards and accolades under its belt, the Korean automaker's boxiest compact is a success story regardless of the angle. Yet, after just two model years, Kia has invested significantly in its little four-door. Emerging at the 2011 New York Auto Show earlier this year was this considerably updated 2012 Soul sporting a freshened look, innovative new technology and two new powertrains. These aren't maneuvers from an automaker scrambling to play catch-up. Rather, these are the actions of a company not satisfied with being merely competitive in this important youthful segment. Kia doesn't want to play. Kia wants to win. Last week, we crossed the expansive Pacific Ocean to get an early drive of the vehicle that promises to leave many Scion xB, Nissan Cube and Honda Fit engineers flustered - scratching their scalps - wondering how to close the gap. Last year, Kia offered four different Soul models: Base, +, ! and Sport (to simplify, we will call them – as Kia also does – Base, Plus, Exclaim and Sport). The Sport model, with its more firmly tuned suspension and unique cosmetic touches, has been dropped for 2012. No worries, as the remaining three models roll into showrooms this fall with a host of improvements that will have you forgetting this discontinued sibling. The exterior of the updated 2012 model sports a completely redesigned front and rear fascia with a lot more character. The nose has been brightened with new multi-reflector headlights on the Base and Plus models, and projector beam headlights with LED running lamps on the Exclaim model. There are also larger and more prominent fog lamps on the lower front bumper of both. At the rear, the lower position lights have been pushed outward and LED taillights are fitted to the Exclaim model. Outside mirrors have been redesigned, with integrated turn signals on the Exclaim. There are new 16- and 18-inch alloy wheel designs (and new covers for the steel wheels on the base model). Lastly, the tires on the range-topping Exclaim have grown slightly in width from 225/45R18 to 235/45R18. The interior features a new gauge cluster, a redesigned center stack and a new transmission console. The materials and upholstery have been upgraded and there are no fewer than 14 different storage areas. There are standard USB and AUX input jacks on the center console offering full iPod controllability through the standard audio head unit. Audiophiles on a budget will appreciate the standard Infinity audio system with 350 watts on the Soul Acclaim (optional on the Soul Plus). With an external amplifier, it blows through seven speakers including a subwoofer. A rainbow of colored lights accent some of the speakers, beating to the music or just creating mood illumination. Interior and exterior improvements aside, the biggest news for the 2012 Kia Soul is purely mechanical. As …
Full Review

2012 Soul Overview

Front Runner Improves On All Fronts The Kia Soul certainly didn't need a refresh. With more than 10,000 units flying out of showrooms each month and a growing list of awards and accolades under its belt, the Korean automaker's boxiest compact is a success story regardless of the angle. Yet, after just two model years, Kia has invested significantly in its little four-door. Emerging at the 2011 New York Auto Show earlier this year was this considerably updated 2012 Soul sporting a freshened look, innovative new technology and two new powertrains. These aren't maneuvers from an automaker scrambling to play catch-up. Rather, these are the actions of a company not satisfied with being merely competitive in this important youthful segment. Kia doesn't want to play. Kia wants to win. Last week, we crossed the expansive Pacific Ocean to get an early drive of the vehicle that promises to leave many Scion xB, Nissan Cube and Honda Fit engineers flustered - scratching their scalps - wondering how to close the gap. Last year, Kia offered four different Soul models: Base, +, ! and Sport (to simplify, we will call them – as Kia also does – Base, Plus, Exclaim and Sport). The Sport model, with its more firmly tuned suspension and unique cosmetic touches, has been dropped for 2012. No worries, as the remaining three models roll into showrooms this fall with a host of improvements that will have you forgetting this discontinued sibling. The exterior of the updated 2012 model sports a completely redesigned front and rear fascia with a lot more character. The nose has been brightened with new multi-reflector headlights on the Base and Plus models, and projector beam headlights with LED running lamps on the Exclaim model. There are also larger and more prominent fog lamps on the lower front bumper of both. At the rear, the lower position lights have been pushed outward and LED taillights are fitted to the Exclaim model. Outside mirrors have been redesigned, with integrated turn signals on the Exclaim. There are new 16- and 18-inch alloy wheel designs (and new covers for the steel wheels on the base model). Lastly, the tires on the range-topping Exclaim have grown slightly in width from 225/45R18 to 235/45R18. The interior features a new gauge cluster, a redesigned center stack and a new transmission console. The materials and upholstery have been upgraded and there are no fewer than 14 different storage areas. There are standard USB and AUX input jacks on the center console offering full iPod controllability through the standard audio head unit. Audiophiles on a budget will appreciate the standard Infinity audio system with 350 watts on the Soul Acclaim (optional on the Soul Plus). With an external amplifier, it blows through seven speakers including a subwoofer. A rainbow of colored lights accent some of the speakers, beating to the music or just creating mood illumination. Interior and exterior improvements aside, the biggest news for the 2012 Kia Soul is purely mechanical. As …Hide Full Review