By George Polgar
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Carmakers are hot for the fresh-faced demo.
Noisy, reckless and dangerous hot rods and muscle cars hold less appeal for young buyers, who like their cars like their smart phones – cool, intuitive and functional.
This next gen ethic is big in the 2014 Kia Soul, a significantly updated second edition after 4 years. Along with its dancing Hamster mascots, the Soul has become trimmer outside and more refined throughout.
Though the $15,500 base 1.6-liter engine is 24/30 mpg pokey, an optional 2.0-liter four-cylinder…produces 164 horsepower of punchy low-RPM gusto. And now there’s even a new Soul EV electric.
The Kia is spacious with a standard equipment list that includes rear privacy glass, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel with finger-tip audio controls, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 6-speaker CD and satellite radio sound system, with an auxiliary audio jack and iPod/USB audio interface.
In the Soul+ (plus) edition topping out at $24,000, style and substance comes in two-tone leather, nicely executed faux metallic finishes, an 8” Nav and Audio screen, Panoramic sunroof, 17-inch alloy wheels and a color morphing ambient light show in the passenger compartment.