The biggest news for 2017 is the addition of a new engine and transmission set powering the Exclaim trim. Featuring a turbocharger, the new engine makes 40 more horsepower than the one it replaces and it's mated to a new dual-clutch style gearbox. In addition to the new engine, the Soul also gets a small redesign to the front fascia with new headlights and fog lights. Inside, an additional USB port has been added to aid in charging devices, while a new 8-way power adjustable passenger seat is also available.
The 2017 Kia Soul is offered in base Soul, Soul Plus (+), and Soul Exclaim (!) models, with the base 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. On base models, a Convenience Package adds touchscreen audio, rearview camera, and satellite radio.
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 come with the UVO eServices capability, which includes an 8-inch capacitive screen, plus apps for Pandora and many more. Plus Souls can be ordered with the Designer Collection package, which adds 18-inch wheels, a leather steering wheel, and 2-tone exterior paint -- either white with a red roof or red with a black roof.
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 models step up to the 2.0L four, making 164 horsepower. New for this year, is a turbocharged engine powering Exclaim models. Its a 1.6L unit producing 201 hp. Base trims are available with either a 6-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual, while 2.0L Souls come standard with the automatic. The new 1.6L turbocharged engine in the Exclaim comes with a six-speed dual clutch gearbox.
The Soul EV is Kia's first all-electric vehicle. It carries a 27 kilowatt-hour battery pack that makes 109 horsepower and 210 pound-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, a UVO infotainment system with an eight-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.