Thursday, March 23, 2017

2017 Kia Forte sedan is updated, retains value for money

Kia's compact Forte sedan retains its value-for-the-money status for 2017 while adding refined new styling, upgraded seat fabric, more features and a new, fuel-efficient engine.

Starting manufacturer's suggested retail price, including destination charge, for a base, four-door Forte with automatic transmission is $18,495. That's only $55 more than the comparable 2016 Forte and includes heated outside mirrors; Bluetooth, hands-free phone connectivity; keyless remote entry; power windows; doors and outside mirrors; outside temperature display; and a trunk that rivals that of some mid-size sedans.

Plus, the Forte, like all Kias, comes with the best new-car warranty package in the business, which includes powertrain coverage for 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first, along with a limited car warranty for five years/60,000 miles. That compares with five years/60,000 miles for powertrain coverage and three years/36,000 miles for basic car warranty coverage for a 2017 Toyota Corolla.

The Forte is a recommended buy of Consumer Reports magazine, where predicted reliability for 2017 models is above average.

The U.S. government gave the 2017 Forte sedan an overall five out of five stars in government crash test results.

The five-seat Forte is also sold as a coupe and hatchback, but the sedan is the price leader with a starting retail price that's at least $1,600 below the others.

Amid today's changing tastes where car buyers increasingly prefer SUVs to cars, the front-wheel drive Forte continues to shine. Through February, it was the only Kia car with U.S. sales above last year's levels.

The new exterior styling is a mostly subtle change, but it makes the Forte sedan more closely resemble Kia's larger and pricier Optima sedan. The side profile of the Forte sedan is particularly attractive as it makes the car look like a coupe. The sleekly sloping rear roof doesn't intrude too much onto rear-seat passengers, who still have 37.3 inches of headroom.

The new 2-liter, double overhead cam, Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine produces 147 horsepower and 132 foot-pounds of torque at 4,500 rpm, which is nearly the same power as the previous 1.8-liter four cylinder.

But the engine works in a thrifty manner and with an updated six-speed automatic transmission. So fuel mileage is improved to a top federal government fuel economy rating of 29 miles per gallon in city driving and 38 mpg on highways for a 2017 Forte sedan with the automatic. With the Forte's 13.2-gallon fuel tank, it now can travel for up to 422 miles on a single fill-up.

A manual transmission is still offered in the Forte sedan for the new base engine.

An uplevel 2-liter, four-cylinder, direct injection engine without the Atkinson cycle that generates more horsepower and torque than the base engine is mated to the updated automatic transmission.

This 164-horsepower engine was in the test, top-of-the-line Forte sedan EX and provided good power that could get the front wheels to screech as they worked to grab the pavement during some startups.

Torque peaks at 151 foot-pounds at 4,000 rpm.

The test Forte sedan EX had three drive modes — Normal, Eco and Sport — and averaged the federal government's combined city/highway estimate of 28 mpg even though the car was driven in an occasionally aggressive manner and spent most of the time in Normal mode.

The Forte's ride and management of road bumps was nicer than expected for a lower-priced car, and passengers rode comfortably.

There was road and a bit of wind noise, and the engine was readily heard during accelerations.

Brakes worked strongly, and the electric power steering provided a decent road feel and response.

The test EX and the new mid-range Forte S sedan include a standard rearview camera.

Unfortunately, the base Forte LX automatic sedan does not, and buyers must pay $900 for an option package that includes a rearview camera.

Buttons and controls in the Forte sedan are well-marked and easy to understand, and the EX tester even had an illuminated glovebox.

Windows on the rear doors open all the way, the rear-seat floor is nearly flat and everyone gets a head restraint.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

2017 Kia Niro is most affordable hybrid SUV



 Kia's newest vehicle, the 2017 Niro, is the lowest-priced, gasoline-electric hybrid SUV on the market and is rated as high as 50 miles per gallon in combined city/highway travel.

Starting manufacturer's suggested retail price is $23,785 for a front-wheel drive, five-seat Niro FE with four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor and lithium ion battery pack to generate a total of 139 horsepower.

The base price includes an automatic transmission, rearview camera, keyless entry, cruise control, seven air bags, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, audio controls on the steering wheel and a 7-inch display screen in the middle of the dashboard.

Even with luxury features added, such as a Harman Kardon premium sound system, leather-trimmed seats, power sunroof, navigation system and heated steering wheel, the Niro still can be priced under $31,000. This pricing undercuts other hybrid SUVs that combine power from an onboard electric motor with a gasoline engine for optimum fuel mileage, such as the 2017 Toyota RAV4, which starts at $29,990.

However, Toyota's 2017 Prius c small hatchback remains the lowest-priced hybrid car in the United States with a starting MSRP plus destination charge of $21,035.

While affordability is the Niro's most attractive trait, this small SUV also appeals with its comfortable seating positions, pleasant driving traits, decent passenger space and flexible, SUV-like cargo room.

Similar in size to the 2017 Honda HR-V and Buick Encore small SUVs, the five-door Niro slots below the Sportage as Kia's smallest SUV.

The Niro is sold only as a hybrid, so the onboard electric motor and lithium ion battery pack supplement the rather meager power — 104 horsepower and 109 foot-pounds of torque — of the 1.6-liter, double overhead cam, direct injection, four-cylinder engine.

Maximum horsepower totals 139, while torque can peak quickly at 195 foot-pounds to move the Niro in plucky, but not overtly sporty, fashion.

There's no droning or stressing of a continuously variable transmission in the Niro during acceleration as there are in most other gas-electric hybrids.

Kia uses a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission in the Niro for more natural-feeling gearing and responsiveness. It worked well most of the time in the test Niro Touring model. But occasionally, the transition between power sources felt less than seamless.

Regenerative braking and the engine help replenish the battery pack, but a plug-in Niro is due later in 2017.

The top fuel mileage of 52 mpg in city driving and 49 mpg on highways is for the base, Niro FE model, which weighs the least. City mileage is rated higher than highway mileage because the electric power is able to assist more often in city travel.

The test Niro Touring, which is the heaviest of all Niros at well over 3,200 pounds, was rated at 46/40 mpg by the U.S. government and averaged 38.8 mpg during the test drive with some aggressive driving. This real world mileage translated to an impressive 462 miles on a single tank of fuel.

Kia's newest vehicle, the 2017 Niro, is the lowest-priced, gasoline-electric hybrid SUV on the market and is rated as high as 50 miles per gallon in combined city/highway travel.

Starting manufacturer's suggested retail price is $23,785 for a front-wheel drive, five-seat Niro FE with four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor and lithium ion battery pack to generate a total of 139 horsepower.

The base price includes an automatic transmission, rearview camera, keyless entry, cruise control, seven air bags, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, audio controls on the steering wheel and a 7-inch display screen in the middle of the dashboard.

Even with luxury features added, such as a Harman Kardon premium sound system, leather-trimmed seats, power sunroof, navigation system and heated steering wheel, the Niro still can be priced under $31,000. This pricing undercuts other hybrid SUVs that combine power from an onboard electric motor with a gasoline engine for optimum fuel mileage, such as the 2017 Toyota RAV4, which starts at $29,990.

However, Toyota's 2017 Prius c small hatchback remains the lowest-priced hybrid car in the United States with a starting MSRP plus destination charge of $21,035.

While affordability is the Niro's most attractive trait, this small SUV also appeals with its comfortable seating positions, pleasant driving traits, decent passenger space and flexible, SUV-like cargo room.

Similar in size to the 2017 Honda HR-V and Buick Encore small SUVs, the five-door Niro slots below the Sportage as Kia's smallest SUV.

The Niro is sold only as a hybrid, so the onboard electric motor and lithium ion battery pack supplement the rather meager power — 104 horsepower and 109 foot-pounds of torque — of the 1.6-liter, double overhead cam, direct injection, four-cylinder engine.

Maximum horsepower totals 139, while torque can peak quickly at 195 foot-pounds to move the Niro in plucky, but not overtly sporty, fashion.

There's no droning or stressing of a continuously variable transmission in the Niro during acceleration as there are in most other gas-electric hybrids.

Kia uses a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission in the Niro for more natural-feeling gearing and responsiveness. It worked well most of the time in the test Niro Touring model. But occasionally, the transition between power sources felt less than seamless.

Regenerative braking and the engine help replenish the battery pack, but a plug-in Niro is due later in 2017.

The top fuel mileage of 52 mpg in city driving and 49 mpg on highways is for the base, Niro FE model, which weighs the least. City mileage is rated higher than highway mileage because the electric power is able to assist more often in city travel.

The test Niro Touring, which is the heaviest of all Niros at well over 3,200 pounds, was rated at 46/40 mpg by the U.S. government and averaged 38.8 mpg during the test drive with some aggressive driving. This real world mileage translated to an impressive 462 miles on a single tank of fuel.
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The Niro, which is wider than the HR-V and Encore, felt stable and roomy and had an unexpectedly quiet interior.

Back-seat passengers have 37.4 inches of legroom, while there's nearly 42 inches for front-seat riders. Headroom all around is more than 39 inches.

The luxury features in the Touring model included heated and ventilated front seats, memory driver seat, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, turn signals in the outside mirrors, front and rear park assist, leather, sunroof, 18-inch wheels, and premium audio.

Outside styling is mainstream and not particularly memorable, but everything was easy to understand and well organized inside the Niro.

Rear seatbacks fold down flat to expand cargo space. The cargo floor sits up at bumper level, so there's no lifting heavy objects up and out.

All-wheel drive is not offered on the Niro, and towing capacity is limited.

Source: http://www.nwitimes.com/business/transportation/cars/kia-niro-is-most-affordable-hybrid-suv/article_ac2060b3-11e7-58f3-baf5-d7388ff39721.html

Thursday, March 16, 2017

2017 Kia Niro Quick Take



Hybrids are no longer the hot commodity they were 10 years ago, but automakers still need to pursue the technology to meet higher fuel standards. And while the Optima Hybrid is a solid alternative to the likes of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry hybrids as well as its in-house rival, the Hyundai Sonata hybrid, Kia hasn't really offered a viable alternative to the hybrid poster child, the Toyota Prius.

That's the job of the new 2017 Kia Niro. It comes armed with an obvious styling advantage. It's not nearly as funny looking as the newest Toyota Prius, which was clearly inspired by a pile of arrowheads. Instead, the Niro looks blandly handsome, not unlike every other small Kia we've seen lately. Kia also dressed up the Niro with roof rails, some black fender trim, and just enough raised ride height to appeal to buyers who will buy anything as long as it's a crossover. We think hatchback or wagon is a more appropriate description, especially since all-wheel drive isn't available, but since we're not in the marketing business Kia can call the Niro whatever it wants.

Out and about in Priustown U.S.A.—Los Angeles—the Niro holds up nicely. You'll get about 38 mpg if you hammer it around, and more than 50 mpg if you're a casual hypermiler; most of the time we saw figures between 40-45 mpg, spot on the EPA's combined estimate of 43 mpg for a Niro Touring model like we had. Those aren't Prius numbers, but then again, nobody beats the Prius when it comes to avoiding its gas tank.

A non-hybrid hybrid

So it has the fuel economy chops, but the Niro never really feels like a hybrid. The engine switches on and off almost noiselessly at speed, and under acceleration the 6-speed automatic transmission shifts gears like a regular car, so there's none of the constant engine drone you get from the Prius and its continuously variable automatic transmission. With only 139 horsepower it's not a rocket, but the Niro has enough to get out of its own way, and that's fine by us. There's a Sport mode you engage by sliding the shift handle to the left from D, and it gives you sharper throttle response and heavier steering. We tried it but it just made the Niro feel jerky and nervous; we wound up leaving it in the default Eco mode instead. The firm suspension provides decent grip, but the ride felt harsh over freeway expansion joints and other sharp impacts. On the other hand, the brakes were firm and responsive and perfectly normal; engineers around the world have finally gotten blended hybrid regen braking right.

The quiet interior is a ringer for the Forte, Soul, and Sportage, or even the Sedona and Sorento, with clearly marked controls, a sensible layout, and overall high-quality feel. The comfortable front seats get heaters and coolers, and the decently sized rear seat happily holds two, with the third squeezed between. There's enough cargo area behind the second row to swallow the weekly grocery run, and if you need more the seatbacks fold for a nicely flat load floor. Just don't carry anything too heavy; a warning label on the cargo floor mat lists a maximum weight of 130 pounds.

Also: Class of 2018 – New Cars Ready to Roll

Our loaded 2017 Kia Niro Touring carried an MSRP of $32,840 including the $895 destination charge, but prices start at about $26,000, and you can even get a decently equipped example for less than $30,000. That's easily competitive, and a good price for a nice looking, fuel sipping hatchback like the Niro. Hatchback? We meant wagon. No, crossover. Y'know...car.

By Keith Buglewicz

Source: https://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/2017-kia-niro-quick-take/2100003987/

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

KIA MOTORS EXTENDS MARKETING PARTNERSHIP WITH THE LADIES PROFESSIONAL GOLF ASSOCIATION

 Eighth Annual Kia Classic Tournament Returns to Carlsbad, California, March 20-26


  •     Family friendly tournament offers activities for golf fans of all ages; admission is free for active military members and their families as well as children under 171
  •     Defending champion, Lydia Ko, will compete against 143 of the world’s best players for the $1.8 million purse and an all-new 2017 Kia Cadenza premium sedan



IRVINE, Calif., March 10, 2017 – With the eighth annual Kia Classic tournament less than two weeks away, Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced the multi-year renewal of the company’s marketing relationship with the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).  As the “Official Automotive Partner” of the LPGA, Kia will have a presence at seven tournaments, including two Majors – the ANA Inspiration and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – in addition to title sponsorship of the Kia Classic.

“Both Kia and the LPGA have experienced tremendous growth in visibility and awareness as a result of our partnership, and we are proud to extend the relationship and look forward to several more years of successful collaboration,” said Kimberley Gardiner, director of marketing communications, KMA.

The Kia Classic, which returns to the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Carlsbad, California, March 20-26, offers fans of all ages an up-close and personal experience with 99 of the top 100 players on the 2016 LPGA money list as they vie for a share of the $1.8 million purse. Family friendly activities taking place throughout the event include junior golf clinics and player autograph sessions.  A fleet of Kia vehicles will transport players around the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort grounds and the winner of the Kia Classic will walk away with the keys to a 2017 Cadenza premium sedan.

As a continuation from last year, the LPGA has committed to donating a portion of the proceeds from the 2017 Kia Classic ticket sales to Hire Heroes USA, a national non-profit organization that helps military veterans find civilian jobs. In addition, all active duty military members and their families (with ID) will receive complimentary admission to the Kia Classic throughout the week, including Military Appreciation Day on Friday, March 24.

“As a Southern California-based company, Kia always looks for ways to give back to our local communities and we are thrilled to welcome Hire Heroes USA back to the Kia Classic,” continued Gardiner.

At the 2016 Kia Classic, world number-one ranked Lydia Ko took home the $225,000 winner’s check and a Kia K900, with her 19-under par 269 score and four- shot win over Inbee Park.

Coverage of the LPGA Kia Classic will air on the Golf Channel, and fans will be able to watch highlights of the tournament played on the challenging par-72 course. Check local listings for full coverage details. Fans can also follow the action online through the social media channels using @LPGAKiaClassic; @Kia and #KiaClassic.

For the complete list of special events, to purchase tickets or to sign up to volunteer, please visit www.KiaClassic.com.

About Kia Motors America

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. Recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands and 50 Best Global Green Brands by Interbrand, Kia proudly serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA and offers a complete range of vehicles sold through a network of nearly 800 dealers in the U.S., including cars and crossovers built at North American manufacturing plants in West Point, Georgia* and the municipality of Pesqueria in the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Kia Optima Sportswagon Sure Looks Great as a Plug-In Hybrid


Kia has just unveiled a plug-in-hybrid version of its attractive Optima Sportswagon, and all we see is another opportunity to campaign for this handsome station wagon to come to the United States. After all, the Optima sedan is already sold here in plug-in-hybrid form, and this new wagon version only increases its practicality and visual appeal. Who doesn’t want a 40-plus-mpg station wagon?

As you’d expect, the Sportswagon’s gasoline-electric drivetrain is identical to the sedan’s, combining a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with an electric motor that sources power from a 11.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. In the U.S., the plug-in-hybrid sedan version is rated to go 29 miles on electric power alone before the gas engine kicks in. Where the wagon version differs, of course, is aft of the C-pillar, where its large cargo area holds a whole lot more stuff than the sedan and its restricted 10-cubic-foot trunk. Kia said it has packaged the battery under the cargo floor to minimize intrusion into the cargo area, and the rear seats fold flat just as in the standard Optima wagon.

We realize it’s probably a flight of fancy to think that Kia would ever bring this electrified station wagon to our shores, given the state of both the wagon and plug-in-hybrid markets on our shores. But we still hold out some hope that Kia will listen to our pleas: Help save the wagons with attractive Euro-market longroofs like this one.

Source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/the-kia-optima-sportswagon-sure-looks-great-as-a-plug-in-hybrid/

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Soul and Cadenza Named Best Cars for Families by U.S. News & World Report


  •     Soul wins for second year in a row
  •     Cadenza wows with its accommodations for busy families



IRVINE, Calif., March 7, 2017 — The 2017 Soul and Cadenza have received 2017 Best Cars for Families awards from U.S. News & World Report. Vehicles were judged on their safety, seating and cargo volume, reliability and the availability of family-friendly features. U.S. News & World Report selected the Soul from 20 competitors in the Compact Cars category while the Cadenza was chosen from a field of 11 competitor vehicles in the Large Car category.

“We’re thrilled to receive these great awards,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning KMA, “because they speak to the effort we put into creating vehicles that families will love. It’s part of Kia’s global commitment to offer attractive, reliable and dynamic vehicles with tremendous value. Being awarded Best Cars for Families by U.S. News & World Report is testimony to those efforts and we couldn’t be more proud.”

The Kia Soul was noted for outstanding ergonomics and tech features that make it a great choice for families. “The ride height is neither too low nor too high, making it easy for both little kids and grandparents with limited mobility to get in,” said U.S News & World Report Autos managing editor Jamie Page Deaton. “Parents of teen drivers can get some peace of mind with the Soul's UVO1 system, while Apple CarPlay™2 and Android Auto™3 keep families connected with limited distraction on the road. Plus, its styling makes it a real standout in the school pickup lane.”

U.S. News & World Report similarly praised the Cadenza. “The same features that make the Kia Cadenza luxurious for adults make it a great choice for families,” said Page Deaton. “Rear sunshades keep backseat passengers cool so they can ride or nap in peace. UVO teen-driver controls make it easier to hand the keys over to new drivers, and Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ make it easier to access common smartphone functions without having to learn a new operating system.”

The hip and popular 2017 Kia Soul is available in three trim levels, including the new 201-horsepower turbocharged Exclaim4, and as a battery electric version, the Soul EV. Prices range from $16,100 to $35,950.5 Cadenza is all new for 2017 and is winning accolades for its elegant design and luxurious amenities. Offered in three trims, Cadenza prices range from $31,990 to $44,390.5

About Kia Motors America

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. Recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands and 50 Best Global Green Brands by Interbrand, Kia proudly serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA and offers a complete range of vehicles sold through a network of nearly 800 dealers in the U.S., including cars and crossovers built at North American manufacturing plants in West Point, Georgia and the municipality of Pesqueria in the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

KIA MOTORS AMERICA ANNOUNCES FEBRUARY SALES

Best-Ever February Sales for the Forte Family of Compact Cars
IRVINE, Calif., March 1, 2017 – Kia Motors America today announced February sales of 42,673 units, led by the Optima midsize sedan with 8,892 units sold. The month also saw the best February sales performance in company history for the Forte family of compact cars, and 2,143 units of the all-new Niro crossoversold in its first full month of availability.
About Kia Motors America
Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. Recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands and 50 Best Global Green Brands by Interbrand, Kia proudly serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA and offers a complete range of vehicles sold through a network of nearly 800 dealers in the U.S., including cars and crossovers built at North American manufacturing plants in West Point, Georgia* and the municipality of Pesqueria in the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

.

 
MONTH OF FEBRUARY
YEAR-TO-DATE
Model
2017
2016
2017
2016
Rio
840
1,461
1,826
2,891
Forte
8,506
8,187
14,773
13,516
Optima
8,892
9,630
16,741
18,043
Cadenza
372
585
688
959
K900
31
83
65
151
Niro
2,143
N/A
2,185
N/A
Sportage
5,231
5,860
9,854
10,663
Sorento
6,845
8,101
13,024
14,796
Sedona
2,111
3,988
3,649
5,990
Soul
7,702
11,842
15,494
21,033
Total
42,673
49,737
78,299
88,042

# # #

* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX, SX & Limited and certain LX Trims only) are assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts
i Quantities are limited. LX and EX trims expected to arrive at dealerships Spring 2017.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

2017 Kia Soul Turbo first drive: A sporty option at last!

Kia's pocket Soul crossover, destined to always be referred to as "quirky," has finally received a sporty but not-quite-performance version: The new Turbo trim breaks through the 200-hp barrier. The figures only tell half the story, though: The Turbo model has pulled the Soul out of the stodgy end of the segment and into the fun half of a lineup that is getting larger by the month.
Those expecting an AMG-style performance upgrade need to temper their expectations; the Soul's turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder pumps out 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. This unit is borrowed from the Kia Forte Koup SX and the Hyundai Veloster Turbo, both much smaller cars. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels, leaving the base Soul's naturally-aspirated 1.6-liter in the dust. In this respect it makes more sense to look upon the Soul Turbo as a range-topping premium trim level that offers more oomph, along with nicer trimmings and just about all the option boxes checked. Still, a gain of 40 hp is a lot when it comes to four-cylinder in mass-market crossovers, and the fact that fuel economy is better in this version is an extra benefit.
The engine and transmission aren't the only thing that Kia has upgraded; the Soul Turbo features stiffer dampers and springs along with redesigned front and rear fascias, skid plates, rocker panels and twin-port exhaust out back. Inside, the Soul Turbo offers a D-shaped steering wheel (sans paddles), metal accents for some switchgear and a unique seating surface design, lending the crossover a distinctive if not fully race-inspired design.
The Execution
Fans of the Soul who have been itching for a go-faster version of the hamster-friendly crossover will be pleased; the Turbo model serves up quicker acceleration without revving itself into a frenzy, plus greater flexibility in all driving conditions. The difference isn't as great as that between a base VW Golf and the Golf R, but the net result is a Soul that doesn't get winded passing trucks or resort to keeping the needle near the rev limiter to tackle some twisty asphalt.
We drove the Turbo on the Pacific Coast Highway, which reliably serves up plenty of twists to get a feel for the retuned chassis, and came away impressed with the ease of use and the ergonomics of this new version of the Soul. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission proved itself smooth and unobtrusive, offering crisp and well-timed shifts. We didn't push the Soul too hard -- it would have seemed out of step with the laid-back vibes of northern California -- but a few quick blasts along the roads revealed solid driving dynamics and a well-tuned suspension that errs on the side of everyday comfort. This goes for the steering as well; it's tuned to mute out imperfections in the road rather than offering something out of DTM racing. 
The Verdict
Overall, the feel of the Soul Turbo is closer to that of a hot hatchback than a scaled-down midsize crossover. With excellent road manners, a capable engine and a crisp-enough gearbox, this version of the has a lot of things going for it in a segment that is still accepting new applications. The Soul is still different enough from its competitors -- Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade, Fiat 500X, Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V to name a few -- to attract its own niche audience while offering a driving experience close in feel to the latest Kia and Hyundai crossovers.
The Soul Turbo catches up to and passes just about all competitors when it comes to power, and its starting price kicks off a few thousand dollars south of those same vehicles. With hatch-like handling, the Soul Turbo sits atop a price ladder spaced close together, making picking this range-topping version a very easy proposition.