The 2017 Kia Soul Exclaim, also known as the Soul ! or the Soul Turbo, is the top trim of the beloved urban car, designed to provide CUV levels of utility while offering performance on par with the likes of a Ford Fiesta ST or a Volkswagen Golf GTI.
The key differences compared to the regular Kia Soul are more power and the addition of all-wheel drive (AWD). A 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that makes 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque is standard and mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic for extra responsiveness and quicker shifts. Despite the added power, the Kia Soul Exclaim is the most fuel-efficient member of the Soul lineup.
The AWD system makes wrestling the additional power more manageable, as do the larger 12-inch-diameter front brake rotors for when you’ve let yourself enjoy the turbo engine perhaps a little too much.
The 2017 Kia Soul Exclaim can also be put into Normal or Sport mode, with the latter adjusting transmission shift points and throttle response to be more aggressive, and giving the steering a heavier, more satisfying feeling.
This all goes well in hand with the Kia Soul Exclaim’s excellent front strut suspension and torsion-beam rear suspension, which have been slightly tuned for better cornering ability. Though it isn’t technically a hot hatch, you would be forgiven for forgetting that fact while behind the wheel.
Nonetheless, the engaging handling is only half of the experience. The 2017 Kia Soul Exclaim is very well equipped: high-quality materials and soft-touch surfaces have been used all throughout the cabin and various advanced technologies all come standard, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as the 7.0-inch UVO touchscreen infotainment system widely regarded as being one of the best in the industry.
Unique to the Soul Exclaim and unavailable on any other Soul trim is orange stitching on the seat, dash, shift gate and steering wheel, as well as custom leather and cloth upholstery and a flat-bottom steering wheel.
Thanks to its enhanced interior and driving engagement, as well as its extremely competitive pricing, the 2017 Kia Soul Exclaim is more than worthy of its status as the best Soul—and the best CUV—that money can buy.
This article is presented by Autoteam Delaware in Wilmington, Delaware.