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Car Tech Video: 2014 Kia Soul
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Car Tech Video: 2014 Kia Soul

2:30 /

The 2014 Kia Soul is the surprise of the 2013 New York auto show and a hit of the "box on wheels" movement, plus it comes stacked with some nifty tech.

Now when all the boxy rides at the market a few years ago, the Kia Soul turned out to be the surprise home run. They sell as many of these things as twice the xB and the Cube combined. So when you go to refresh this car, you don't screw around. Let's take a look at the 2014 Kia Soul. Now the main headline of how they have laid this car out is not so much in a change of the overall look. It still looks like a Soul to my eye, but the dimensions are quite different around the wheels. It has another inch this way, that's the wheel base. But 6 more inches this way, that's the track and that gives this guy a much more planted less tippy look which if anything polarized folks negatively about it that was it. They seemed to have really cured that. Now inside, a big difference in the cabin quality of the new Soul used to be pretty Spartan and squared off in here. Look at this, all organic shapes- now, whether you like that or not- I think it looks a lot better. Lots of soft materials, with a better kind of a quality to them and a completely different look dominated by this big boy, an optional 8-inch LCD. In here, you can have UVO eServices-- that's their connected platform. Then among other things, lets you flick through things like a smartphone and kind of toss the screen up and down as opposed to those clunky page up, page down interfaces you normally see in cars. On that screen of course could be optional navigation. I see here, it's gonna be SD card based. Also, I think it's a first for Kia, at least for the Soul, Pandora integration in there as well so you can control your Pandora stream from your phone here, put the phone aside. And top trend models have another LCD screen, an enlarged LCD between the gauges to give you helper display stuff like just the latest nav instruction or currently what you're listening to on the media. So this car is definitely going upscale if you load it up. Another thing I've noticed- and why do you ask about this, how's the room? You know, I'm pretty tall, 6'2". I am in driving position right now and I'm looking back and I see quite reasonable back seat legroom. I could sit behind me in this car just FYI. They also have put a bigger hatchback here which was another great about the Soul. Now you can get into what space it has more readily and goes with that additionally spacious back seat. Upfront, the engines are not bigger, but they're very high tech. A 1.6 or a 2 leader direct injection gasoline four. Now, pricing and availability of this car are still somewhat up in the air. Third quarter in showrooms, they'll be able to price down as they get closer to that.

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