Eco Drive tests KIA SOUL 2012

Its price is only $ 17.545, but has some of the most advanced technologies in the automotive industry, which until recently could only expect from luxury models and for a several times higher price.

More for less

This is the new KIA SOUL 2012, the compact crossover with which the Korean company began its total transformation in 2009 and now – just three years later – has already received a number of design improvements outside, more standard equipment in the cabin and especially engineering improvements in the engine, which is not only more powerful but more efficient fuel consumption train.

With all this, one of the models which in itself already had a high value / price, is now even more attractive for where you look, especially at the time of purchase.

Cosmetic touches for 2012 included new front and rear lights with LED technology, aluminum wheels 18 inches, giving it a more modern and sporty touch.

In the cabin, now has the option the new UVO entertainment and communication system developed by Microsoft for KIA, navigation equipment with a 4.3-inch touch screen and choice of satellite radio service and SiriusXM Traffic ™ camera assistance reverse parking and the option of an Infiniti sound system with 350 watts of power and seven speakers.

And although it is a compact vehicle, it is also one of the safest of 2012, according to the rating of the Institute of Insurance and Highway Safety (IIHS) that included among its Top Safety Picks by the way it protects its occupants serious injury or death in accidents involving frontal, side impact, rear and rollover.

This was achieved KIA with a new body structure that was redesigned to absorb more energy in both the front and rear and door pillars reinforced to withstand more severe impacts.

In addition now has a new system of active head restraints to prevent whiplash in a rear impact, smart air bags in the front and side curtain-style side throughout the entire cabin.

The standard safety equipment also includes system antilock brakes (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC) system, traction control (TCS), electronic distribution on the brakes (EBD), traction assist braking system (BAS ), brake control on slopes, (HAC), vehicle stability control (VSM) and monitors tire pressure.

In the rear seats, much to the anchor system Anchors and Tethers Lower for Children (LATCH).

train and engine efficiency

KIA offers SOUL 2012 with two engines: a four-cylinder 1.6-liter that generates 138 horsepower and yields 29 miles per gallon of gasoline in city traffic and up to 36 on the road, four more than the previous model, thanks to Active Eco System, which optimizes fuel use with ISG (Idle Stop and Go) technology that shuts off the engine when the vehicle stops and starts as soon as the driver takes his foot off the brake.

The other engine is four cylinders, but 2.0-liter produces 164 horsepower, 22 more than the previous version, with performance of 27 mpg city and 35 highway.

There are two transmissions: manual and automatic (both six changes) can be coupled to either motor.

I buy me …

Despite all the best design and equipment, the new KIA SOUL 2012 has a starting price of only $ $ 13.900 in its most austere version.

The price of the Soul A / T starts at $ 15.700, followed by the Soul + (plus) at $ 16.3006 and Soul + A / T at $ 17.3006 as we tested this week. Finally, there is the KIA SOUL! (Exclaim), which starts at $ 19.600, still below the line of $ 20,000 for a car equipped with the most advanced technology and equipment of practical use.

Like all models of the brand, the Eco 2012 SOUL is guaranteed to 10 years or 100,000 miles on the powertrain and five years and 60,000 miles on the rest of the car five years or 100,000 miles against drilling and five years or 60,000 mile service roadside assistance.

Undoubtedly one of the best choices for anyone looking for a new car with different design, high levels of security and above all an attractive price, despite competition from models such as the Nissan Versa and Scion xB, among others.

* Test Drives