As the 2010 Kia Soul -- the next hip cube -- prepares to hit dealer lots, pricing info on the Soul has leaked out in the form of a memo to Kia Dealers. The verdict? Kia has come out swinging, loading the Soul up with standard options and starting pricing at just $13,995 including destination charges.
While next door neighbor Hyundai has gotten into a bargain basement competition with down the street neighbor Nissan, Kia has rolled out a slick-looking little box with lots of features that the company hopes will steal some thunder from the established Scion xB and the upcoming Nissan Cube. For only four grand more than Hyundai and Nissan's strippers, Kia gives you ABS, Stability Control, front, side and curtain airbags, AC, power doors and windows, split-folding rear seats, a CD player with USB and Auxiliary Input jacks, three months of free subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio and an economical 122-hp, 1.6L four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission.
If more power, more features and an automatic transmission are on your wishlist, the mid-range Soul + (Soul Plus) trim level will fit you nicely for just $14,950 for a manual transmission or $15,900 for a four-speed automatic. On top of your standard options, you'll pick up Bluetooth connectivity, keyless entry, cruise control, power mirrors, privacy glass, rear disc brakes, 16-in wheels and a 142-hp 2.0L four-cylinder engine.
Now, supposing your new car budget was considerably more than $15,900, you can go two different ways with the top-of-the-line Souls. There's the Soul ! (Soule Exclaim), the ultimate cube cruiser, or the Soul Sport, the cube racer. Both feature the 2.0L engine with five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, 18-in wheels, fog lights, leather on the steering wheel and shift knob, metal finish interior trim and an audio upgrade package featuring an additional center speaker, a subwoofer and an external amplifier.
Should you opt for the comfort of the Soul !, you'll also receive a sunroof, cloth seats with houndstooth inserts and a special Sand/Black interior trim scheme. Go for the Soul Sport and you'll get a sport-tuned suspension, unique front and rear fascias, side sills, a rear spoiler, a special Red/Black interior trim scheme, metal pedals and cloth sport seats. Either way you choose, the Soul ! and Soul Sport both go for $16,950 with the manual transmission and $17,900 for the auto.
So far, the only factory options are the audio upgrade package and the sunroof, bundled with or without the fog lights. None are available on the base model, while all are standard on the Soul !. The sunroof is optional on the Soul Sport, while the audio upgrade and sunroof/fog light combo are optional on the Soul +. A fully optioned Soul Sport will tip the ledger at only $18,600.
This isn't the end of the options list for the Kia Soul, not by a long shot. Kia promises that "the Soul will be available with the most comprehensive list of accessories ever developed for a Kia vehicle." Some of those accessories will include performance upgrades, unique 18-in wheels, a body kit, interior lighting packages and a roof-mounted storage system. More will likely be forthcoming as the on-sale date approaches, and all are likely to be dealer-installed accessories.