Safety » 8
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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
The former Soul was a four-star performer in federal crash tests and had a worrisome ‘poor’ outcome in the IIHS small overlap frontal test. Since the 2014 Kia Soul has an entirely new structure that’s not at all related to the outgoing model, we’re cautiously giving this model an ‘8’ until official safety numbers are released.
Kia has said that it expects top five-star federal safety ratings, as well as the new Top Safety Pick+ rating, for the new Soul. But we give pause to note that the new 2014 Forte, which is based on the same platform achieved just a three-star federal frontal impact score and a ‘poor’ rating in that small overlap test. Kia says that the new Soul has different load paths than either the former model or the other models that it’s structurally related to, and that will help. So far, the IIHS has released an impressive but incomplete set of results, with 'good' ratings for frontal, side, and rear impact, as well as in the frontal impact category.
All models include a total of six airbags, with dual front airbags, seat-mounted side bags, and full-length side curtain bags. Also worth noting that even the base Soul includes superior four-wheel disc brakes, while many other inexpensive small sedans include just drum brakes in back. Anti-lock braking, Brake Assist, and electronic stability control are all included, as is Hill-start Assist.
Outward visibility is still a mixed bag—great out in front and to the side, with a rather high driving position, but somewhat difficult for lane changes due to the thick rear pillar. A rear camera system is included with the top Exclaim model, as well as with the Soul Plus, provided you get the $500 UVO eServices Package.
Thanks to an all-new body structure, safety ratings for the 2014 Kia Soul should graduate to the top tier.