With a quasi-Mini Cooper Countryman looks (and a good prominence and interior room it gets as a result), measure that contend “hot hatch” to some, and “crossover” to others as good as doo-dads like colour-changing orator bezels and rather dumb colour seats – not to discuss a full EV indication – a Kia Soul has always harboured a certain charm.
Younger buyers like it for a looks, comparison buyers like it for a accessibility and roominess; it always had this totally inoffensive, rather bulldog puppyish, contented opinion about it. Not to discuss it was one of a initial entrants in a subcompact crossover shred that each manufacturer seems to be rushing a theatre to get to these days.
The one thing it always lacked, however, was power. No matter how musty it looked and acted, few would ever have called it “fast”.
Then, about 4 years ago, a small, 1.6L turbo engine started appearing in some of a Soul’s Kia siblings and Hyundai cousins; a Kia Forte SX got it first, afterwards a Hyundai Veloster a integrate of years after that. These were both front-drive hatches that common a common height with a Soul, and it seemed maybe a time was developed for a Soul to get a small forced-induction boost of a own.
We’d have to wait, though, for a Soul to finally make a turbocharged breakthrough as a 2017 model.
Like a 2017, a 2018’s turbo’d 4 banger creates 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque; these aren’t Honda Civic or Hyundai Elantra GT figures; these are Volkswagen Golf GTI—on a hp front, anyway—or Honda Civic Si figures, and they are now portion avocation in one of a funkiest cars we can get today. Even some-more so with VW’s proclamation they’re murdering off a Beetle.
Style-wise, we can tell my automobile is a rather hotted-up Soul, what with a musty 18-inch two-tone wheels, import tuner-esque behind diffuser with twin (!) empty tips and a claim “turbo” badging. My car’s Wild Orange (sure! Why not?) paint pursuit is also right on a income for what this sold Soul is all about.
Inside, black cloth/leatherette seating with resisting piping and flat-bottomed circle (totally unnecessary, yet cold nonetheless) do a good pursuit of ramming home that sporty-hatch vibe. The rest is customary Soul – doorway speakers with colour changing bezels (you can set them to “off”, “mood” or “music” and what a lighting does responds in kind), vertical-look speakers above a lurch and extended lurch fascia, with all buttons firmly aligned around a 7” touchscreen. Overall, it’s a unequivocally fun place to be and while we might consider all those dancing colours would be distracting, they unequivocally aren’t. They’re only kind of cool. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also supported; happily, my time spent with a Soul suggested no connectivity or opening issues, even with Google Play Music, that seems to always have difficulty when used in and with CarPlay. we was left to suffer a Soul’s agreeably strong sound complement with small trouble.
Actually, a whole interior knowledge with a Soul Turbo is difficulty free; indeed, we can see since it’s so popular. The doorway openings both front and behind make for easy access, as does a high-mounted seat. Then, once in, a hothouse is high so we get a good perspective out from all angles. The seats are a small prosaic and a seating position utterly upright, yet with such a high roof, it doesn’t impact headroom, even with a glorious breathtaking sunroof on my tester. That, of course, adds to a liughtness already supposing by a high windows. we also adore how a exhilarated steering circle comes on discerning and how a whole edge is heated, as against to only a area around a 9 and 3 o’clock positions as is a box on some cars.
The boxy styling also means a good volume of storage space, that is complimented by fold-flat behind seats and even some divided underfloor storage. Couples should have no problem during all, and even families of 3 will be excellent with only a small creativity, as prolonged as they keep a child or pets in a rather cosy behind seat. The bottom line is we always looked brazen to removing into a Soul; as shortly as you’re sat inside, we get a feeling that most courtesy has been paid to make it as easy on occupants as possible, and we puncture that.
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The genuine doubt in a box of a Soul Turbo, though, is does it make it fun for drivers? After all, that’s what a further of a turbocharger is all about, right?
Well, energy is sent to a front wheels around a singular delivery choice – a 7-speed dual-clutch automobile – that means one of a aspects of a truly good prohibited induce or sporty compress – consider Honda Civic Si/Type R, Mazdaspeed3, VW GTI – is missing. Those are all accessible with a primer transmission, and some are only accessible as such. Now, a Soul isn’t accurately a prohibited induce – as we talked about earlier, it’s some-more a subcompact CUV – yet a fact that they combined a Turbo suggests that they’re perplexing to strech a opposite shopping group; a shopping organisation that likes a primer ‘box. That’s not an choice with a Soul; heck, we can’t even change gears yourself around wheel-mounted paddles. You’d consider they could have given us that.
Luckily, aside from a small turbo loiter by a initial 1,000 revs or so, energy comes on easily and quickly; rise torque starts during 1,500 rpm and continues by to 4,500, definition a good swell of unchanging power. Passing during speed is no issue, and if we concentration on gripping it on boil by bendy roads, a Soul acquits itself comparatively good on a energy front. You can of march change it yourself by bumping a change push front and aft, yet it’s not something we found myself doing all that often.
Handling-wise, not most changes from customary Souls; yeah, there are a bigger wheels yet a Kumho tires are still flattering spare with soft-ish sidewalls, so we never utterly forget that you’re pushing a flattering high automobile with obvious physique roll. The steering, though, is manageable and there’s even a jot of feel by that corpulent flat-bottomed wheel, all good departures from your standard people-moving crossover. The float is also easily composed, so even yet it’s high and all, a bland bumps we come opposite on a daily invert are easily engrossed and dealt with.
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So, a Turbo chronicle has managed to supplement a small power, yet compromising a rest of what creates a Soul great. The looks, comfort and trendiness are still in place – but, does a turbocharger and a $6,000 it commands over a similarly-equipped non-Turbo Soul fill a opening estimable of a cost increase? I’d contend that if energy is what you’re looking for, it has. However, if you’re looking for a opening acclimatisation a la Civic Si or something along those lines, I’m not so certain you’re going to find it here; there’s a delivery issue, zero has unequivocally been finished to a doing of any note and if it matters to you, you’ll never get a re-sale value here as we would with a Honda. Having pronounced that, though, I’m indeed peaceful to pardon a Soul Turbo that since it’s so really good executed in each other way, that a small additional extract kind of completes a package. In all honesty, it’s to a indicate where we can see myself deliberation a Soul Turbo and a some-more inexhaustible accommodations – as good as this newfound energy – when looking for a some-more normal sporty compact, let alone any other subcompact CUV.
2018 Kia Soul SX Turbo Tech
BODY STYLE: five-door compress CUV
DRIVE METHOD: front-mounted motor, front-wheel drive
ENGINE: 1.6L VI4, turbo; Power: 201hp; Torque: 195 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
CARGO CAPACITY: 532-1,409 litres
FUEL ECONOMY (EST): 9.1/7.7 L/100 km city/highway
PRICING: $29,995 as tested
WEBSITE: Kia Soul
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