2014 Kia Soul Exclaim Long-Term Update 2
Track'ster-Inspired Soul is no Track Star
The Motor Trend road test editors recently took our long-term 2014 Kia Soul to the track to find out how this hamster-mobile performs when pushed to the limits. The Soul was one of the better-looking cars at the track that day. That's because the second-gen Soul was inspired heavily by the sporty Track'ster concept that debuted at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. The Track'ster -- essentially an aggressive version of the Soul -- was geared toward track duty, with a 250-hp, 2.0-liter turbo-four matched to a six-speed transmission that sent that power to an electronically controlled all-wheel-drive setup. Like a true track car, the concept wore Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires that were put to a stop thanks to Brembo hardware. While the Soul draws heavily on the Track'ster's exterior design theme, it ends there, as it has nothing else in common with the concept. It's not the Track'ster, and it's no track star.
The Soul needed 8.6 seconds to accelerate from 0-60 mph. As for the quarter-mile, it got there in 16.6 seconds with a trap speed of 84.3 mph. There's nothing extremely turbo about those numbers, but then again, the Soul is not meant to be a track toy. Rather, it's supposed to be an urban cruiser, and it plays that role to a T. Associate online editor Nate Martinez took the Soul out for a night and said that on city streets, the car felt pretty quick off the line. However, that sensation quickly fades as power falls flat at wide open throttle, but then again, it's not advised going WOT on city streets unless you want a speeding ticket.
Also giving the illusion of a much beefier engine is the loud 2.0-liter mill, which really wails when the gas pedal is coaxed, but not so much in a good way. Its tight turning circle makes it easy to bust quick U-turns on busy city streets. At 34.8 feet, the bigger Soul has the same turning radius as the smaller Versa Note, and a tighter turning circle than the 2015 Honda Fit, which needs 35.1 feet to complete a whole turn.
While it's great in town, it's not so much on the highway, as digital director Chris Clonts noted the ride gets a little jittery. But that's forgiven as you take full advantage of all the Soul Exclaim's amenities.
|2014 Kia Soul (Exclaim)|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$26,635|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door hatchback|
|ENGINE||2.0L/164-hp/151-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3076 lb (60/40%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||163.0 x 70.9 x 63.0 in|
|0-60 MPH||8.6 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||16.6 sec @ 84.3 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||114 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.80 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||28.1 sec @ 0.62 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||23/31/26 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY||147/109 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.75 lb/mile|