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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.
The Soul has a standout design and fashionable look inside and out, all for a price that's about the same as less exciting small cars. So it's all the more surprising that the Soul's feature list has what it takes to woo shoppers seeking value as well.
Kia configures the Soul in an orthographically puzzling lineup of base Soul, Soul+, and Soul! models. 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.
Cruise control, Bluetooth, dual 12-volt outlets, and steering-wheel controls for the audio and phone are added for Soul+ models. Step up to the Soul! and you'll add a 350-watt Infinity audio system (with 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. The Soul! also gets a sportier look, with 18-inch wheels, distinctive front- and rear-end treatments, and LED headlights and taillights.
Available on the ! model is a premium package with leather seat trim, front-seat heating; automatic climate control; and a navigation system, which still can't be ordered with Kia's otherwise-desirable UVO connectivity system. Between navigation and UVO (you have to choose at this point), we'd go with UVO and make do with smartphone GPS; the connectivity features aren't quite class-leading, but they're better than what's offered in many affordable small cars.
The Soul! also can be fitted with HD Radio; and with UVO there's a 4.3-inch touchscreen and a rearview camera. Infinity audio and a sunroof are offered on the Soul+. Also, there are more than 60 add-on accessories, from styling kits to interior trim, to give the Soul more of a custom look and feel.
With lots of features for the money, style doesn't preclude value in the 2013 Soul.