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    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2017 Kia Soul Exclaim

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      The end result of strapping rocket boosters to a hamster

    I happen to be a big fan of the Kia Soul. Its daring looks, spacious interior, and overall value make it an interesting option in the compact class. It seems many others would agree as the Soul is one of Kia’s best selling models. To help keep it up there, Kia has introduced a new turbo engine for the top-line Exclaim (!) model along with minor changes for 2017. Let's see how these changes affect the Soul.

    • Aside from the turbo engine, Kia made some design tweaks to the Exclaim to have it stand out from other Soul trims. This includes a new front bumper, red accents, 18-inch alloy wheels, a twin-tip exhaust, and exclusive colors like this copper color seen here. The little changes really make the Soul stand out even further than before.
    • Moving on to the turbo engine, it is a 1.6L four-cylinder packing 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This is only paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. If you really want a manual with your turbo-four, Kia will gladly sell you a Forte5 SX which features the same engine.
    • There is a brief moment of turbo lag when you step on the accelerator, but the engine comes into its own after this with power building smoothly. There are no issues with getting up to speed when merging or making a pass.
    • The dual-clutch transmission is a bit of a mixed bag. In stop-and-go traffic, the transmission exhibits some jerkiness and lazy shifts. We also noticed the transmission was slow to respond in terms of downshifting, making us think the programming for this transmission was focused on fuel economy. At higher speeds, the transmission is better with rapid and smooth shifts.
    • The turbo engine has the highest fuel economy fuel economy figures in the Soul lineup with an EPA rating of 26 City/31 Highway/28 Combined. We saw an average of 25.3 mpg during our week in mostly city driving, which is slightly disappointing.
    • With the turbo engine and racy looks, you might think that this particular Soul is fun to drive. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is not the case. Out on a winding road, the Soul is competent with minimal body roll and okay steering. This would be ok if it weren’t for the sporty image that is being portrayed by the exterior. We do wish that Kia had made some changes to the suspension to make it slightly sportier. 
    • The upside to not messing with the Soul’s suspension is it mostly retains the smooth and comfortable ride of other models. Mostly is the keyword as the 18-inch wheels do introduce some harshness to the Soul’s ride.
    • There is a fair amount of wind and road noise, most of this due to the Soul’s boxy shape.
    • The Soul’s interior is still as sharp looking as it first was when the current model was launched in 2013. Little touches such as the uniquely styled air vents and orange accent stitching give the Soul a bit of whimsy. The extensive use of soft-touch materials gives off an aura of quality.
    • Driver and passenger get power seats which make finding a comfortable position very easy. Those sitting in the back will appreciate the large amount of head and legroom, due to the Soul’s boxy shape.
    • Our test Soul came with optional Technology Package that includes an 8-inch touchscreen with Kia’s UVO infotainment system and navigation. It is beginning to show its age in terms of the graphics, but it is still one of the most intuitive systems on sale today. A simple layout and redundant physical buttons make it breeze to use. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is an added bonus.
    • The Exclaim begins at $22,650 and comes well equipped. Standard features include automatic climate control, 7-inch touchscreen with UVO, Bluetooth, leather and cloth wrapped seats, push-button start with proximity key, and automatic headlights. Opt for the technology to get the 8-inch system, blind spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, heated seats and steering wheel, and power folding mirrors. For only $26,995, you get a nicely equipped vehicle. Our test vehicle is slightly more expensive at $27,620 due to an optional panoramic sunroof which we would skip.

    Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Soul, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2017
    Make: Kia
    Model: Soul
    Trim: ! (Exclaim)
    Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L GDI Four-Cylinder 
    Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Seven-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic
    Horsepower @ RPM: 201 @ 6,000
    Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500 - 4,500
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/31/28
    Curb Weight: 3,232 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Gwangju, South Korea
    Base Price: $22,650
    As Tested Price: $27,620 (Includes $850.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Technology Package - $3,000.00
    Panoramic Sunroof - $1,000.00
    Carpeted Floor Mars - $120.00

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    These have always been an attractive little package and they sell well.. I wonder how Kia will advance it without ruining the original sauce. 

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    These are awesome actually.  Lots of vertical room.  Plenty of legroom in the rear.  Nice cargo hold.  And a friendly demeanor.

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    Drove one from Arizona to NC back in May (when my dad passed away) and I really liked it. Just to illustrate how much, I had to drive a Jeep Compass (previous model, not the new one) back to Arizona and I would set that thing on fire in the middle of the freeway if I could get away with it. The Soul was infinitely better in every regard, from acceleration to looks. Simply no comparison. 

    35A16296-E389-439F-BEFD-3B0F5909AC6D.jpeg

    C251263C-0F75-4137-9E40-EB7F81D9FA04.jpeg

    Edited by surreal1272
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    6 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Lol that old compass was terrible.

    I have a Quick Drive review of the new one coming.

     

    That CVT deserves a slow and painful death and if I can help it, will be the last CVT I drive. 

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    1 hour ago, surreal1272 said:

    That CVT deserves a slow and painful death and if I can help it, will be the last CVT I drive. 

    Agreed, while I loved the interior room of my Son's Patriot, both him and I do not miss it or the weird crazy flaky CVT transmission.

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    1 hour ago, dfelt said:

    Agreed, while I loved the interior room of my Son's Patriot, both him and I do not miss it or the weird crazy flaky CVT transmission.

    “Flaky” is putting it mildly. Garbage is more like it. 

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    32 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Soul is a neat little vehicle that I personally feel no affection for.

    So you have no Soul?

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    sat in a new compass at the dealer this morning while getting oil changed, i know this is a soul thread, but the compass was mentioned.  the new one is really nice and i don't see how most folks would prefer a soul over the new compass.

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    13 hours ago, surreal1272 said:

    Drove one from Arizona to NC back in May (when my dad passed away) and I really liked it. Just to illustrate how much, I had to drive a Jeep Compass (previous model, not the new one) back to Arizona and I would set that thing on fire in the middle of the freeway if I could get away with it. The Soul was infinitely better in every regard, from acceleration to looks. Simply no comparison. 

    35A16296-E389-439F-BEFD-3B0F5909AC6D.jpeg

    C251263C-0F75-4137-9E40-EB7F81D9FA04.jpeg

    And my wife still wants to get one of these (we had one for a little while when my Cobalt was in for the recall) While the drive was okay, only because it had the 6 speed......

    Think she'd be much happier with the Kia....

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    Cars with punctuation marks in them are always good.   $27k seems like a lot but I guess not if it is loaded up and it is probably quicker than most small crossovers with that turbo.

    This is also the successor to Pontiac Excitement!

    Edited by smk4565
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    Oh no you dih int compare the much loved, historically rich and venerable Pontiac brand to a Kia Soul.

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    12 hours ago, daves87rs said:

    And my wife still wants to get one of these (we had one for a little while when my Cobalt was in for the recall) While the drive was okay, only because it had the 6 speed......

    Think she'd be much happier with the Kia....

    I am sure that the new Compass is much better but initial reviews seem to share similar complaints about the CVT. It will forever be a nonstarter for me. The Soul would be the way to go although an AWD option would be nice. 

    Edited by surreal1272
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    There is no way to order a new Compass with a CVT.  It is either the nine-speed automatic or the 6 speed manual (like mine has).

    100_2315.JPG

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    23 hours ago, regfootball said:

    sat in a new compass at the dealer this morning while getting oil changed, i know this is a soul thread, but the compass was mentioned.  the new one is really nice and i don't see how most folks would prefer a soul over the new compass.

    The absolute effing voice of reason speaking here.

    On 10/28/2017 at 4:33 PM, surreal1272 said:

    So you have no Soul?

    As an atheist and a metaphysical naturalist of course I don't.  As a fat middle aged guy who doesn't want drive around with a paper bag on my head I also do not own a Korean import popularized by rodents either.

    Edited by A Horse With No Name
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    15 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    There is no way to order a new Compass with a CVT.  It is either the nine-speed automatic or the 6 speed manual (like mine has).

    100_2315.JPG

    This is not a manual.

     

    179CE2EF-F765-4D0F-9AAB-D95D5D1C1965.png

    Edited by surreal1272

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    14 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    The absolute effing voice of reason speaking here.

    As an atheist and a metaphysical naturalist of course I don't.  As a fat middle aged guy who doesn't want drive around with a paper bag on my head I also do not own a Korean import popularized by rodents either.

    How is that the voice of reason? It’s just an opinion and an opinion that is not widely shared. As stated earlier, the only thing the Compass offers over something like the Soul is AWD. Silly commercials aside, it is a great car that doesn’t have the many hassles of the Compass, like a sluggish tranny and sluggish acceleration (both common complaints on the old and new Compass). The new Compass also pushes $34K for a fully loaded model, which is $7K above any loaded Soul. Sorry, but with $34K, I can get a mid size CUV (or something better) for that kind of coin. 

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    13 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    The Soul is a neat little ride. It's really the spiritual successor to the original xB.

    Yes, but I prefer the original xB, having owned one.

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    29 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

    This is not a manual.

     

    179CE2EF-F765-4D0F-9AAB-D95D5D1C1965.png

    Interesting as I discovered playing with the configurator. If you are FWD on the Compass  you get their so called 6 speed CVT transmission. If you go 4x4, you get the choice of a manual or 9 speed transmission.

    Weird Part is their 9 speed appears to be the same picture as the 6 speed cvt.

    2018JeepCompass4x4.jpg

    Their web site does not seem to really state that the 9 spd is a true gear transmission, but it could be with the new tech in packaging. Have to dig into this more as I always thought the 9 spd was a true gear transmission.

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    Update, found more info, seems they are almost identical but the 9 spd is a true gear transmission as the builder offers these pics.

    ZF (spd Transmission

    928TE-486x550.jpg

    zf-9hp-9-speed-automatic-cutaway.jpg

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    21 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Yes, but I prefer the original xB, having owned one.

    The Cube seemed more like the xB than the Soul...and had a cool name and funky styling. 

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    14 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    As a fat middle aged guy who doesn't want drive around with a paper bag on my head I also do not own a Korean import popularized by rodents either.

    Switch that out with Italian compact/import and you have the Compass lol 

    7 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Update, found more info, seems they are almost identical but the 9 spd is a true gear transmission as the builder offers these pics.

    So they offer a CVT piece of $h! in the base trim, FWD only, then the 9spd in the rest of the lineup, and lastly, the 6 spd manual? 

    Why the F does this need 3 transmissions? 

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    • By William Maley
      Rarely, do I get the chance to drive different versions of the same model. The fleet companies I work with scheduling vehicles do their best to serve up a smorgasbord of vehicles for me to experience. But from time to time, things happen where one vehicle in a run has to be swapped because it needs to go home or is required for an important event. It happened to be that the stars aligned in such a way that two Volvo 60 series models would be swapped for various vehicles in this go around. So I found myself with an S60 Momentum one week and a V60 Cross Country another week.
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      Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard and does make Sensus slightly easier to use. But I think some real improvements will come when the next version of Sensus comes out that will be based on Google’s Android platform. I’m also hoping for some more redundant controls such as a fan knob or temperature buttons.
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      As I mentioned earlier, the S60 I had came with a set of optional 19-inch wheels. This introduces a problem as the ride feels choppy. Over various bumps and imperfections, the S60 wasn’t able to smooth over a fair number of them. I assume going with the standard 18-inch wheels solves this issue somewhat, although some people report the ride is still rough on the smaller wheels. The V60 Cross Country also has a set of 19-inch wheels, but it is noticeably smoother over rough surfaces. Credit must be given to the higher ride height and softer suspension tuning. Wind and road noise are almost non-existent, making both perfect long-distance travelers.
      Handling is where the S60 redeems itself somewhat. The sedan shows little body and impressive grip when driven through a winding road. I do wish the steering had a little bit more weight, but that may be solved by moving to the R-Design or Polestar models. The Cross Country is a vehicle you want to push due to its softer suspension tuning.
      Two Good Models, But One Stands Tall
      The new 60 models are worthy successors to the models before it. An elegant design and mostly roomy interior pair nicely with the strong performance from the T5 engine. Sensus is the biggest stumbling block for both models, but a new version is around the corner which may solve some of the issues.
      Between the two, I found myself being more impressed with the V60 Cross Country. It has more character in its design compared to the S60 and the ride is much more comfortable. The almost $57,000 price-tag is a bit much, but with some smart optioning, you can make it much more reasonable. As for the S60, I did find it to be quite a decent steer. But the ride does need some work when on the larger wheels. Also, the Momentum can get quite expensive if you go overboard with options. My tester carried a nearly $46,000 price tag, three-grand more than the T5 versions of the R-Design and Inscription which come with some of the optional features as standard.
      The S60 and V60 Cross Country are excellent alternatives to the usual suspects, just be careful on the options.
      How I would configure them:
      There are two different ways I would go configuring an S60.
      Value: Start with the Momentum T5 at $36,050 and add Heated Front Seats & Steering Wheel ($750) and Premium Package ($2,050) to end up with a nicely equipped S60 at $39,845. You will miss out on some items such as the 360’ camera system, pilot assist, and Harman Kardon audio system, but that pushes the price to over $44,000. Sport: An R-Design T6 fits the bill here and comes with all-wheel drive as standard for a price of $48,045. Decide which metallic paint you would like ($645) or stick with the basic black. Add on the Advanced Package and Heated Rear Seats and Steering Wheel to end up with a final price tag of $51,645 for black or $52,290 for any of the metallic colors. For the V60 Cross Country, it would be similar to my test vehicle with most of the option packages and adding the Harman Kardon Premium Sound system ($800) to bring the final price to $52,795.
      Disclaimer: Volvo Provided the S60 and V60; Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Volvo
      Model: S60
      Trim: T5 Momentum
      Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC Inline-Four
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 250 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 23/34/27
      Curb Weight: 3,657 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ridgeville, SC 
      Base Price: $36,050
      As Tested Price: $46,249 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Advanced Package - $2,500.00
      Premium Package - $2,050.00
      Multimedia Package - $1,850.00
      19" 5-Spoke Cut Wheels - $800.00
      Heated Front Seats & Heated Steering Wheel Package - $750.00
      Pebble Grey Metallic - $645.00
      Linear Lime Deco Inlay and Interior High Level Illumination - $600.00
      Year: 2020
      Make: Volvo
      Model: V60
      Trim: Cross Country
      Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC Inline-Four
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 250 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/31/25
      Curb Weight: 4,202 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Gothenburg, Sweden
      Base Price: $45,100
      As Tested Price: $56,990 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound - $4,000.00
      Cross Country Pro Package - $2,800.00
      Advanced Package - $2,500.00
      Heated Front Seats & Heated Steering Wheel Package - $750.00
      Birch Light Metallic - $645.00
      Park Assist Pilot - $200.00
    • By axlon
      Came across a new Porsche book  after reading the review by blogger Joe Sherlock, his review is below and another showing sample pics, book cover etc. Got mine on amazon.com, but they seem to be out of stock at the moment. It's real nice, mainly covers the air cooled 356 & 911, which are my favorites anyway, lol.
       https://www.4legend.com/2020/livre-cranswick-on-porsche-de-marc-cranswick-veloce-publishing/
      Joe Sherlock review
       
    • By William Maley
      The landscape of midsize sedans was much different ten to fifteen years ago. All of them offered the choice of a four-cylinder and V6 engine. Today, it is a completely different story as most automakers that still offer a midsize sedan have dropped their V6 engines in favor of turbo-fours. But Toyota is bucking the trend by sticking with the V6 in the Camry. It seemed like a good time to ask whether or not there is a place for a V6 in the midsize class.
      The V6 in question is a 3.5L used in many Toyota and Lexus vehicles. In the Camry, output is rated at 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic routes power to the front wheels. This V6 is one of my favorites due to its combination of excellent acceleration off the line and smoothness that turbo-fours can only dream of. One gotcha you need to keep in mind that torque steer will pop up if you decide to mash on the accelerator. The eight-speed automatic is very smooth and quick to upshift but hesitates to downshift when you need more speed. This is likely due to programming in the transmission to improve fuel economy. EPA fuel economy figures for the Camry XLE V6 are 22 City/33 Highway/26 Combined. My average for the week landed around 24 on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. The XSE and TRD V6s see a slight dip in fuel economy due to their performance ambitions. While the XLE can’t fully match the athleticism of the XSE I drove last year, it still can hold its own in the bends. The XLE has the added benefit of providing a smoother ride, as most bumps and road imperfections become mere ripples. Disappointingly, there is a fair amount of road and wind noise comes inside when driving on the freeway. A key difference between the XLE and the XSE I drove last year is the front end treatment. There is a larger lower grille and a different top grille design. I find this design to be a bit much and may scare a lot of people away. On the other hand, the new front does give Camry some needed presence on the road - something that couldn’t be said for previous-generation models. The XLE is surprisingly luxurious with quilted luxury upholstery for the seats and stitching on the dash. Although, a Mazda6 Signature is slightly more premium in terms of offering more luxurious trim pieces, whereas the Camry XLE uses a lot of piano black trim.  Comfort is one area that the Camry XLE excels in. The seats are quite cushy and offer plenty of support, no matter the distance of any trip. The back seat offers plenty of head and legroom. The Entune system may not have the sharp and modern graphics as some competitors, but it does have a simple interface and the ability to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The XLE starts at $29,455 for the base four-cylinder, while the V6 will set you back $34,580. With a few options, my test XLE V6 carried an as-tested price of $37,824. That’s slightly more expensive than a Mazda6 Signature which offers a slightly more premium interior and better driving dynamics. But the Camry can counter with the smooth performance of the V6, comfortable ride, and its long-standing reputation for reliability. I came away really impressed with the Camry XLE, but also wondering how much longer Toyota will hold out. Despite all of the positives, the V6 is a very expensive proposition and most buyers will likely be happy with the four-cylinder. If I was to buy one, I would likely go for an XLE minus the options. Disclaimer: Toyota provided the Camry, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Camry
      Trim: XLE V6
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC D-4S Dual-Injection w/Dual VVT-i V6
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 301 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/33/26
      Curb Weight: 3,549 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY
      Base Price: $34,050
      As Tested Price: $37,824 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Assist Package - $1,550.00
      Navigation Package - $1,040.00
      Carpet/Trunk Mat Set - $264.00

      View full article
  • Posts

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