Soul still cool after all these years; Optima earns IIHS’ highest ranking

Soul still cool after all these years;
Optima earns IIHS’ highest ranking

For the sixth consecutive year, Kelley Blue Book’s has named Kia Soul—our funky urban commuter—as one of the “10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000” for 2017. The list always features some of the most fun-to-drive and fun-to-own vehicles on the market.

Once again Kelley Blue Book editors chose Soul for its unique combination of technology, design, feature content, and excellent value. Soul offers crossover practicality, plenty of passenger room, and a feature-rich interior.

“Kia Soul continues to find a spot on our list of 10 Coolest Cars under $18,000, because it delivers so much personality and versatility for the money,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director for Kelley Blue Book’s  “In fact, there are very few vehicles we can think of that offer more usable interior space, features and sheer presence for the money than the Kia Soul. It is truly a car whose value exceeds its cost.”

Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry.

“It’s exciting to see that Soul continues to be recognized as the stand-out vehicle it is,” said Orth Hedrick, Kia Motors America vice president of product planning. “We’ve really upped the fun factor this year with a new turbocharged model and its personality is infectious regardless of which model a customer buys. The fact that it’s been consistently included on this annual list is a clear indication that Soul offers the perfect blend of style and substance.”

The 2017 Soul is available in three trim levels: Base with manual or automatic 6-speed transmission; Soul Plus with the 6-speed automatic; and the Exclaim turbo with the new 7-speed DCT.  Redesigned headlights and fog lights, along with front and rear fascias lend a more aggressive appearance while the availability of two dedicated USB charge ports and an 8-way power passenger seat add convenience and comfort.

The Base Soul comes standard with a gasoline direct injection (GDI) 1.6L all-aluminum DOHC four-cylinder engine that makes 130hp (at 6,300 rpm) and 118 lb.-ft. of torque (at 4,850 rpm). The Plus model enjoys the more powerful 2.0L engine with GDI technology.  Power is rated at 161hp at 6,200 rpm and 150 lb.-ft. of torque at a 4,700 rpm.  Meanwhile, the Exclaim model comes standard with a turbo engine that produces 201hp (at 6,000 rpm) and 195 lb.-ft. of torque (at 1,500-4,000 rpm).

Meanwhile, the 2017 Optima, has earned the highest designation possible—Top Safety Pick Plus (TSP+)—from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for vehicles built after March 2017 when equipped with optional front crash prevention and LED headlights with High Beam Assist. The rating reflects top scores in each of five crashworthiness tests as well as the integration of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) for crash prevention and new headlamp testing standards which were introduced this year. Aside from earning “good” crashworthiness ratings and a superior rating for the optional front-crash prevention system, the 2017 Optima achieved a “good” rating in IIHS headlamp testing.

To qualify for TSP+, the IIHS testing parameters require each vehicle to earn “good” ratings in five crashworthiness tests – small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side impact, roof strength and head restraints – as well as an “advanced” or “superior” rating for front crash prevention and an “acceptable” or “good” rating in headlight testing.

“The IIHS sets some of the highest standards when it comes to evaluating vehicle safety, and the Top Safety Pick Plus designation is a significant achievement that substantiates Kia’s ongoing effort to improve the quality and integrity of our world-class model line,” said Hedrick. “We are pleased that Optima received strong ratings across all of IIHS’ rigorous testing, validating the high priority we place on safety for our customers.”

2017 Optima offers a suite of available driver assistance systems such Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Parking Assist System, Front Collision Warning System, Lane Departure Warning System, and Autonomous Emergency Braking.

Conceived with modern and instantly recognizable design cues under the watchful eye of Kia’s president and chief design officer Peter Schreyer, Optima exudes an athletic and sophisticated identity. Available with three engine choices, including a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that’s mated to a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission, Optima is highly confident on the road. The Optima’s cabin features an impressive level of craftsmanship that comes standard across five trim levels – LX, LX 1.6T, EX, SX and SXL.

Here’s something else to think about. The “Summer’s On Us” Sales Event is still going strong here at Barnett Kia, offering no payments until November, and 0% APR for up to 66 months on BOTH Soul and Optima (also on Forte and Sorento). All our other current offers can be found by clicking here.

It’s gonna be a great summer. Make it even better by stopping by Barnett Kia to see about five months with NO PAYMENTS!

AND, every new vehicle purchased comes with Barnett’s exclusive—and FREE—MILLION MILE Warranty. Ask your sales associate for all the details on that, too. Come see us soon at Barnett Kia on Highway 61 in White Bear Lake!

*Up to $1,000 total. **$15.16 per $1,000 financed for well-qualified buyers.

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