IRVINE, Calif., March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Kia Motors America (KMA) has been one of the fastest-growing car companies in the U.S. over the last five years, and its top-selling urban passenger vehicle, the Soul, was recently named to Edmunds.com's list of the 10 best vehicles for pet safety. Edmunds.com selected 10 cars that offer the most comfort and safety for Fido or Fifi at a great price. With a base MSRP of just $14,400, it's easy to see why the editors of Edmunds.com found the 2013 Soul so appealing.
"The fun, funky and functional Kia Soul has been recognized for its many positive attributes since first driving onto the scene back in 2009, and we are pleased to be adding 'superior pet safety' to this long list of accolades," said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. "For many, pets are considered members of the family, and they deserve safe and comfortable transportation like the rest of us. The Soul delivers on both of these fronts while also letting our furry friends travel in style."
No stranger to pets, the iconic Soul has been a favorite among hamsters since 2009, when Kia introduced its landmark advertising campaign featuring the stylish and urban, music-loving creatures. The Soul was chosen by Edmunds.com for having a number of pet-friendly safety features such as standard side curtain air bags for crash protection and rear privacy glass to keep animals cool. The Soul's boxy shape also provides an abundance of headroom for larger animals. Edmunds.com editors noted that the safety of pets in the car is closely related to the safety of the vehicle's human passengers as improperly restrained pets can pose a threat to occupants in the event of an accident or even a minor fender bender.
"Not only are these vehicles safe for pets, but they also offer a certain measure of convenience for pet owners," said Edmunds.com Automotive Content Editor Warren Clarke. "And with each one of these vehicles starting at under $35,000, owners won't have to chase their own tails to make ends meet."
About the 2013 Soul
The 2013 model year the Soul features technology and styling upgrades, bringing a new level of cool with enhanced power and efficiency. New for 2013 are power-folding side mirrors, darkened chrome around the signature grille, upgraded leather on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, standard Bluetooth® wireless technology with steering wheel-mounted controls, standard steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and cruise control. The Soul now offers Idle Stop and Go (ISG) technology as part of the Eco Package which senses when the vehicle is stopped and shuts off the engine to maximize efficiency and results in reduced engine load and less fuel consumption.
Kia's Unprecedented Growth
Kia Motors America is one of only three auto brands to increase U.S. sales in each of the past four years, and in 2012 the company surpassed the 500,000 unit mark for the first time. With a full line of fun-to-drive cars and CUVs, Kia is advancing value to new levels of sophistication by combining European-influenced styling – under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer – with cutting-edge technologies, premium amenities, affordable pricing and the lowest cost of ownership in the industry. Kia recently joined the exclusive ranks of Interbrand's "Top 100 Best Global Brands," and is poised to continue its momentum with seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles scheduled to arrive in showrooms in 2013. Over the past decade Kia Motors has invested more than $1.4 billion in the U.S., including the company's first U.S. assembly plant in West Point, Georgia – Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia – which is responsible for the creation of more than 11,000 plant and supplier jobs. The success of the U.S.-built* Optima and Sorento in two of the industry's largest segments has fueled Kia's rapid growth and is complemented by Kia's comprehensive lineup which includes the Soul urban passenger vehicle, Sportage compact CUV, Optima Hybrid, the Forte sedan, 5-door and Koup compacts, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and the Sedona minivan.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 765 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA. In 2012, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and gained U.S. market share for the 18th consecutive year. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.
Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its website – 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 http://www.kiamedia.com/us/en/newsalert.
Edmunds.com is a car-shopping Web site committed to helping people find the car that meets their every need. Almost 18 million visitors use our research, shopping and buying tools every month to make an easy and informed decision on their next new or used car. Whether you're at the dealership or on the go, we're always by your side with our five-star Edmunds.com iPhone and iPad apps and our Edmunds.com Android App. Our comprehensive car reviews, shopping tips, photos, videos and feature stories offer a friendly and authentic approach to the automotive world. We're based in Santa Monica, Calif., but you can connect with us from anywhere by following @Edmunds on Twitter or by becoming a fan of Edmunds.com on Facebook.
* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX Trims and certain LX Trims only) and GDI Turbo are built in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.
 Based on 5-year cumulative growth between 12-month retail sales for periods ending February 2008 and February 2013 of all U.S. automotive brands.
 MSRP $14,400 for base model. MSRP excludes destination and handling, taxes, title, license fees, options and retailer charges. Actual prices set by retailer and may vary.
 The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Kia is under license. Other trademarks and tradenames are those of their respective owners. A compatible Bluetooth® wireless technology enabled cell phone is required to use Bluetooth® wireless technology.
SOURCE Kia Motors America