South Korean carmaker Kia Motors has chosen the upcoming 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show at the venue for the unveiling of a turbocharged version of its new Kia Soul compact crossover to the North American market. For the 2017 model year, Kia’s Soul range has been made more appealing with the addition of the 2017 Soul Exclaim, a compact crossover with a sporty and dynamic feel. With this, the 2017 Kia is now offered in three versions – base, Plus and Exclaim.
The Soul is one of the reasons why Kia made a sudden surge in the United States, especially in the crossover segment. With a design distinct from fellow compact crossovers, the Kia Soul also managed to attract more customers to Kia by offering a satisfying fuel economy and comfortable ride in a package that is available in a very reasonable price.
Power had been provided for by 1.6- and 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engines, but was not enough to provide a higher level of thrill and excitement. The 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine found in the base Soul delivers only 130 hp of output while the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated powerplant in the Soul Plus offers a higher 161 hp. The Exclaim package for the refreshed 2017 Kia Soul is the answer that the carmaker has found to further the SUV’s appeal to customers in North America.
Spec-wise, the 2017 Soul Exclaim gets it juice from a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine that could provide Kia 201 hp of max output and 196 lb.-ft. of peak torque. While providing considerably higher levels of output and torque (plus 40 hp and 45 lb.-ft. over the 2.0-liter engine), this turbo unit boasts of better fuel economy at 28 mpg city and highway combined. This engine is paired to a new seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) that offers quicker and smoother shift points as well as no shift shock.
As the sporty version of the 2017 Soul, the Exclaim is provided with some sportier features as well as specialized trim. For instance, the 2017 Kia Soul Exclaim comes with dual chrome twin-tip exhaust, chrome grille surround and exclusive 18-inch wheels, as well as a red-accented body trim and distinctive Soul tailgate badge.
Inside, the Exclaim features leather-wrapped D-shaped steering wheel as well as pushbutton start with smart key. Making a trip more worthwhile is Kia’s UVO32 infotainment that comes with e-Services with integrated Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Also available is the 315-watt Harman Kardon premium audio system -- that includes eight speakers, a center channel and subwoofer – as well as navigation and an eight-inch touchscreen display. Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Detection are also available for the new Kia Soul Exclaim.