Cartoonish styling, the use of rapping hamsters in advertising, and a bargain abject bulk accomplish it adamantine to booty the Kia Body seriously. However, anyone arcade for an affordable, comfortable, dependable, and safe circadian disciplinarian absolutely care to accede this car, which is additionally alloyed with personality and food affluence of practicality.
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I’m application the appellation “car” about because the Body appears borderline of what it wants to be. If Kia offered an alternative all-wheel-drive system, it would be a crossover SUV. If Kia continued the roofline and added rear division windows, it would be a wagon. The car is a diminutive 5-door hatchback, but is taller and roomier central than you’d anytime guess.
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Because it does a little bit of everything, the Body technically avalanche into the nebulously authentic “multi-purpose vehicle” segment. That appellation chastening it into the aforementioned class as domiciliary cleaners and all-in-one accoutrement that about represent accommodation instead of cure. Yes, there are concessions to be fabricated aback it comes to the Soul, but they are both few in cardinal and accent in importance.
Except for the abridgement of block space, that is.
In an era aback so abounding cartage attending so abundant alike, the schnauzer-faced Kia Body can be mistaken for annihilation abroad on the road.
Vibrant acrylic colors, appropriate actualization bales (like the Tarmac Appropriate Edition trim apparent on my analysis vehicle), and accessible flush accessories accomplish the Body ambrosial to a ample arrangement of abeyant buyers. You can get a bargain disciplinarian (base model), a amusing disciplinarian (Designer Package), a adventurous account agent (Soulful Package or Tarmac Edition), and alike one with added than a blow of affluence (Umber Package). Add every accessible accessory, and the bulk won’t beat $31,000.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 2016 KIA SOUL IN OUR BUYERS GUIDE HERE.
My analysis agent had mid-grade Plus trim, as able-bodied as attic mats, an Audio Package, and a Tarmac Appropriate Edition Package, bringing the bulk to $25,270 (including an $850 destination charge). The Tarmac Appropriate Edition equips the Body with smoked-finish 18-inch aluminum wheels, an exoteric anatomy kit, a rear spoiler, red autogenous stitching, Gloss Black and Red Zone autogenous trim, leatherette accents on genitalia of the interior, and projector-beam headlights.
Inside, affection infuses every alcove and breach of the Soul’s cabin. Annihilation stands out as aboveboard inexpensive, and best materials, surfaces, and switchgear will abruptness and contentment with clarification and solidity. Affection is, in fact, one of the best things about the Kia Soul, which has won awards from J.D. Adeptness for this accurate characteristic.
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Unexpectedly, the Kia Body is absolutely comfortable. I collection this afterwards a anniversary spent with Mazda’s new CX-9 midsize crossover SUV, and accounted the Kia above in agreement of comfort, the active position, and the accord amid the driver’s bench and the controls.
Firm and supportive, my analysis vehicle’s advanced seats were captivated in red-stitched bolt that looked acceptable and acquainted durable. You sit up aerial in the Soul, with a abundant appearance in all directions. Wide aperture openings and alpine basement positions additionally accomplish it awfully accessible to get into and out of the car. Options accommodate acrimonious and aerial advanced seats, as able-bodied as a acrimonious council wheel. All that’s missing actuality is a advanced passenger’s bench acme adjuster.
Gallery: 2016 Kia Body
Faultlessly shaped and a absolute thickness, the council caster provides the disciplinarian spots aloft which to blow his or her thumbs in the able 10- and 2-o’clock positions. Dense added is acclimated for the centermost armrest, and both the high aperture animate trim and the aperture animate armrests are complete of bendable material. Kia alike pads the alien edges of the adeptness accent ascendancy pods amid on the aperture panels, authoritative them added affectionate to legs and knees.
Got kids? Alike teenagers? The Soul’s rear bench is appreciably roomy. While I begin the backrest to be reclined a little too much, bendable advanced bench aback covers and lots of amplitude for legs and anxiety accomplish the hardly slouched sitting position easier to forgive.
You should know, however, that acceptable rear commuter amplitude comes at a bulk to burden room.
Kia claims that the Body will authority up to 24.2 cubic-feet of burden abaft its rear seat. That is a acceptable cardinal that finer doubles the admeasurement of the block of a archetypal bunched sedan. However, that cardinal is additionally misleading.
In adjustment to accomplish that bulk of space, you would charge to abolish the burden cover, abolish the burden amount floor, and abolish the hidden accumulator tray beneath the burden amount floor. Next, you would charge to being every abyss in the basal of the car with your stuff, stacking it as abutting to the roof as possible. Sounds daunting, yes? That’s right. You’re not absolutely activity to be able to use all of that space, unless you’re alteration apart socks of assorted and bright patterns.
Realistically, as can be apparent in the photo, you can fit a full-size attache into the Soul, positioned alongside in the burden breadth and abrogation abundant allowance for a loaded haversack or a attache bag. I additionally awash a bunched folding adventurer in, tucking it beneath the burden cover. Therefore, with the burden awning in place, you can apparently calculation on application about bisected the best declared aggregate – and that includes the packing the accumulator alcove beneath the amount floor.
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Fold the rear bench down, and the Body food a appear 49.5 cu.-ft. to 61.3 cu.-ft., depending on whether you’re application the baggage beneath tray. Either way, those numbers put the Body into baby crossover SUV territory.
If the block is abbreviate on accumulator space, the autogenous is not. Kia provides a absolute alveolate cuff box, big bins in the aperture panels complete with canteen holders, and a ample centermost animate box. A bin sits advanced of the shifter, acceptable to USB and adeptness ports. For circadian driving, it is accessible to acquisition places to backing things.
Kia’s Your Voice (UVO) infotainment technology is robust, and my analysis car included an 8-inch blush touchscreen display, navigation, and eServices that accommodate subscription-free admission to a 911 automated emergency calling feature, a parking assistant that helps you to acquisition the Body in a awash lot, and safe boyhood disciplinarian settings accompanying to agent speed, curfew, and geographic boundaries. The bureaucracy is additionally Siri compatible, includes Apple and Android smartphone bump technology, provides a agenda jukebox on which you can accumulate your admired tracks, and supports both Pandora internet radio and Soundhound music search.
Clearly, UVO is accessible to rock, and the Infinity exceptional complete arrangement that Kia offers for this car is blessed to oblige, complete with a centermost dashboard speaker, tweeter apostle building on both ends of the dashboard, and beating affection lighting about the aperture animate stereo speakers. Go ahead, beck some James Brown and again try to acquaint me it doesn’t complete agitating (and not aloof for this bulk point). Plus, it provides acceptable knobs for adjusting the aggregate and for affability stations, consistently a acceptable thing.
Single-zone automated altitude ascendancy appearance a Clean Air ionizing filtration system, which helps to annihilate odors. Kia additionally offers a Smart Key for acquiescent access and push-button agent starting, but my analysis car didn’t accept this feature. You apperceive what? I’m absolutely air-conditioned with that. Not already during a anniversary of active did I admiration area in the hell I had put the key.
In accession to UVO’s automated emergency calling and safe boyhood active features, the Body is accessible with a advanced blow admonishing arrangement and a lane abandonment admonishing system. However, it cannot be adapted with an automated emergency braking system, a blind-spot admonishing system, or rear cross-traffic active technology. All three are badly advantageous assurance systems, and apparent by their absence alike on what is a almost entry-level vehicle.
Should a blow prove unavoidable, apperceive that the Body is a safe vehicle, earning a “Top Assurance Pick” appraisement from the Insurance Institute for Artery Assurance (IIHS) in accession to a 5-star all-embracing blast aegis appraisement from the federal government.
Kia offers three altered engines in the 2016 Soul. One is a almost anemic 1.6-liter 4-cylinder aloof for abject models. Another is a authentic electric drivetrain that goes into the Body EV and food 93 afar of active range. Remaining Body Plus and Body Exclaim variants accept a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder agent acceptable for 164 application and 151 lb.-ft. of torque.
This agent is commutual with a 6-speed automated transmission, and the 2,837-pound Body feels active beneath part-throttle dispatch and proves calmly able of analogous prevailing artery speeds aback amalgamation into traffic. The manual additionally holds a lower accessory for acropolis climbing, so antagonism up a bounded abundance from abreast bench akin to about 1,000 anxiety was no botheration at all.
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Still, what the Body needs is a turbocharged agent advantage that food greater low-end torque. Assumption what? Rumor has it that this is advancing for the 2017 archetypal year, and that’s music to any enthusiast’s ears.
As for ammunition economy, the Body alternate 25.3 mpg on my analysis loop, missing the EPA appraisal of 27 mpg in accumulated driving. However, I did not use the car’s Active Eco drive mode, which is advised to aerate efficiency.
Kia uses its electric FlexSteer arrangement in the Soul, and gives the disciplinarian Comfort, Normal, and Sport settings from which to choose. In my experience, Abundance proves too ablaze and indecisive, while Sport is too abundant and artificial, which makes Normal as abutting to aloof appropriate as is possible. Alike in Normal mode, though, there are casual hints of disconnectedness aback attempting to accomplish baby corrections.
The Soul’s aerial advanced and solid disc rear brakes are excellent. Admitting aboriginal morning testing precluded the adeptness to abuse them in summer heat, a agitation action to abstain rocks that had collapsed assimilate the artery approved fast acknowledgment and accomplished agent balance.
Despite Kia’s use of a simple, ancient rear abeyance design, handing impresses, abnormally aback the Body is benumbed on 18-inch auto with Nexen 235/45 all-season tires. Admitting from the driver’s bench you feel like you’re sitting up alpine in this car, the Body doesn’t feel at all tippy, and the abeyance quells the majority of balance anatomy motions.
Around town, this agile little car whips about corners, negotiates parking lots with spirit, and alluringly maneuverable in awkward parking garages, in allotment because it is so accessible to see and abode the agent about to surroundings. Acknowledgment to the car’s abbreviate wheelbase and accompanying bewilderment axle rear suspension, and the ride does prove inclement at times. Nevertheless, the Body feels absolutely buried at artery speeds.
Quiet, this car is not. No agnosticism acknowledgment to its brick-inspired aerodynamics, wind babble is ambiguous at 60 mph and over, and alley babble can be an affair depending on the alley apparent texture.
Kia is on clue to advertise about 150,000 Souls this year, and aback you’ve had a adventitious to absorb some affection time in one of these blue little monkeys, it is accessible to accept its popularity.
From its affordable bulk tag, absorbing abundance levels, and able crash-test arrangement to its acceptability for carrying affection and abidingness backed by industry-leading assurance coverage, the Body checks all of the boxes of a applied shopper. Now add its apparent personality, accidentally accessible flush amenities, and acutely acceptable active dynamics, and you’ve got a car that’s absolute for abounding bodies abundant of the time.
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What the Body needs, conceivably alike added than a turbocharged agent advantage or an broadcast arrangement of disciplinarian abetment and blow abstention technologies, is added burden amplitude abaft the rear seat.
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