Test: KIA Soul 1,6 GDI - Everything cool?

This KIA is something completely different and you can tell from the looks of the people around you. The SOUL earns as many looks as otherwise only a sporty convertible or a fat off-road vehicle. But there is no “social envy” in the eye. Attention is good for him, because the cute box is an outsider that should be put in the spotlight. A “somehow” compact, an SUV or a station wagon? Definitely a cube. A driving report on a car that is different. 

Cool box or mini SUV?

Test KIA Soul 1.6 GDI

Driving Test100 KIA SOUL 2

It is the second generation of the KIA-SOUL. It's hard to believe, you see the car so rarely on our streets. It's different in the USA, where the SOUL is seen as a trendy, hip and character vehicle specifically designed for everyday urban life. For us, KIA wants to see the SOUL “somehow” also as an SUV. But that doesn't make sense. The SOUL has neither all-wheel drive nor a lot of ground clearance. It has more than a simple compact golf class, but everything about the SOUL screams for the road and nothing for the off-road park.

Introduced mid-2014, the SOUL plays somewhere in the league between a compact, a mini van and a station wagon. His design is extraordinary and, above all, different. The coating of the test car in rich and bright yellow is ensnared by the piano black paint panels. The otherwise matte plastic elements were wrapped in piano lacquer and look classy. At the rear, a molded bumper surrounds two rear fog lights that look as if they were originally intended for rocket propulsion. And the hatchback really deserves its name.

The shape of the sideline is dominated by the black, narrower narrower window band. Thanks to black A-pillars, the roof looks as if you had put a cap on the SOUL. Peppy, sporty and funny were the comments on the supermarket parking lot.

Driving test 84 KIA SOUL

Dröge from the quark

1.6 GDI his name. His performance: Tired. The gasoline direct injection engine has to do without the torque-enhancing effect of a turbocharger and feels accordingly mau. The fact that you have him a rather long translated 6-gearbox provided to the side, the elasticity does not help on the jumps. On the contrary.

132 PS sound not so bad. However, together with only 161 Nm (@4.850 rpm), the presentation in everyday life is not convincing. In principle, you have to turn the engine always further than you would like from the feeling. This is also associated with a strained, rough-sounding engine noise. And it does not really help. to minimize fuel consumption.

Theoretically, the KIA Soul with the 1.6 GDI should have a standard consumption of 6.7 liters. In the “most economical” case, we achieved a consumption of 7.2 liters. If you consider the otherwise rather large discrepancy between the norm and “everyday life”, this is a good result. However, one buys it with a crushing indolence.

If you challenge the 132 PS and let the V-Max of 185 km / h be applied with a lot of acceleration, 10.7 liters are on the clock. We drive the same vehicles with all vehicles "Fuel consumption laps". The difference between minimum and maximum is manageable with the SOUL - 8.5 liters should be planned as “normal” in everyday life.

Really cool box

In addition to its extraordinary design, the SOUL scores with its first-class equipment level, the funny ideas in the interior and the surprisingly good workmanship.

Seat heating and seat ventilation!

The Spirit equipment surprises with a scope that would also look good on vehicles in a class above. If you then pack the “VIP package including panoramic roof” for € 2.090 and the Sound & Navi package for € 1.390, the SOUL not only comes to the customer with seat and steering wheel heating, but also with seat ventilation.

The gigantic panoramic roof does not miss its effect. Totally dimmable in the summer sun, it lets so much light into the vehicle that you feel like you're on a patio. The driver's seat can then also be set electrically and the VIP package also includes a center armrest at the back, with cup holders.

The multimedia system and the navigation convince with good graphics and fast reaction times, thanks to the “sound package” the SOUL also becomes a rolling jukebox!

The fact that the lower loudspeakers in the front doors can be brought to life with an LED light show was no longer important in the author's age group, but other SOUL drivers might find that “cool” and “hip”.

With at least 238 liters, the SOUL offers enough space for everyday life in the trunk. The load compartment floor can be turned and thus alternates between the classic carpet and a surface that is non-slip and makes sense for “dirty” luggage. An additional compartment is hidden under the load compartment floor - practical for the little things of everyday automotive life. The fact that there is an “LED torch” in the side wall which, when plugged in, serves as “trunk lighting” - elsewhere this would be called “simply clever” - here it fits the “cool character” of the SOUL.

So the KIA SOUL drives

The engine could spoil your mood if the rest of the package weren't so convincing. The SOUL feels stiff and confident as soon as the road surface becomes rough and bumpy. Its suspension swallows a lot, but does not hide the desire for a certain “youthful sportiness”.

The steering wheel gives a little bit of the feeling of the road. The adjustments by button (Dynamic, Normal, Comfort) can be ignored, the differences do not make everyday life any better or worse.

The test car rolls on 18-inch light-alloy wheels with NEXEN tires. Rather unusual, we did not have that often. Whether the slightly wooden feel of cushioning comes from the tires, we can not conclusively judge it.

High-spirited corner robbery ends in mild understeer. However, the large wheels and the overall good chassis set-up create a limit area that is far from what the engine can achieve. Only the really nasty “speed gamblers” get there in everyday life.

Driving Test86 KIA SOUL 2

At the end...

The SOUL is definitely not an SUV. Even if you want to seal this talent to the cute cube at KIA. In addition, this “lifestyle attribute” is completely unnecessary, the KIA SOUL is cool, without any SUV fuss and posturing. A car with character. And despite the tired engine, the SOUL is fun again every day

And the fact that KIA offers a seven-year guarantee in series production shows the “cool” character of the SOUL in an even better light!


KIA SOUL 1.6 GDI - 6 speed 

Manufacturer: KIA
Type:SOUL 1.6 GDI 6 gear
Cashbox: C-segment
Engine: R4
Transmission: Six-speed manual transmission
Drive: front-wheel drive
displacement: 1.600 cc
Power: 97 kw / 132 hp @ 6.300 rpm
torque: 161 Nm @ 4.850 rpm.
Weight ready to drive: 1.275 - 1.417 kg
From 0 of 100: 11.0 s
Top speed .: 185 km / h
Consumption (NEDC): 6.7 liters (18 ″ tires)
CO2 output (NEDC) 156 g / km (18 ″ tires)
Emission class EU 6
efficiency D
Photos in the article and cover picture: Bjoern Habegger
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