Top interior award for Soul

Top interior award for Soul

2015-Kia-Soul---circular-theme-to-the-interior2The latest Kia Soul has gained a place in the Top 10 best interiors for 2014, drawn up by automotive journal Ward’s Auto World.

It sits in the company of prestige models such as the Mercedes-Benz S550 and Rolls-Royce Wraith. More than five years ago the journal praised the original Kia Soul for having the industry’s “grooviest interior”.

The re-designed cabin in the 2014 Kia Soul has come in for similar plaudits, scoring highly for its winning combination of “value and off-beat design” along with comfort, space and ergonomics.

The judges said that while it may be in the small car category “it offers a lot of room and doesn’t feel cheap,” thanks to the lengthened cabin, soft-touch materials and details like the upholstery stitching that complement the exterior paint.

The magazine goes on to say: “Gray interiors frequently leave our judges cold, but the Soul uses a 2-tone scheme that combines successfully with breakthrough aesthetic elements such as the swooping door trim, accent stitching and an instrument panel with an upright design that connects nicely with the tall, boxy greenhouse.”

It’s the second interior award for Kia in two years, after the Kia Cerato won the same accolade from Ward’s Auto World in 2013.

Many of the interior design features in the new Soul were created for the Track’ster concept car of 2012, showcasing a more innovative and premium feel for the new model’s cabin. Kia’s designers played up the circular theme found inside Track’ster.

The instrument cluster features deeply recessed circular gauges, and along the door panels, sculpted circles incorporate the power windows and door locks. The centre console features a circular gear shift surround and engine push-button start, which also are direct carryovers from Track’ster. The front door-mounted speakers mirror the circular, high-mounted ‘floating’ tweeters.

The theme continues in the steering wheel-mounted controls that are housed in circular groupings along the horizontal spokes, with the buttons for the audio system and trip computer falling readily to the thumbs, enabling the driver’s hands to remain on the wheel at all times.

“If you think about droplets falling into a still pond, you begin to visualise the inspiration for the all-new Soul’s interior,” says Tom Kearns, who heads the Kia design team in California, where the Soul was created. “The cabin design is organic, just like the human body, and we feel it makes the interior that much more appealing to the driver and passengers.”

Here in New Zealand, the new Kia Soul is available in three models, powered by either 1.6-litre or 2-litre engines and 6-speed automatic transmission, starting from $29,990 plus on-road costs, including includes 3 years/or 45,000km free servicing, which is transferable to a subsequent owner during that period, as well as a 5-year/100,000km factory warranty programme.

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