Kia Soul (2014 - 2018) review - Interior, design and technology
The Soul stands out in a crowd, and Connected models feel especially up-to-the minute
Whatever you thought about the styling of the original Kia Soul, you’re likely to maintain the same opinion of the new car. While the switch to a larger platform has increased the overall dimensions, the angular lines and boxy silhouette are pretty much the same as before.
The bluff front end features a false grille, and the air intakes have been moved down to the bumper. The combination of sharp angles and bulging wheelarch blisters gives it a bit of an SUV look.
At the back, large tail-lamps flank the upright tailgate with a flash of gloss black plastic connecting the lights, which makes it look similar to the Fiat Qubo, while the rear bumper sticks out awkwardly.
The cabin features quite a bit of black plastic – a familiar Kia feature – but the speaker-topped vertical air vents at either end of the dash add a bit of style to the cabin. Contrast stitching on the seats, honeycomb seat patterns and gloss black plastic around the gearlever also give the interior a lift.
If you avoid the entry–level 1 trim, the interior in the second-gen Soul is modern and fresh. An eight-inch colour touchscreen dominates the dash and gives the cabin an up-to-date feel.
Build quality is also excellent with lots of soft touch materials and big robust dial and switches. The layout is straightforward, while piano black inserts brighten up the cabin even further.
To mark it out from the pack, the Soul EV comes with a blanked-out front grille that opens to reveal a pair of charging ports - one for a standard charger and the other for a fast charger. A set of unique 16-inch wheels have been designed to slice through the air more efficiently, while there's a two-tone paint job on the outside and a lighter colour scheme for the interior.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
A particular highlight on the Soul 3 and Sport is the eight-inch touchscreen. The graphics are crystal clear and easily legible, while the sat-nav map has clean graphics and you can even set up your own home menu that features the options you use most frequently.
The system features 8 speakers, and sat-nav with full European mapping. These models also get a 4.2-linch display between the dashboard dials. Bluetooth connectivity and a DAB radio with a minimum of six-speakers is standard across the range.
In this review
- 1Kia Soul reviewThe latest Kia Soul keeps the chunky looks of the previous model, but improves practicality and equipment
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Soul’s engines feel a bit old-school, as the petrol is thirsty and the diesel clatters
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsDisappointing economy and emissions figures mean the Soul will be pricier to run than it could be
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingThe Soul stands out in a crowd, and Connected models feel especially up-to-the minute
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Soul is spacious and comfortable, if a bit lacking in clever packaging details
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Kia should perform reliably, but Euro NCAP expressed reservations after crash testing