The Kia Soul has been around for years but even though its basic shape has changed the ambitious South Korean automaker has continued to keep the popular crossover vehicle fresh.
So during the Los Angeles Auto Show, Kia plans to roll out a turbocharged version of the Soul capable of producing 201 horsepower giving one of Kia’s most-popular and most beloved vehicles plenty of zip to go with its easily recognized exterior pizzazz.
Fans of the Soul had long lobbied for a little more zip in their favorite ride and the 2017 Soul Exclaim delivers, noted Orin Hedrick, Kia Motor America vice president of product planning.
“We wanted to provide loyal Soul lovers and new buyers a sportier option,” said Hedrick. “The 2017 Soul Exclaim with its turbocharged engine gives the car’s fans another wonderful choice from an already wonderful line-up,” he added.
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The 1.6-liter turbo engine adds 40 horsepower, fuel economy is 28 miles-per-gallon, city and highway combined — slightly better than the combined mileage of the 2.0-liter normally-aspirated 161-hp engine in the Soul Plus and in the Soul Base 1.6-liter, which produces 130 horsepower.
The overall performance in the turbocharged Exclaim is also enhanced by the addition of a new 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission, with its quicker and smoother shift points and limited shift shock, gives the Soul Exclaim more dynamic acceleration.
The goal is to produce a more engaging driving experience, Hedrick said.
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In addition to the turbo engine, the Exclaim is decked out with special trim and sportier features, including: exclusive 18-inch wheels; red-accented body trim; chrome grille surround, unique Soul tailgate badge; and, for the first time on Soul, dual chrome twin-tip exhaust.
The Exclaim also gets a standard leather-wrapped, D-shaped steering wheel, features such as pushbutton start with smart key and UVO3 with e-Services with integrated Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.A thumping 315-watt Harman Kardon premium audio system with eight speakers, including a center channel and subwoofer, navigation and 8-inch touch screen display is also available.
Overall, the 2017 Soul is available in three trim levels: Base with manual or automatic 6-speed transmission; Soul Plus with the 6-speed automatic; and the Exclaim turbo with the new 7-speed DCT. There are also two new exterior colors.
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Redesigned headlights and fog lights, along with front and rear fascias lend a more aggressive appearance while the availability of two dedicated USB charge ports and an 8-way power passenger seat.