The 2014 Kia Soul redesign is based on the Track'ster concept that debuted last year. For the 2014 model it rides on a new chassis that is stiffer, longer and wider, and adds more passenger and cargo room.
The Soul will be available in three trim levels in the United States: Base, Plus and Exclaim. Pricing will be announced closer to the Soul's on-sale date in the third quarter of this year.
The base Soul is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 130 hp and 118 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, or an optional six-speed automatic.
The Plus and Exclaim models are outfitted with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
Both engines make use of fuel-efficient gasoline direct-injection technology. The Plus model can be equipped with either the six-speed manual or automatic transmission, while the Exclaim model is only equipped with the six-speed automatic.
The new Soul maintains its upright stance, squared shoulders and fender flares but takes on some styling cues from the Track'ster concept. They share a large trapezoidal lower air intake, and available fog lights are set low and pushed to the edges similar to those on the concept.
The interior is refined with soft-touch materials on the instrument panel, center console and door panels, and available leather seating and high-gloss piano-black trim pieces.
The 2014 Soul has a 101.2-inch wheelbase, a 0.8-inch increase, and is 0.6 inches wider at 70.9 inches, while maintaining the same 63.4-inch overall height.
Inside, the Soul is larger overall with improved front and rear legroom, headroom and shoulder room. The step-in height is reduced 0.2 inches.
Overall cargo capacity is increased by 6 inches to 24.2 cubic feet.
The base Soul comes standard with power windows, door locks and heated outside mirrors, telescoping steering wheel, six-speaker AM/FM/MP3 audio and Bluetooth.
The Soul will be available in seven new exterior colors. Inside is an available 8-inch touchscreen that houses Kia's second-generation UVO infotainment system. The updated system uses an Android-based operating platform and is now compatible with the iPhone and Android smartphones.
The 2014 Kia Optima gets refreshed styling, which keeps it up to date without straying too far away from its well-received design.
Kia updated the 2014 Optima's front and rear fascias and tabbed grille. In back are new rear diffusers, a sweeping trunk lid and newly designed LED rear lamps.
Updates inside include a 4.3-inch LCD instrument cluster display and optional center mounted 8-inch touchscreen to display navigation and Kia's UVO infotainment system. Blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors are now an option.
The 2014 Optima is still available with two powertrains that use gasoline direct injection technology: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, available on the LX, EX and SX, or a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine, offered on the SX. A 2.4-liter hybrid powertrain is also available. Each engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The Optima is available in LX, EX, SX and SX-Limited trims. Pricing will be announced closer to the Optima's on sale date in the third quarter.
Kia also rolled out the coupe variant of its redesigned Forte compact models.
The Forte Koup is packaged like the Forte hatchback, available in EX and SX trim levels and with two engine and transmission choices.
The base EX has a 2.0-liter gasoline direct-injection four-cylinder engine that puts out 173 hp and 154 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The SX comes standard with the 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. The engine can be mated to a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The 2014 Forte Koup is expected to go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year.
About the New York auto showThe 2013 New York auto show runs from March 29-April 7 and is expected to attract a range of production and concept cars such as the new Toyota Highlander, Jeep Cherokee and the United States debut of the Corvette Stingray Convertible. Check out Autoweek's complete coverage at autoweek.com/new-york-auto-show .