IRVINE, Calif., May 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Kia Motors America's (KMA) funky urban commuter, the 2016 Soul, has again been named as one of the 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000 according to Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com. This year marks the Soul's fifth consecutive appearance on the list, which features some of the most fun-to-drive and fun-to-own vehicles on the market. Once again, Kelley Blue Book editors chose the Soul based on its head-turning style, extensive feature content, and excellent value. With a base price of $15,900, the Soul offers wagon-based practicality, plenty of passenger room, and a feature-rich interior.
"The Soul's fun and funky personality is infectious, and the fact that it's been a mainstay on Kelley Blue Book's list of 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000 is a clear indication that the Soul offers the perfect blend of style and substance," said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning KMA.
For 2016, the Soul gains even more style with a new Designer Collection package, which plays up the hatchback's fun-loving attitude with a two-tone paint scheme and other unique elements. The optional Umber Color Package also now benefits from HID projector headlights. The Soul's high level of content also increases with two newly available convenience features: Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS) and Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS). Both are included in a new Premium Package which also includes navigation, an upgraded Infinity® audio system, string-LED front speaker surround mood lighting, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front driver and passenger seats, seat heaters for all four outboard positions, a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, a leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel, and a leather-wrapped gearshift knob.
"The Soul's future-industrial design still turns heads, but that's only part of its cool quotient," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com. "A low starting price, impressive standard equipment and yes-I-can cargo versatility make it as smart as it is stylish."
Available in three trim levels (Base, Plus, Exclaim), the Base Soul comes standard with a gasoline direct injection (GDI) 1.6-liter all-aluminum DOHC four-cylinder engine that makes 130 horsepower (at 6,300 rpm) and 118 lb.-ft. of torque (at 4,850 rpm). Plus and Exclaim models enjoy the more powerful 2.0-liter NU power plant with GDI technology. Power is rated at 164 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 151 lb.-ft. of torque at a 4,000 rpm. The 1.6-liter engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic. The Plus and Exclaim models are available exclusively with the six-speed automatic gearbox.
About Kelley Blue Book (www.KBB.com)
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. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website KBB.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new and used cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies, and governmental agencies. Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com ranked highest in its category for brand equity by the 2015 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study and has been named Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year for four consecutive years. Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. is a Cox Automotive™ brand.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA proudly serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA and set an all-time annual sales record in 2015, surpassing the 600,000 unit mark for the first time in company history. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles, including the rear-drive K900 flagship sedan, Cadenza premium sedan, Sorento CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Soul Electric Vehicle, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Optima Hybrid, the Forte compact sedan, Forte5 and Forte Koup, Rio and Rio 5-door subcompacts and the Sedona minivan, through a network of more than 765 dealers across the United States. Kia's U.S. manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, builds the Optima* and Sorento* and is responsible for the creation of more than 15,000 plant and supplier jobs.
Information about KMA and its full vehicle line-up is available at www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com. To receive custom email notifications for press releases the moment they are published, subscribe at www.kiamedia.com/us/en/newsalert.
 MSRP excludes destination and handling, taxes, title, license fees, options, and retailer chargers. Actual prices set by retailer and may vary.
 These features are not substitutes for safe driving, and may not detect all objects surrounding vehicle. Always drive safely and use caution.
 Infinity® is a registered trademark of Harman International Industries, Inc.
 K900 V8 available in select trims and in select markets with limited availability.
 Soul EV in select markets with limited availability.
* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX, SX & Limited and certain LX Trims only) are assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts
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SOURCE Kia Motors America