Last year the Kia Soul got major revisions to its powertrain and is essentially unchanged for 2013. Other than, a revised grill (with chrome accents), new-look Kia badges, audio controls on the steering wheel and Bluetooth is standard … in every Soul.

The following extract is taken from an road test review (by Simon Hill) of a 2013 Kia Soul 4U Luxury:

“Say what you will about the Kia Soul’s funky hipster style, one thing is certain: in the battle of the boxes it’s the hands-down sales champion. It outsold the next most popular box-mobile, Scion’s xB, sevenfold over 2011 and 2012 (19,211 Souls were sold in Canada in those two years versus 2,618 xBs) and it outsold Nissan’s quirky Cube by about 25 to 1 over the same period, during which 777 Cubes hit the road. As for the original box-mobile, only 180 Honda Elements found buyers in 2011, which likely explains the Element’s exit from the market in 2012.

So what’s the secret of the Soul? It’s not out-and-out practicality, because in terms of cargo space the xB takes the prize. I’m not sure it’s styling either, because while I quite like the Soul’s style it appears to divide opinion at least as much as (if not more than) the Cube and the xB.”

Link to the full version:

The Soul comes with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder or 2.0-litre four-cylinder. Both come with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. The 1.6 comes in a single trim line, with choice of transmissions. The 2.0-litre comes as the 2u and 4u with manual or automatic transmission, and as the 4u Retro, 4u Burner and 4u Luxury with automatic transmission only.

Features on the 1.6 include 15-inch steel wheels, fog lights, heated mirrors, body-colour door handles, privacy glass, front and rear mud guards, heated black cloth seats, driver’s seat height adjustment, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, single-tone dash and door panels, tilt and telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, exterior temperature gauge, power locks, CD/MP3 stereo with USB and auxiliary input jack, Bluetooth connectivity, driver’s auto-down window, rear cargo under-floor storage tray, trip computer, active front head restraints, tire mobility kit, and hill assist control. Air conditioning can be added as an option. Models with an automatic transmission add a driver’s seat armrest and active Eco system.

The 2.0 2u adds 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, compact spare tire, roof rails, mirrors with integrated turn signals, “Soul” pattern seat and door trim inserts, keyless entry, dash-mounted tweeter speakers, Sirius satellite radio, and cargo net. Models with an automatic transmission add cruise control.

The 2.0 4u adds 18-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, power sunroof, body-colour bumpers, and leather-wrapped steering wheel. Models with an automatic transmission add a rearview camera, premium audio components, LED speaker mood lamps, and UVO infotainment system.

The 2.0 4u Retro builds on the 2.0 4u with automatic and adds black cloth seats with beige tartan pattern, and two-tone black and beige dash and door trim.

The 2.0 4u Burner adds automatic climate control, Smart Key with pushbutton start, rear spoiler, projection headlamps, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, chrome exterior door handles, black gloss bumpers, black cloth seats with red inserts, and two-tone black and red dash and door trim.

The 2.0 4u Luxury adds body-colour bumpers and door handles, heated leather seats, black dash and door trim, iPod cable, navigation system, and cargo cover.

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