2015 Kia Soul
When Kia's furry Hamstars first danced across our TV screens, everyone took notice. A bunch of hip-hopping hamsters, rapping about a boxy Korean MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle), who wouldn't look twice? That ad campaign broke a lot of molds to be sure, but what those blinged-out hamsters really did, was put the once-unknown South Korean car brand on the map. People actually started to talk about Kia, and their cute little box-car. Up to this point, most American's didn't even know what an MPV was, let alone how handy it could be. But thanks to a little ad agency called David & Goliath, Kia started selling them by the boatload.
An MPV, like the 2015 Kia Soul, is basically a compact car that's shaped like a box. The idea is to maximize interior space for people and cargo, while maintaining an easy to maneuver size. In an urban environment, these little box-mobiles are unbelievably useful. That's why they're so popular overseas. And there's actually several choices on this side of the pond, but most people have never even heard of them. The Nissan Cube for example, offers nearly the same seating/cargo capacity as the Soul, but Nissan couldn't even sell 8,000 of them in 2015. Toyota's Scion xB is a similar story: It's boxy & handy, but less than 20k units sold in 2015. Kia's little box on the other hand, sold a whopping 115k units in 2015, and it's poised to repeat that success in 2015.
2015 Kia Soul - What's New This Year?
In an effort to move its cars up-market, the 2015 Kia Soul receives a few meaningful tweaks. There's new dark-chrome trim around the grille, lending a more expensive look. The top-tier 2015 Kia Soul ! (Exclaim) gets LED projector headlights with LED accents, and LED tail lamps. But even the base model has auto on/off headlamps, and Bluetooth connectivity with steering wheel controls have been added to the standard equipment list for 2015.
Kia's Idle Stop & Go (ISG) system gets added to the Eco Package this year. On 6-speed automatic equipped models, the ISG shuts down the engine when you come to a stop, and re-fires it once you release the brake. Similar to the stop/start systems used on most hybrids, Kia's ISG system adds 1 mpg to the already impressive fuel economy of the 2015 Kia Soul. Without ISG, a 2015 Kia Soul 2.0L automatic returns 23 city / 28 hwy / 25 combined. Adding the 2015 Kia Soul Eco Package increases those figures to 24/29/26
You can get your 2015 Kia Soul with the base direct injected 138-hp 1.6 liter-4, or a 164-hp 2.0L sans direct injection. Both engines can be mated to either a 6-speed automatic, or a 6-speed manual.
In a nutshell, the base 2015 Kia Soul gets the aforementioned Bluetooth connectivity, a funky interior, and 15-inch wheels. The 2015 Kia Soul + adds the 2-liter motor, body-color door handles and trim, 16-inch wheels, power-folding side mirrors, and the option of adding niceties like a sunroof and foglights. The flagship 2015 Kia Soul ! gets sharp 18-inch wheels, the LED exterior lighting, and a host of other goodies. Those famous beat-following speaker lights are part of an audio upgrade package, available on the mid-level 2015 Kia Soul Plus.
With seating for 5 (4 adults + 1 small person), 53 cu-ft of cargo room (that's CUV territory), and peppy yet thrifty engines, it's easy to see why all the cool hamsters are driving a Kia Soul.