So curiosity got the best of me and I went to our local Soul emporiums--all two of them--and gave a few unowned souls the run through their paces.
What caught my eye was lease rates for Sorentos and Souls. D-I-L is wanting a new sorento, I thought a lease might be a way in. Use the trade cash to make lease payments.
Turns out the leases are not a great deal, after 39 months the buyout is still well into the 14s or 15s for both those vehicles. DUH, yes, I enjoy getting screwed.
Souls come in three flavors, Base, + (Plus), and ! (Exclaim). Low to high as you've probably deduced.
MY 2014 ushered in the new styling, with a stiffer structure claimed and mildly updated 1.6 Gamma and 2.0 Nu engines.
You have to look closely or be a Soul aficianado to see the style differences. IMO the car is much improved. More rounded, a little bulkier. I'd like to see it next to an Encore, which though similar in dimensions really seemed to dwarf my 2013 Soul.
The 1.6 dropped HP from 138 claimed to 130 with improved low end torque the trade-off.
The 2.0 kept its 164 HP but gets GDI for a little more torque at lower RPM.
The 2.0 in the Elantra makes 173 HP.
The 6-speed stick and automatics are continued with the same or very similar ratios. The 6M is available only on the Base 1.6. Minimal sales in the uplevel cars resulted in the stick's demise in that neighborhood.
Climbing into a Base (your friendly local neighborhood Neanderthal owned a 2013 Base 6A), we get the familiar feel of Big Sky headroom, a greater step-up compared to Charger (DUH), and more near-vertical surfaces vs. the Charger's swoopy sloped windshield and fastback rear window. The inside of which was a massive PITA to try to clean and de-streak.
Well-lit speedo is front and center, tach to its left and fuel and temp to the right. Central info digital pod contains two trip meters, outside temp, total miles, avg MPG, ET, and avg MPH.
The steering has three effort levels. Comfort, Normal, Sport.
Interior dash and fabric has perked up a bit since the last of the first-gen cars. Double stitching on the chairs. Lots of equipment. Even the Base has mirrors in the sliding and swinging visors. Little bitty ceiling lights with switches above your head. Spare glasses holder up there. Reasonably-sized overhead lamps.
Uplevels have rear center armrest and a cargo cover. Given the equipment levels on the +, in particular, and the ! not so much, unless you're after a very cheap car it pays you to buy the +.
Out on the road, the ride improvement is readily apparent. Does not feel harsh and as if 500 lb. of cargo would really help with the ride. It seems to lean a little more than last gen. The 1.6 feels notably less spunky than the previous version. I could live with it if I had to. But I'd be looking for some HP somewhere.
The + models with the 2.0 zip along much more swiftly. They're not rockets and they won't be dusting off Charger 3.6 8As in the quarter, but CD consistently shows 0-60 in 8.1 or 8.2 for the 2.0 whether this gen or the 2012-2013 models. The 1/4 slips by in 16.4 @ 84 for the 2.0 + and !, and CD got a top end of 117. Drag limited. Wonder what the Cd is this year? Their decible count at 70 is 68.
The 1.6 with stick takes 9.1 seconds to 60, vs. CD's 9.0 or thereabouts for the previous 6A 1.6. Their 1/4 was 16.9 @ 84.
Either the automatics are very efficient or the new Gamma has significantly less power. Or CD got a bad factory car.
Wheels are up from 15 to 16 in the Base, 16 to 17 in the Plus, and the ! remains at 18. Plus tires are 215.55.17, just one size down from the rubber on my 2011 Chrysler 200 V6.
The 2.0 is smooth and quiet, like a good sewing machine. It propells relatively effortlessly, vs. the 1.6 that has to work hard for a living, very hard.
The 6A is smooth and quiet, and H-K have tamped the downshifts that everyone seems so fond of these days, to where they're barely perceptible.
White, Black, Titanium (metalflake), Blue, Alien II (a form of Kawasaki green), poopoo Brown, and Yellow are the colors for 2015. Forest Green from 2014 was dropped.
And yes, I did buy one. Yes we can. Traded the Charger in for a 2015 Solar Yellow Soul+ (Solar Yellow Soul+). I like the zippy maneuverability, spacious cabin, tight feel, and generous equipment levels.
Just call me Soul Man II, if you must. Be nice and I'll give you a ride in it!