Fuel economy numbers for the 2014 Kia Soul have risen slightly with the introduction of direct injection to the 2.0-liter engine, although the numbers for the base 1.6-liter model are slightly lower than before in the city.
The 2014 Soul now rates at 24 mpg city and 30 highway with the 1.6-liter engine—and that holds whether you opt for the manual gearbox or automatic transmission. 2.0-liter models, with the automatic, get 23 mpg city, 31 highway. And if you opt for the Soul Eco model, you'll get the best mileage of the lineup, at 24 mpg city, 31 highway.
On an early drive, we saw nearly 25 mpg over several hours and about 140 miles, with driving conditions mostly split between urban-freeway, commute conditions and rural, twisty, hilly two-laners.
The Eco model includes a feature called Idle Stop and Go (ISG) plus low-rolling-resistance tires. The system could conceivably save up to six percent in particularly dense stop-and-go driving, by smartly shutting the engine off. Unfortunately, that kind of improvement doesn’t show on the window-sticker EPA rating.
The Soul does include an Eco Mode button that softens throttle response somewhat and changes shift points.