What’s your dream car? If you are a follower of my site you know that I happen to be in love with the Hyundai Santa Fe. Until…. I test drove the new Kia Soul. Yes, you read correctly: 2014 Kia Soul. My buddies at Drive STI asked me if I would reconsider my opinion about the 2013 version and try out the 2014 model. Needless to say, I wasn’t prepared to love this car. After all, it’s looks the same on the outside: Boxy and small but I was in for a great surprise when I actually got in the car and drive it. The inside is totally new—funky, has lots of cool features and an overall huge improvement over the 2013 iteration.
Remember how I said in my last post about the Kia Soul that “I couldn’t help feeling that I was driving a large box”? Well, with the 2014 version, I got over that feeling because as Lulu put it so eloquently: “This car is AWESOME!” The car comes with a standard with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine but we drove the more powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Unlike last year’s model, this Kia really kicked it on the highway. Remember how I felt like I was struggling to get up to speed when I drove the 2013 model? Well, that was a feeling of the past. I loved driving the 2014 Kia Soul on the highways (almost as much as I loved driving it on the Chicago streets.) Maybe I was so pleased because I enjoyed the high-quality, comfortable and supportive seats? Or maybe I just enjoyed the heated steering wheel?
The cabin is roomy and, to be quite honest, I sort of forgot what car I was driving—I really felt like I was driving a luxury car. There are quite a number of standard features including a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, satellite radio, USB and auxiliary inputs and steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls. The available UVO infotainment system keeps drivers connected and has an intuitive touch screen, test drivers say. Other available features include a backup camera, an Infinity sound system, navigation, push-button start, automatic climate control and a panoramic sunroof.
Let’s go back to the basic mom question: Is the Kia Soul the next Keats Family Car?
We loved this car. In fact, I practically begged Drive STI to loan it to me for another week. At one point, Adam and I sort of bickered about who would get to drive the Kia Soul to the gym. But, the car lacks the one characteristic that we still require: space. Yes, the back does have ample room for groceries, golf clubs and suitcases but you can’t fit all of them in at the same time even if you fold down the backseats. We still need a car that can carry all of our “junk” and contain our German Shepherd. Unfortunately, the 2014 Kia Soul, a car that really was designed with urban dwellers without kids in mind, can’t be magically transformed into the latest iteration of the 1980’s version of the station wagon. If that’s what you are looking for then this is not the car for your family.
But if you are looking for a reasonably priced, sporty car with tons of cool bonus features and aren’t in need of a lot of cargo room, then I absolutely endorse the 2014 Kia Soul. Bottom line: We LOVED this car!
Disclosure: I am not a car person; I don’t review cars for a living. But I am a mom who is concerned about the safety of her family, is budget conscience and also takes pride in have a cool “mom-mobile. ” All opinions and views with regard to this car review, the company that loaned it to me or the vehicle manufacturer are entirely mine and were not influenced, edited or even reviewed by the companies prior to posting.