Review and Test Drive: 2017 Kia Soul Turbo

By Paul Riegler on 2 March 2017
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Since we last looked at the Kia Soul two years ago, the Korean automaker has made several small changes in styling and one significant change, the addition of a more powerful turbocharged model.

A mid-life refresh has given the boxy but appealing Soul new headlights, front bumpers, wheels, and a new dashboard and infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An optional eight-speaker 315-watt Harman Kardon sound system is new for 2017 and, along with producing clear crisp sound, continues to feature the mood lighting speaker grilles that pulse to the beat of the music.

The turbo model, designated by a “!” (compared to the Base and “+” models), comes standard with black cloth and leather seats with orange contrast stitching, an oddly appealing combination, the aforementioned infotainment system, and the 1.6-liter turbocharged four banger that develops 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This is why we wanted to drive it for a week.

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Added to the option list on the driver assistance side are blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert.

The engine is paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic that drives the front wheels and delivers 26 mpg (9.0 l/100 km) in the city and 31 (7.6) on the highway. In our week with the Soul !, we averaged 29 mpg (8.1 l/100 km) in a mix of suburban and highway driving on New York City’s best streets and highways.

The driver’s interface is an interesting D-shaped steering wheel that incorporates a Drive Select button to switch between Normal and Sport modes although it lacks paddle shifters.

Click here to continue to Page 2The Advantage of a Turbo

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