2013 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - Superminis

Superminis (referred to also as B-Segment cars) were once cramped, stark, slow and noisy. Those days are gone. Levels of comfort, cabin space, performance and refinement have increased to such an extent that for many people, there is no need to move beyond this segment unless you seek more space than they can provide. Desirable features such as air-conditioning, power windows, locks and mirrors are either standard or optional on all of the cars in this category, with some cars offering luxury features like leather seating and navigation systems as well.

Popular in the 90s, this segment went dormant when the U.S. Market, which sets the trend for what vehicles are sold in Canada, soured on hatchbacks and small cars in general. The Toyota Echo (followed by the Yaris) and the Hyundai Accent were the sole cars in the segment for many years. The introduction of the Chevrolet Aveo in 2004 marked a rebirth of the segment, which now includes the Sonic and Spark from Chevrolet, the Ford Fiesta, Fiat 500, Honda Fit, Hyundais Accent and Veloster, Kia Rio, Mazda 2, MINI Cooper, Nissan Versa, Scion iQ, Smart ForTwo and the Toyota Yaris.

The Fiat 500 has done well since introduction, exceeding its sales targets in Canada by a considerable margin. Sales held steady for many cars in this segment, but the Mazda 2 sales, about 9000 in 2011, sagged to roughly half of that in 2012. Honda Fit sales mysteriously increased nearly 50 percent last year despite the fact that there was little new with the vehicle and manufacturer incentives on it lacked appeal. Toyota Yaris sales ballooned nearly 50 percent as well despite poor incentives, but the model was new for the 2012 model year. The carefully-conceived 2012 Kia Rio was embraced by the buying public and sales doubled last year. The Chevrolet Sonic logged 30 percent more sales than its predecessor, the Aveo, did in 2011. Sales of the Hyundai Accent held steady despite a new design and sales of the Ford Fiesta were virtually unchanged from 2011. Extremely slow sales of the Insight and CRZ from Honda, the Mitsubishi iMiEV, Nissan Cube and Scion xD question their reason for being and explain why the 2013 models were so late to arrive. With roughly 1000 sold in its launch year, Scion's innovative iQ sunk in a sea of consumer indifference, selling at only half the rate of the flawed and quirky Smart ForTwo.  

While 2012 delivered a bumper crop of new cars, brand new cars this year is limited to the Chevrolet Spark and the early release 2014 Nissan Versa Note. Two segment stalwarts, the Smart ForTwo and the Ford Fiesta undergo mid-cycle remakes fthis year.

Vital safety features like side-curtain airbags, ABS and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), once reserved for luxury cars, are standard on most of the cars in this segment.

The better cars in this class are economical to operate, very reliable, and have excellent resale value. However, unless you are a cash buyer, please pay attention to monthly payments, which are often as high as they are for more expensive cars in the next size class up. 

A note about mileage: The APA's posted fuel economy figures for 2012 differ from those published by the Canada EnerGuide. For 2012, the APA is using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EPA), numbers for fuel economy as they better reflect real-world fuel economy. For more information, read APA President George Iny's article regarding the inadequacies of the Canada EnerGuide test cycle

Chevrolet Sonic  Honda Fit  Mazda 2  2014 Nissan Versa Note
Chevrolet Spark  Hyundai Accent  MINI  2012 Scion iQ 
Fiat 500  Hyundai Veloster  2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV  smart fortwo 
2014 Ford Fiesta  Kia Rio, Rio 5  Nissan Versa Sedan  Toyota Yaris 
2012 Honda CRZ  Kia Soul     

Chevrolet Sonic

Specifications


What’s new
Turbo now offered with automatic transmission. New RS trim level. MyLink integrated phone and audio system available for 2013. Blind spot sectors added to door mirrors. Spoiler added to trunk of LTZ sedan. New colours. Remote starting optional on LT models equipped with automatic transmission. 1.8L engine output grows from 136 to 138 horsepower.

Performance
The refined base 1.8L four pulls strongly.. The six-speed automatic transmission seeks the highest gear possible as quickly as possible but reacts willingly to downshift requests. The 1.4 L turbo is strong, smooth and sonorous. The turbo is best-suited to the automatic transmission as the manual is undermined by an abrupt clutch. Precise, nicely-weighted and communicative steering. The Sonic rides with a firm resilience and handles crisply without a trace of wallow. In town, the low-profile tire-equipped Sonic LTZ allows bumps to intrude into the cabin. Large turning circle. Highly-styled and well-finished cabin. The motorcycle-type Instrumentation is attractive but also gimmicky and distracting. Comfortable seats offer good support. Spacious front seating. Rear passengers enjoy a comfortable seat and abundant legroom. Excellent headroom. Spacious trunk on the sedan. Vertical storage space on the hatchback is lessened by high trunk floor concealing a large under-floor storage bin.

Comments
With nearly 10,000 units sold in 2012, the Sonic did well in its first year on the market in Canada. Sedan and four-door hatchback versions of the Sonic are available. Engine choices include a normally-aspirated 1.8L four and a 1.4L turbo. Both produce the virtually the same horsepower but the turbo generates greater torque at a lower RPM. Power reaches the front wheels via six-speed automatic transmission or manuals with five speeds (1.8L) and six speeds (turbo). The Sonic placed third in a four-car test that included the Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent and Toyota Yaris.

Pricing
The hatchback body style commands a $210 (LS), $500 (LT) and a $1000 (LTZ) premium respectively over a similarly-equipped sedan. The LT package is priced to value. The LTZ upgrade is too expensive. A Sonic LT hatchback is priced higher than a Corolla Enhanced Convenience Package, with leasing and finance payments higher as well.

Reliability
New model, not rated. New GM cars sometimes develop post-launch glitches.  


Body Style: 4HB, 4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.4L-4 T (138 HP), 1.8L-4 (138 HP )*

Transmissions: 5M, 6M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy: 9.4L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: N/A
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/160,000
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Good

Side: Good

Rollover: Good

Rear: Good

NHTSA Rating: 



Chevrolet Spark

Specifications

NEW

What’s new
All-new Spark gives GM its first A-segment car in Canada. 

Comments
GM lists the Smart ForTwo, Scion iQ and Fiat 500 as key competitors. At just slightly bigger overall than a Fiat 500, the Chevrolet Spark is the smallest car GM has offered in North America since the Chevette. The Spark's exterior is very vertical, dominated by an over-scaled grille and front lamps, as well as some strong accent lines over the fenders. With a motorcycle-like gauge package, some interesting shapes and a few exterior body-colour accents, the cabin is quite attractive. With 135 fewer mm (5.3 inches) between the front and rear wheels than a Toyota Yaris hatchback, rear seat legroom is in short supply, but access is pretty good. Power for Sparks destined for North America comes from a 1.2L four producing 84 horsepower. Power reaches the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission or an automatic transmission with just four gears, compared with the five or six gears common on the smallest new cars. Driven briefly, the Spark is slow, noisy and cramped.

Pricing
The Spark is small but is not cheap. Overpriced automatic transmission, air-conditioning and Connectivity options. Payments for the $17,945 Spark 1LT automatic are virtually the same as for the much bigger, powerful and serene $18,990 Toyota Corolla with the Enhanced Convenience Package.

Reliability
New model, not rated. Previous GM cars from South Korea have a poor reputation.   


Body Style: 4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.2L-4 (84 HP)

Transmissions: 5M, 4A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy: 8.4L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: N/A
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/160,000
Country of Origin:  South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Not tested

Side: Not tested

Rollover: Not tested

Rear: Not tested

NHTSA Rating: 



Fiat 500

Specification


 

What’s new
New 135 horsepower Turbo offering slots in between the base and Abarth models. "Beats" audio option. Revised gearing. Thicker sunroof glass. New colours.

Performance
The normally-aspirated 1.4L engine sounds gruff and strained much of the time. Well-chosen automatic transmission ratios make the best use of the available power, but the 1-2 shift is abrupt, with the 2-3 shift little better, making town driving a jerky affair. Downshifts, needed to maintain momentum, are swift. The steering, which is light and quick for tight turns and parking in town, firms up at higher speeds, but lacks feedback. Stiff ride regardless of speed. The 500's diminutive size confirms a certain agility but handling demonstrates considerable lean in curves and lacks any sense of fun. The 500 is pushed around by crosswinds. Firm, progressive brakes. The Abarth's fizzy 160 horsepower turbo engine accelerates briskly. The new 135 horsepower "Turbo" model should be a good performer.  Pronounced wind noise, especially with the optional fixed-glass roof, the sunshade of which is too transparent to be of much use. Thicker glass should reduce noise from the glass roof this year. There were omnipresent rattles on one of the two cars tested. The single instrument pod cleverly contains a round electronic read-out at its centre, ringed by a tachometer, which in turn is surrounded by a the speedometer. It looks good and works well, but the speedometer and tachometer graphics are too cartoonish, disappointing in a car where so much effort was expended on design. Much better dashboard ergonomics than on the MINI. The very attractive cabin features a large exterior-body colour insert on the dashboard. Muddled controls for the superb audio system. The satellite radio signal cut out frequently. The Bluetooth system was easy to hook up but wouldn't maintain a connection. Efficient heating and defrosting. The seat heater switch "on" lights are so dim as to be visible only at night. The front seats are comfortable enough, but seat travel is limited for the tall, and some drivers find that the high-mounted seats limit headroom, especially on cars equipped with the glass roof panel or sunroof. Low windshield header. The high roof permits easy cabin access, and while rear legroom is tight, headroom is adequate and ingress/egress is better than on a number of other small cars. The trunk is tall, regularly shaped and reasonably roomy for such a small car.

Comments
The 500's look was inspired by the 1957 Nuova 500 of 1957. Fiat's new car was styled by Frank Stephenson, the same designer who penned the first BMW MINI. The 500 is beautifully detailed and extremely chic. Labelled a cabriolet, the open-top 500, which has a cloth roof that unfurls electrically between fixed roof pillars, has traditionally been referred to as a "transformable".  A normally-aspirated 1.4L four, as well as two different versions of a 1.4L turbo, are available. Two transmissions, a five-speed manual and a six-speed automatic, are offered.

Pricing
Trim upgrades are very good value. At $4000, the "cabrio" option is overpriced. The MINI Cooper is more expensive than the 500, but the driving pleasure it delivers is well worth the extra money.   

Reliability
All-new car distributed by a dealer network unfamiliar with the product does not inspire confidence but few complaints have been received about the 500 thus far. Not rated.


Body Style:  2HB, 2CV
Occupants: 2/2
Engines:
1.4L‑4 (101 HP)*, 1.4L‑4T (135 HP [Turbo], 160 HP [Abarth]) 

Transmissions: 5M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  8.7L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: N/A
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Country of Origin:  Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Good

Side: Good

Rollover: Good

Rear: Good

NHTSA Rating: 



2014 Ford Fiesta

Specifications


What’s new
Mid-cycle, early 2014 Fiesta released in the winter of 2013. New Aston-Martin tribute grille and front fascia. Cabin updates include attractive gauges, revised audio controls and a MyFordTouch option. Two new engines, a one litre turbocharged three-cylinder and a high-performance ST have been announced but won't go on sale until late 2013.

Performance
The Fiesta's 1.6L engine lacks response at low revs but does perform enthusiastically at higher revs. Gearing favours fuel economy more than performance. Except for excess gear whine, the manual transmission, with a silken smooth clutch, is a delight. The dual-clutch automated manual transmission works well but shifts can be abrupt, especially in traffic. Nicely weighted, precise steering. A resilient ride and precise handling reflect careful suspension development. Strong, progressive braking. The traction control cannot be turned off to allow for some wheelspin if you are stuck in the winter. Attractive gauges in 2014 Fiesta replace the amateurish dials in the pre-facelift version of the car. Except for confusing radio operation, the controls are straightforward and work well. Tight cabin space, especially in the rear. The Honda Fit and Nissan Versa are significantly roomier, with the Accent and Rio more welcoming as well. Good cargo space on the hatchback, with the sedan having an enormous trunk for such a small car. The Fiesta finished second place in a three car test, ahead of the Mazda 2 and behind the Honda Fit.

Comments
The Fiesta is available in sedan and hatchback forms. One engine, a 1.6L four, can be hooked up to either a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission.

Pricing
Pricing details for the 2014 Fiesta are not yet available.

Reliability
Insufficient data on this model. Few complaints received thus far.  


Body Style: 4HB, 4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6 L‑4 (120 HP) 

Transmissions: 5M, 6A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  8.1L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: Tier 2 Bin 4

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Country of Origin:  Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Good

Side: Good

Rollover: Good

Rear: Good

NHTSA Rating: 



 

 

2012 Honda CR-Z

Specifications

 

 

 

 

What’s new
Delayed 2013. 2012 model remains on sale until the spring of 2013.

Performance
Adequate power from the hybrid system is delivered with uncommon smoothness. Power reaches the front wheels via a precise manual gearchange that combines with a smooth, progressive clutch to make the CR-Z a delight to drive. The well-sorted auto-stop feature works very well with the manual transmission. Firm, yet resilient ride. The precise, nicely weighted and geared steering provides plenty of feedback from the road. The CR-Z is agile and feels impressively solid. The workings of the regenerative braking system is transparent to the driver. The CR-Z's arresting looks compromise rear visibility. The chic cabin features space-age upholstery and attractive finishes. Cleverly-designed, slick-acting controls. The gauges consist of a digital speedometer ringed by a tachometer. The main gauge background colour glows green when the car is driven abstemiously, blue in normal driving and red when the Sport mode is engaged. Comfortable seats reside in a spacious two seater cabin. The two storage bins behind the front seats are jump seats in other markets. Good cargo space and versatility for such a small car. While not quick for a sporty car nor as fuel-frugal as expected of a hybrid, the CR-Z is a genuine pleasure to drive and significantly better sorted out than the mediocre Insight it is based on. 

Comments
The CR-Z is available with either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT. Despite a plethora of design and product gaffes over the last five years or so, the CR-Z shows what Honda can still do when it is really trying.

Pricing
At just under $24,000, the single trim level, comprehensively-equipped CR-Z is a unique, upscale-feeling car for a reasonable price. Good value leasing available.

Reliability
Above average reliability predicted.  


Body Style: 2HB
Occupants: 2
Engines:
1.5 L‑4 H (113 HP gas, 122 HP combined)

Transmissions: 6M*, CVT
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy: 7.6L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: Tier 2 Bin 2

Warranty: 3/60, 000, 5/100,000, 8/160,000 (hybrid components)

Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Good

Side: Good

Rollover: Good

Rear: Good

NHTSA Rating: 



Honda Fit

Specifications


 
 

What’s new
No changes of note. The current Fit is built in China for its fifth and final year.  A third-generation, Mexican-built Fit should debut in the fall of 2013.

Performance
The short gearing of the precise manual transmission provides good performance at all speeds, but leads to high engine speeds (3000 rpm at 100 km/h), on the highway. Smooth clutch. The automatic transmission makes good use of the available power, permits lower-rev cruising than the manual but turns the engine note from sporty to harsh. The Fit is very noisy overall. Nicely weighted steering. Entertaining handling. The LX rides more smoothly than the "Sport" model. Supportive front seats and a comfortable driving position. Excellent visibility. Big, clear gauges and logical controls. Upgrades for 2012 give the cabin a less approximate look than last year. Comfortable, versatile rear seat and good legroom. Impressive cargo-hauling capability. The Japanese-built Fit was rated first in a three-car comparison test ahead of the Ford Fiesta and Mazda 2. 

Comments
The Fit's 1.5L four can be hooked up to either a five-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic.

Pricing
Good value LX trim upgrade. The Sport package is priced to reflect its extra content. Hopeless incentives yield similar payments to the Civic. The Fit sells in small numbers to cash buyers who value its excellent utility. Sources have told the APA that the next-generation Fit, built in Mexico, will have enough profit potential built into it to permit incentives generous enough to make the car attractive to payment buyers and make the Fit a major player in the market.
Reliability
The Japanese-sourced Fit was rated above average. Predicted reliability of this Chinese-built Fit is also above average. The air conditioning condenser is vulnerable to damage from road debris.


Body Style: 4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.5 L-4 (117 HP)

Transmissions: 5M, 5A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy: 8.4 L/100 km

ESC: LX and Sport only

Emissions ratings: Tier 2 Bin 5


Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/160,000
Country of Origin:  China

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Good

Side: Good

Rollover: Good

Rear: Good

NHTSA Rating: 



Hyundai Accent

Specifications

 
 

What’s new
Content enhancements for 2013 include heated front seats for the GL and auto climate control for the GLS.
Performance
The smooth direct-injected 1.6L four delivers fairly lively acceleration but excessively tall gearing on the manual transmission makes it feel less strong than expected for a car boasting 138 horsepower. Precise gearchange and a smooth clutch. The smooth and responsive six-speed automatic transmission permits serene highway cruising. Well-suppressed wind noise but  road noise and ping from road debris are quite loud. The nicely weighted and geared steering lacks the precision of the related Kia Rio. Except for excess rear suspension rebound over big bumps, the Accent has a well-judged ride-handling compromise. Matte-finished textured hard plastic and elegant fabrics make for a chic cabin for this market segment. Big, clear gauges and logical, slick-acting controls. Strong air conditioning. Comfortable seats combine with good cabin space for this segment. Tight toe space under the front seats. Enormous trunk on the sedan and a spacious, versatile cargo area on the hatchback model. The Accent was ranked 2nd, behind the Kia Rio, in a four car test that included a Chevrolet Sonic and Toyota Yaris.

Comments
The fourth-generation Accent is available in sedan and hatchback forms. The hatchback accounts for the majority of sales. High-end technologies like direct fuel injection and six-speed transmissions are standard on all models. The sedan and especially the hatchback, are very good looking cars. One engine, a 1.6L four with 138 horsepower, can be hooked up to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. 

Pricing
The GL, with expected features like air-conditioning, power windows, locks, mirrors and keyless entry, is the best value of the line-up. Moving up a trim level represents excellent value. The hatchback body style is priced $400 more than the equivalent sedan. Poor value leasing. An Accent GL hatchback is priced $200 less than a Kia Rio 5 LX+ , which has standard Bluetooth not available on the Accent GL.

Reliability
All-new car. Insufficient data. Predicted reliability is above average, like the previous Accent. No data on the reliability of this drivetrain. 


Body Style: 4HB*, 4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6L-4 (138 HP)

Transmissions: 6M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy: 7.8 L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: N/A
Warranty: 5/100,000
Country of Origin:  South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Good

Side: Acceptable

Rollover: Good

Rear: Good

NHTSA Rating: 



Hyundai Veloster

Specifications

 

 

 

What’s new
Turbocharged model joined the line-up in mid-2012

Performance
The normally-aspirated direct-injected 1.6L four is smooth and refined with a pleasing sonic buzz at high revs, but has little pull below 2500 rpm. Manual transmission gearing exploits the power available in the lower gears, with fifth and sixth gears for cruising only. The crisp, short-throw gearchange is allied to a smooth, progressive clutch. Quick, nicely-weighted steering is more precise than that of the Accent but still lacks in road feel. On smooth pavement, the Veloster exhibits little lean, even in brisk cornering, However, rougher road surfaces upset the rear suspension and larger bumps can deflect the car off its intended path. Firm ride on all types of bumps on our car shod with 18" wheels; the 17" wheels and higher profile tires on the base model may ride better. Strong, progressive brakes with firm brake pedal feel suffers from premature ABS interventions under hard braking. Restricted rear visibility.

Comments
Built on an 80 mm (3.15 inch) longer wheelbase than the Accent, the Veloster, at 105 mm (4.14 inches) longer, 90 mm (3.5 inches) wider and 51 mm (2 inches) lower than the Accent hatchback, is more than just a simple spin-off of Hyundai's B-segment stalwart. With a goatee-like lower air intake, cycle-type fenders, asymmetric (one door on the driver's and two-doors on the passenger side), side profiles and fully-integrated Siamesed rectangular rear exhaust outlets, the Veloster is one dramatic piece of road sculpture. The base engine is a normally-aspirated 1.6L four that can be hooked up to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed dual clutch automated manual transmission. The optional turbocharged engine can be linked up to a six-speed manual or a conventional six-speed automatic transmission.

Pricing
The Technology package is priced to value. The turbocharged model is priced $3000 higher than a normally-aspirated car with the Technology package but contains roughly $2000 worth of additional features as well as an extra 63 horsepower. The Veloster really has no direct competitor. Reasonable value leasing.

Reliability
New car, not rated. The dual-clutch automated manual transmission is an-all new technology for Hyundai. Predicted reliability is above average, like other recent Hyundais. No data on this new drivegtrain.


Body Style: 3HB
Occupants: 2/2
Engines:
1.6L-4 (132 [auto]*, 138 HP [manual]), 1.6 L-4 T (201 HP)

Transmissions: 6M, 6A (clutchless manual/base)*, 6A (turbo)
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy: 8.4L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: N/A
Warranty: 5/100,000
Country of Origin: South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Not Rated

Side: Not Rated

Rollover: Not Rated

Rear: Not Rated

NHTSA Rating: 


 

Kia Rio, Kia Rio5

Specifications

 

 

What’s new
 All-new third-generation (second-generation based on the Hyundai Accent), Rio.

Performance
While the direct-injected four furnishes lively acceleration at higher revs, poorly chosen gear ratios (too high in the first three gears and too close in the last three), don't deliver the kind of performance expected from an engine rated at 138 horsepower. Serene cruising. The Rio's manual transmission has a smooth, progressive clutch and a precise gearchange. The nicely-weighted steering is more linear than that of the related Hyundai Accent. The Rio's suspension tames scarred urban pavement and, except for a rear suspension that gets bouncy over big undulations, the Rio feels confident in the twisties as well. Strong, progressive brakes. Thicker undercoating and other measures result in a Rio that is more refined than its Hyundai Accent platform mate. Big, crisply-marked gauges are part of a horizontal panel containing the audio controls. The climate controls are located in a shallow console hung just under the audio controls. All controls move with a cushioned precision. Some drivers find the front seats too firm and too flat. Adequate rear seat legroom but toe space is tight under the front seats and the rear backrest is too upright for comfort. Roomy, versatile cargo bay on the hatchback and an enormous trunk on the sedan. Strong air conditioning and an excellent audio system.

Comments
The Rio's optional Eco's engine turns off the engine when stopped in traffic, restarting when the brake pedal is released. Kia claims improved urban fuel economy on cars with this feature. Luxury features like leather seats and Keyless Go are optional

Pricing
Trim upgrades are spectacular value. The ECO option is priced at $800. The Rio5 LX+ trim level is priced $200 more than an equivalent Accent GL sedan, but includes a Bluetooth phone link. A Rio hatchback is priced $300 higher than the sedan of the same trim level. Reasonable lease value. 
Reliability
All-new car. Insufficient data. Not rated. Predicted reliability is above average, like the previous Rio. No data on this new drivetrain.


Body Style: 4HB, 4SD*
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6L‑4 (138 HP) 

Transmissions: 6M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy: 8.4 L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: N/A
Warranty: 5/100,000
Country of Origin: South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Good

Side: Not tested

Rollover: Not tested

Rear: Not tested

NHTSA Rating: 


 

Kia Soul

Specifications


 

 

 

 

 

What’s new
Power folding mirrors added to Luxury trims. 2u ECO with stop/start debuts. Cruise control added to the manual-transmission 2u.

Performance
The refined 2L four lacks bite below 2500 rpm but pulls strongly to the redline, delivering impressive performance for a budget-friendly car. The six-speed manual transmission has a crisp, short-throw gearchange and a progressive clutch. The 2u handles curves on smooth roads with confidence but mid-corner bumps deflects it from the path the driver intended. Unimpressive ride jostles occupants over most bumps, especially long undulations, which cause the rear suspension to bounce. The 4u, with low-profile 18 inch tires and firm suspension settings treats occupants even more harshly. The brakes, reassuring in normal driving, lose their bite when used hard. While nicely weighted and geared, the Soul's steering is numb. Muted noises from the wind and the road.
The tall, hatchback Soul has a roomy interior and a versatile cargo bay.  Located at the bottom of long tubes that can pick up reflections from the sun, the large dashboard gauges could be more legible. Simple, logical controls. Stylish, luxurious-looking, carefully-constructed cabin. Large, comfortable seats front and rear and plenty of legroom. Excellent ingress and egress. The Kia Soul was rated the best car in an APA two car vehicle test that also included the Nissan Cube.
Comments
Two four-cylinder engines, a 1.6L and a 2l, are available. Both engines can be hooked up to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic.

Pricing
The base 1.6L variant is excellent value but the 2L 2u automatic, the best value of the line-up, includes a wealth of additional features as well as the stronger 2L engine. The 4u and 4u Burner upgrades are priced to reflect their additional contents. Good value 2,0L 4u Luxury and Retro packages. Good value leasing this year.

Reliability
Above average reliability predicted as the powertrains have proven reliable in other Hyundai/Kia products.


Body Style: 4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6 L‑4 (138 HP), 2 L‑4 (164 HP) *

Transmissions: 6M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy: 9 L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: N/A
Warranty: 5/100,000
Country of Origin:  South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Front: Good

Side: Good

Rollover: Good

Rear: Good

NHTSA Rating: 


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