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Kia Recalling 260,000 Late-Model Soul Crossovers

Steering system can fail unexpectedly, maker tells NHTSA.

by on Nov.16, 2015

The Kia Sould is one of the Korean automaker's most popular product lines.

Kia has announced the latest in a string of major recalls plaguing the auto industry this year, this one impacting nearly 260,000 late-model Soul crossovers.

The maker says that a faulty steering gear assembly could cause the vehicle’s steering system to fail, the steering wheel itself even coming lose.

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It’s just the latest in a string of six- and seven-figure recalls that are pushing the industry close to a new record, potentially topping the all-time high 64 million vehicles affected by safety-related issues n 2015.


Kia Jumps into Affordable Lease Fray with New Soul EV

Maker offers compact at prices comparable with competitors.

by on Sep.12, 2014

Kia announced pricing on its Soul EV, including a lease price of $249 a month for 36 months.

The war of “reasonably priced” electric vehicles just got a little more intense as Kia announced it will make its Soul EV available for a monthly lease price of just $249 a month for 36 months, which makes it among the most affordable EVs to lease.

Potential lessees will need to put down $1,995 to get that price, which is comparable to prices the Nissan Leaf at $199 per month with $1,999 due at signing, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV at $189 per month with $3,388 down, and the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, which is $199 per month with $1,493 down, according to

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Buyers aren’t left out of the “low-price” segment either, as the new Soul is among the cheapest of the new compact EVs as well with a price of $33,700, including destination charges. The Plus model is $35,700. Once buyers include the $7,500 federal tax credit for purchasing an EV, the prices come in at just more than $26,000 and $28,000 respectively. The Leaf is priced at $22,360. (more…)

Kia Soul Tops List of Must-Have Cars in the City

Surprisingly, Smart ForTwo doesn’t make Top 10.

by on Aug.12, 2014

Kia's 2014 Soul was named the top choice for city dwellers due to its ride-and-handling as well as its convenience features.

Many folks imagine that once you move to a large urban center, like New York or Chicago, that the need for a car evaporates; however, the reality is that city denizens need to get around and that means hundreds of thousands of vehicles are clogging those streets.

If you’re going to have a car in the city, it needs to be small enough to squeeze into tight spots, turn around in small spaces, yet be able to carry lots of stuff. Fortunately, the folks at have compiled a list of what they believe to be the 10 best cars for city dwellers.

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The website’s top pick is the 2014 Kia Soul and not because it’s so easy to drive even a hamster can do it. According to the website, the Soul’s ride-and-handling, abundance of convenience features, such as heated front and rear seats as well as a heated steering wheel – features typically found on pricier rides – combined with Kia’s Android-based UVO multimedia system made it the best ride. (more…)

Kia Launching New “Red Zone” Performance Brand

2014 Kia Soul Red Zone influenced by Track’ster model.

by on Dec.09, 2013

Kia adds a sporty touch to the 2014 Soul with this new Red Zone edition.

Kia Motors America is joining the parade of manufacturers offering specialty performance-oriented models with its new “Red Zone” line.

The first model to carry the designation will be the 2014 Kia Soul Red Zone, which draws some of its inspiration from the Track’ster concept vehicle unveiled at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. The “Red Zone” edition of Soul is slated to reach showrooms during the first quarter of 2014.

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“The Soul has always appealed to those who choose to express their individuality through their vehicle, and special editions have been a part of the lineup since the first-generation Soul went on sale in 2009,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, marketing & communications, KMA.


Kia Promises 124 Miles Range from Soul EV

Recharging times of five hours or less.

by on Nov.12, 2013

Kia plans to introduce its new Soul EV in the middle of the 2014 model year. It can travel as far as 124 miles on a single charge.

Kia is about to get into the battery-car game with a new electric version of its quirky Soul crossover, and the maker claims the Soul EV will deliver “class-leading range” of more than 120 miles per charge.

The battery version will be based on the newly redesigned gas-powered Kia Soul which just came to market in time for the 2014 model-year.  Though the Korean carmaker won’t have a production version to show for some time, it is giving a hint of what’s to come with an image of a thinly disguised Soul EV – while also providing some initial technical details.

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According to Kia, the Soul EV “will be at the forefront of Kia’s new ‘Clean Mobility’ program to provide environmentally-friendly transport to our customers around the world.” (more…)

Kia Proves its Got Soul With Five SEMA Concepts

“Souls of SEMA” gives showgoers a glimpse of possibilities.

by on Nov.07, 2013

Kia rolled out five highly customized Souls during this year's annual SEMA show.

With some help from rocker Leona X and some hot DJs, Kia set out to prove it has plenty of Soul as it unveiled a quintet of new concept cars at the annual aftermarket extravaganza known as the SEMA Show.

The event has traditionally focused on performance but there’s a growing emphasis on customization, makers like Kia showing off hot products aimed at a new generation buyers – and showing them just how much products like the Soul can be customized to reflect their individual personalities and lifestyles.

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Calling them the “Souls of SEMA,” Kia spokesman Scott McKee noted that, “The music connection to Soul has been well established since the beginning,” especially through the use of the hip-hop animated hamsters that have become the spokes-, er, -rodents for the quirky box-shaped crossover. (more…)

First Drive: 2014 Kia Soul

Subtle changes yield big improvements.

by on Oct.07, 2013

Kia's 2014 Soul remake delivers subtle visual tweaks but more significant interior changes and revisions to drive dynamics.

Few cars have done a better job of putting a relatively unknown brand on the radar for a broad swath of American car buyers.  The 2009 Kia Soul and the hip-hop hamsters who became its spokes, er, rodents have carved out a unique and enviable niche in the market. So, with the launch of the 2014 Soul, Kia faces both risk and opportunity.

Anyone who has watched TV or gone to the cinema in recent weeks probably knows the slimmed-down “Hamstars” are back, their latest, catchy spot, backed by Lady Gaga vocals, meant to draw attention to the launch of the updated urban crossover.  Their help is needed. The 2014 Kia Soul’s distinctive design undergoes evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, changes that might otherwise be missed by most buyers.

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That said, Kia’s priority was coming up with a more comfortable CUV that resolves some of the earlier model’s issues with driving dynamics and refinement. Our experience during a Minneapolis driving event suggests the Koreans have largely succeeded.


Kia Hopes to Add More Soul to 2014 Soul

Koreans tinker with one of their biggest successes.

by on Mar.27, 2013

Kia rolled out its 2014 Soul during the New York Auto Show.

It can be risky tinkering with success. The auto industry is full of stories about one-time hits that failed to connect with buyers after a big redesign – think the second-generation of the boxy Scion xB. So excuse the folks at Kia for being as nervous as they are boastful as they roll out the next generation of the quirky Soul hatchback as the New York International Auto Show’s media preview gets underway.

True, it got a bit of a bit from its equally funky ads starring a bunch of hip-hop hamsters, but there’s no question the original Kia Soul connected with buyers in a big way, becoming one of the Korean carmaker’s biggest hits and helping it score a series of annual sales records since launching in 2009.

“When the first Soul was introduced in 2009, everyone at Kia believed we had a hit on our hands, but we didn’t realize how big that hit was going to be,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing and communications at Kia Motors America. “The Soul moved the needle significantly from a sales and marketing perspective.”

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What’s particularly significant about the outgoing Kia Soul is how it has maintained momentum in a niche that is normally filled with what industry analysts call “18-month wonders,” vehicles that come out blazing then all but vanish from the sales charts.


Kia Ready For Next Product Blitz

Smaller of Korean makers also studying possible 2nd US plant.

by on Sep.05, 2012

The 2014 Kia Forte will make its debut at the LA Auto Show in November.

The once very unhip Kia brand has undergone a massive makeover in recent years, thanks to a trio of hip-hop “hamstars,” a rock star of a design chief – and a blitz of new products.

The new model assault is set to continue, Kia officials reveal, at the upcoming Los Angeles and Detroit auto shows.  And to feed the growing demand for those and existing products like the Optima and Soul, Kia management is now studying the option of expanding its North American production base – a move that might include the addition of a second U.S. assembly plant.

Kia is now the fastest-growing brand in the U.S. market, noted Kia Motors America sales chief Tom Loveless, with a 78% sales surge since 2008 surpassing even Korean sibling Hyundai, as well as fast-track brands like Volkswagen and Subaru.

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After setting a 2011 sales record of 485,000 – and breaking its all-time monthly records for 24 consecutive months – Kia expects to reach another new peak this year, market share climbing to an all-time high 4.0, “if we can maintain this pace,” said Loveless, during a presentation to the Detroit Automotive Press Association.


Roll Over Beethoven, the Kia Hamsters Are Back

...and they're "Bringing Down the House."

by on Aug.31, 2012

Kia's hamsters make their return in classic form in the latest Soul ad campaign.

Roll over Beethoven, make room Mozart.  The Kia hamsters are back and they’re turning a serious, 17th Century ballet into a wild, 21st Century electronic dance party in their newest ad campaign for the popular Kia Soul.

Few official spokes…er…rodents have clicked with the car buying community as effectively as what the Korean carmaker likes to call its “hamstars.”  And their previous commercials have generated tens of millions of views on and elsewhere as they have gone viral like few other automotive ads.

The latest spot will make its debut today on 18,000 movie screens across the U.S. and then appear on the MTV Video Music Awards on September 6th. (You can view the spot on Youtube now by Clicking Here.)

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In typically irreverent fashion, the newest campaign has been titled “Bringing Down the House,” and is set in an 18th Century European opera house.  Set to the Axwell remix, “In My Mind,” it shakes up the staid surroundings by turning them into a very 21st Century electronic dance party.