Kia Canada reveals all-new 2014 Kia Soul at the Montreal International Auto Show (MIAS)

  • Refined interior, cutting-edge technology and striking road presence maintain Soul's iconic status

MONTREAL, Jan. 16, 2014 /CNW/ - Kia Canada Inc. has revealed pricing and content detail of the all-new 2014 Kia Soul urban hatchback. The vehicle is currently available in Canadian dealership showrooms.

The Soul enters the 2014 model year with an all-new take on design, driving dynamics and desirable features that totally transform one of Kia's most iconic vehicles into an urban vehicle that is as comfortable in the city as it is on the open highway. The signature Soul design is instantly recognizable, yet thoroughly fresh, with more than a passing nod to the hot Track'ster concept that was unveiled last year. Riding on a new chassis that is stiffer, longer and wider, the all-new Soul has evolved without losing its edge, while reducing Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH) levels. A flatter torque curve and significant suspension upgrades make the 2014 Soul a nimble and agile companion in congested urban environments. Honouring Soul owners' fierce individualism, three unique trim levels (LX, EX and SX) are available to consumers in Canada.

"The second generation Soul urban hatchback elevates the iconic vehicle to new heights without compromising the original spirit and fun to drive vehicle that it was originally intended to be," said Robert Staffieri, Director of Marketing, Kia Canada Inc. "Striking exterior design cues from the Track'ster concept coupled with a premium interior cabin, along with a vastly improved ride and handling experience, all contribute to an impressive and well thought out new iteration."

The all-new Soul displays its own individuality through a blend of funky personality, fun-to-drive characteristics and premium upgrades intended to set it apart from the pack. A playful colour palette, including Soul-exclusive colors such as Solar Yellow, Acid Green and Inferno Red, along with sporty new wheel designs, pump up the dynamic equation that has made Soul such a dominate competitor in the compact car segment.

Keeping what made the current Soul special while addressing areas for improvement was no easy task.  As the design team at Kia's California studio began putting virtual pen to virtual paper, engineers in the U.S. and Korea focused on making Soul fun to drive. Starting with a solid foundation was key, and the new body enjoys a 28.7 per cent increase in torsional rigidity over the 2013 Soul. With the hard points set, the all-new Soul was boiled down to three focus areas: maintaining the iconic design while adding modern cues, providing premium features and content and improving driving dynamics to make the 2014 Soul more desirable than ever.

Iconic Design:
Well-known for the close link between its concept vehicles and production models, Kia Motors had an outstanding inspiration point for the 2014 Soul. When the wild Track'ster concept made its debut in 2012, Soul enthusiasts and pundits alike urged Kia to turn the aggressively fun fantasy into reality. With 18 months from design freeze to production, the stage was set for the all-new Soul, and many of the concept's dramatic design cues can be found in the production vehicle.

The upright stance, squared shoulders and distinctive fender flares are instantly recognizable as Soul.  Combining a longer 2,570-millimetre wheelbase (up 20 millimetres), overall width that's broadened to 1,800 millimetres (increased by 15 millimetres) and a reduced overall height of 1,600 millimeters (decreased by 10 millimetres), adds a more aggressive edge to the all-new Soul's appearance. Likewise, the wrap-around greenhouse, high-mounted tail lights and upright stance are all hallmark design elements. Premium touches such as available LED front positioning lights and rear LED "Light Bar" lights help connect Soul to siblings within the Kia lineup that share similar design cues, such as the new 2014 Sorento SUV, all-new 2014 Cadenza premium sedan and 2014 Forte sedan.

Exterior Track'ster similarities are easy to spot. The large trapezoidal lower air intake is nearly a direct carryover from the concept, and the location of the standard fog lights - down low and pushed to the leading edges - mirror those found on the Track'ster. Kia's signature grille is present, but it's been reworked to more closely resemble the concept. Adding a touch of flare, the unique "floating" body-colour panel inset into the lift gate originated with the Track'ster as well. Subtle enhancements include a wider (by 61 millimetres over the previous Soul) opening for the lift gate, allowing for easier loading.

Overall, the design team paid particular attention to instilling a more premium look and feel to the 2014 Soul's interior. Liberal applications of available soft-touch materials are found on the instrument panel, centre console and door panels. Details such as available leather trimmed seating with improved cushioning, lateral and thigh support, and the use of high-gloss piano-black trim pieces on the centre console, doors and dash elevate the Soul's interior to new levels of sophistication.

Front and centre is the instrument cluster with deeply recessed gauges. Along the door panels, sculpted circles incorporate the power windows and door locks. The centre console features a round gear shift knob and push-button start (its location exclusive to Soul in the Kia lineup), which also are direct carryovers from Track'ster. The front door-mounted speakers mirror the circular, high-mounted "floating" tweeters. The steering-wheel mounted controls are housed in Soul-exclusive circular groupings along the lower spokes with the buttons for the audio system and trip computer falling readily to the thumbs, enabling the driver's hands to remain on the wheel at all times.

A Transformed Soul Interior:
An attractive package can be a let-down if the contents don't deliver. Fortunately, the all-new 2014 Soul is set to delight right out of the gate. Most prominent in the new instrument panel is the available eight-inch touch screen multimedia interface with voice-activated navigation - the largest ever offered on Soul. Furthermore, the available larger Supervision Cluster/TFT LCD colour screen found in the instrument cluster now displays user settings and turn-by-turn directions from the navigation system, helping to keep the driver's eyes looking forward.

In addition to all this technology, driver and passengers will enjoy a larger and significantly quieter cabin with 1,040 millimetres of front leg room, increased rear leg room (up 4 millimetres to 994), 1,006 millimetres of front headroom and front seat shoulder room (up 7 millimetres to 1,410 millimetres). The all-new Soul also offers a 13-millimetre lower hip point and a step-in height that's reduced 5 millimetres, allowing for even easier ingress and egress. Liberal use of expansion foam (replacing the previously used block foam) thoroughly fills body cavities, reducing outside wind and road noise. A reinforced isolation pad in the cargo area and poly-urethane-layered carpet helps reduce overall interior noise levels by approximately three decibels.

Improved Driving Dynamics:
Built on an all-new chassis that is nearly 29 per cent stiffer than before, the Soul's stout skeleton provides the base for a vehicle that places a premium on driving dynamics. Engineers put their efforts in strengthening the body at key connection points along the cowl, upper and lower B-pillars, cross members, and at the C-pillars. An impressive 66 per cent of the chassis utilizes either Ultra High Strength Steel (35 per cent) or High Strength Steel (31 per cent). The A-pillar is 20-millimetres narrower, allowing for improved outward visibility, but through the use of Ultra High Strength Steel, it's lighter and stronger than that of the outgoing model. The application of structural adhesive around the door openings and along the roof also helps improve torsional rigidity.

Significant attention has been focused on improving the all-new Soul's ride and handling through heavily revised front and rear suspension setups. The front subframe utilizes four bushings (none are used on the previous Soul) to reduce ride harshness and impact booms over rough pavement. The stabilizer bar has moved rearward on the McPherson strut front suspension, while the steering box has moved forward, lending better balance and subsequently improved handling.

Relocating the steering box has also resulted in a better on-centre feel. The new one-piece steering gear housing is stronger than the two-piece unit used on the outgoing Soul, improving steering response and reducing impacts felt through the wheel. Standard across the Soul line is a new FlexSteer™ system, which allows the driver to select from three distinct steering settings: Comfort, Normal and Sport.

The shock absorbers on the torsion bar rear suspension have been turned vertically - they were positioned at an angle on the previous Soul - and lengthened. This arrangement allows for more suspension travel, improving ride comfort.

Motivation for the Base Soul is delivered by a gasoline direct injection (GDI) 130-horsepower at 6,300 rpm, 1.6-litre all-aluminum DOHC four-cylinder engine. The GAMMA engine produces 118 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,850 rpm. The EX and higher models enjoy the more powerful 2.0-litre NU power plant.  For the all-new 2014 Soul, the engine is updated with GDI technology. Power is rated at 164 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 151 lb.-ft. of torque at a 4,000 rpm. Both engines have been tuned to provide more low-end torque (nine per cent more torque at 1,500 rpm on the 2.0-litre; five per cent more on 1.6-litre) for an improved around-town driving experience. The 1.6-litre engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission or, optionally, to a six-speed automatic. The 2.0-litre engine models are available exclusively with the six-speed automatic.

The all-new 2014 Soul is totally transformed.

2014 Soul Trims and Content
LX Manual Transmission: $16,995

Engine:    1.6-litre GDI four-cylinder
  130 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
  118 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,850 rpm
Transmission:   6-speed manual

Standard features include: 1.6-litre GDI 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed manual transmission, 16" steel wheels with covers, 4-wheel disc brakes, 6 airbags (advanced dual front, dual front side and dual curtain), Electric Power Steering (EPS), FlexSteer™ system, Anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Hill Assist Control (HAC), Tilt and telescopic steering wheel, steering wheel mounted audio controls, trip computer, sunglass holder, map lights, front and rear mud guards, luggage power outlet, rear centre armrest with cup holders, centre console armrest with storage, body-coloured bumpers, body-coloured side view mirrors, body-coloured door handles, fog lights, cloth seats, 60/40 split rear seats, height adjusting driver seat, power door locks, impact-sensing door unlock, power windows, obstacle-detecting front windows, express up/down front windows, power side view mirrors, heated side view mirrors, AM/FM/MP3/Satellite stereo, AUX & USB input ports, Bluetooth wireless technology, 6 speakers, heated windshield wipers, solar glass and privacy glass.

LX+ Manual Transmission: $18,595

Engine:    1.6-litre GDI four-cylinder
  130 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
  118 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,850 rpm
Transmission:   6-speed manual

Standard features include (in addition to LX Manual Transmission): 16" alloy wheels, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, steering wheel mounted cruise control, heated seats, LED side view mirror signal repeaters and a gloss black fender with "Soul" logo.

LX Automatic Transmission: $19,495

Engine:    1.6-litre GDI four-cylinder
  130 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
  118 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,850 rpm
Transmission:   6-speed automatic

Standard features include (in addition to LX Manual Transmission): Active ECO, air conditioning and remote keyless entry.

EX Automatic Transmission: $20,795

Engine:    2.0-litre GDI four-cylinder
  164 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
  151 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission:   6-speed automatic

Standard features include (in addition to LX+ Manual Transmission): 2.0-litre GDI 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, Active ECO, 17" alloy wheels and roof rails.

EX+ Automatic Transmission: $21,995

Engine:    2.0-litre GDI four-cylinder
  164 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
  151 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission:   6-speed automatic

Standard features include (in addition to EX Automatic Transmission): Projection headlights, front LED positioning lights (bar-type), LED light bar taillights, automatic headlights, leather wrapped steering wheel, leather wrapped gear shift knob, leatherette door centre trim, leatherette armrest, leatherette cluster housing, UVO infotainment system, rear view camera, power folding outside mirrors, auto-dimming rear view mirror, piano black interior trim, satin chrome inside door handles, LED portable luggage lamp and luggage net.

EX Automatic Transmission ECO: $22,595

Engine:    2.0-litre GDI four-cylinder
  164 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
  151 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission:   6-speed automatic

Standard features include (in addition to EX+ Automatic Transmission): Idle Stop & Go (ISG) system, 16" alloy wheels (replaces 17" wheels) and Low Rolling Resistance tires.

SX Automatic Transmission: $23,595

Engine:    2.0-litre GDI four-cylinder
  164 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
  151 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission:   6-speed automatic

Standard features include (in addition to EX+ Automatic Transmission): 18" machine-finish alloy wheels, black high gloss bumpers, gloss black side view mirrors, air ionizer, leather seats (lower portion), heated steering wheel, automatic climate control, push button start, smart key, cooling glove box, enhanced LCD/TFT supervision cluster and aerodynamic wiper blades.

SX Automatic Transmission Luxury: $26,995

Engine:    2.0-litre GDI four-cylinder
  164 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
  151 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission:   6-speed automatic

Standard features include (in addition to SX Automatic Transmission): Panoramic sunroof, Xenon HID head lights, front LED position lights (individual type), cooled/ventilated front seats, power driver seat (with power lumbar), heated rear seats, multimedia interface with navigation, Infinity premium audio system, LED map and cargo lights and a privacy cargo cover.

Kia Canada Inc. (www.kia.ca - www.facebook.com/kiacanada) a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart is a subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) which was founded in 1999 and sells and services high quality, class leading vehicles like the Soul, Forte, Optima and Sorento through a network of 184 dealers nationwide. Kia Canada Inc. employs 161 people in its Mississauga, Ontario headquarters and four regional offices across Canada, with an all-new state-of-the-art facility in Montreal. Kia's brand slogan "The Power to Surprise" represents the company's global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting & inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.

 

SOURCE KIA Canada Inc.

For further information:

Jack Sulymka
National Public Relations and Corporate Partnerships Manager
Kia Canada Inc.
T: 905-755-6266
C: 905-301-6207
E: jsulymka@kia.ca

Maxime Surette
Public Relations Manager
Kia Canada Inc.
T: 905-755-6272 
C: 416-316-3313
E: msurette@kia.ca