The Kia Soul was redesigned last year, so for this year it's mostly the same save for a few small changes to several options and amenities. The most notable upgrades have been made to Kia's UVO eServices, which feature several updates making the system more robust, with increased app compatibility. Other changes include a new set of interior colors available on 'Exclaim' trimmed Souls.<p><p>A new electric-powered Soul arrives for 2015. Powered by a lithium-ion battery pack, it pushes the diminutive Soul for a claimed 92 miles on a charge. The Soul EV will come in both base and Plus (+) trims.
The 2015 Kia Soul is offered in base Soul, Soul Plus (+), and Soul Exclaim (!) models, with the base $15,495 Soul including a very generous list of standard features. Power windows and locks, heated mirrors, Bluetooth connectivity and a 6-speaker sound system with satellite radio compatibility and USB and auxiliary inputs are all part of the base feature set.
Soul+ models add larger 17-inch alloy wheels, additional fender trim, outside-mirror turn signals, a driver armrest and upgraded center console, a rear camera system and a center armrest in the back seat. The Soul! level comes with 18-inch wheels, fog lamps, projector headlamps, front LED marker lamps and rear 'halo' lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a power driver's seat, cooled glove box and glossy piano-black trim for the dash.
Plus and Exclaim models comes with the UVO eServices capability, which includes an 8-inch capacitive screen, plus apps for Pandora and many more. The system runs on Linux and is easily upgradable.
Options include a full navigation system, 350-watt Infinity audio, a panoramic sunroof, fog lamps, ventilated front seats and heated seats for all four outboard seating positions.
While the Soul's exterior makes the vehicle stand out, the interior shines as well. There are soft-touch materials throughout, with fun features such as lighted speaker rings and customizable LED mood lighting. Well-bolstered front seats should help on longer trips, and the back seat is large enough for a couple of adults, or three across if it's kids headed back from practice.
Powertrains are what the Soul most has in common with other small sedans and hatchbacks. The base Soul includes a 130-horsepower, 1.6L DOHC 4-cylinder engine, while Plus and Exclaim models step up to the 2.0L four, making 164 hp. The 1.6L includes a standard 6-speed manual gearbox or optional 6-speed automatic, while all models with the larger engine include the automatic.
The new-for-2015 Soul EV is Kia's first all-electric vehicle. It carries a 27 kilowatt-hour battery pack that makes 109 horsepower and 210 lb-feet of torque. Kia claims a 92-mile range on a full charge.
The Soul EV is similar in shape and size to the gasoline-powered Soul, but feature a unique grille and energy-saving LED lighting. Base Soul EVs come with 16-inch alloy wheels, heated power mirrors, an UVO infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen interface, voice activation and smartphone integration. Bluetooth, a heated steering wheel, remote keyless entry and dual-zone climate control are all standard as well.
Soul EV Plus models add leatherette seat trim, ventilated front seats and a proximity key system. The EV starts at $33,700. The Plus trim runs $2,000 more.