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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
fabric seats with the word “soul” woven in that will glow in the dark, possibly taking the breath away from the entire female population of the Oklahoma panhandle
Car and Driver
Auxiliary audio/USB jacks and a 12-volt power outlet are conveniently grouped together at the bottom of the center stack.
Audio quality is plenty sufficient for the MP3 generation or baby-boomer talk radio.
315-watt stereo that includes a set of glowing red speaker lights that are either ridiculously cool or just plain ridiculous, depending on how old you are
Bluetooth phone system lets you voice dial by name. iPod integration is standard and the audio system produces good clarity.
Every Soul comes with the kind of standard features that elude some more expensive mid-size cars. They're there to woo younger buyers, who probably will also groove on the Soul's palette of showy accessories and its new audio and navigation options.
The orthographically challenging lineup includes the base $13,900 Soul, $16,300 Soul+, and $19,600 Soul!. Every one of them gets standard climate control; tilt/telescoping steering; power windows, locks and mirrors; satellite radio, a CD player, USB and auxiliary inputs for media players; and a split/folding rear seat.
Move into the Soul+, and you'll also get cruise control; Bluetooth; dual 12-volt outlets; and steering-wheel controls for the audio and phone.
Get some exclamation in the Soul! and you'll also get a 350-watt Infinity audio system and speaker lighting that changes intensity with the beat of the music; a sunroof; and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, along with a houndstooth-checked interior trim package. Last year's Sport model isn't in the lineup anymore, but the Soul! adopts 18-inch wheels, distinctive front- and rear-end treatments, and LED headlights and taillights.
On the options list are features like the Infinity audio system, offered on the Soul+; a sunroof; and more than 60 add-on accessories, from styling kits to interior trim. The Soul! also can be fitted with HD Radio and UVO, Kia's flavor of the Microsoft-coded technology that enables voice control of the infotainment system; it's teamed with a 4.3-inch touchscreen and a rearview camera.
Lastly, the ! model offers a premium package with leather seat trim, front-seat heating; automatic climate control; and a navigation system, which oddly can't be ordered with the UVO controls. Given the choice, we'd get by with mobile-phone GPS and play with UVO, which doesn't have the depth of commands that Ford's similar SYNC system does but still represents a big step for Kia.
The 2012 Kia Soul comes with standard tech features still not offered--even as options--on some other compacts.