Kia’s 2014 Soul Rated 5-Stars By NHTSA

The 2014 Soul, Kia Motors America’s (KMA) urban passenger vehicle, has earned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 5-Star overall safety rating.

This bodes well for the electric version of the Soul currently being developed and slated for a U.S. launch in the second half of 2014.

As previously reported, the Korean automaker is touting a 120-mile range from its 109-horsepower, 201-pounds-feet motor, 0-62 time of under 12 seconds, and top speed of 90 mph. Kia then said it is building an everyday car that will be ideal for urban dwellers. That is, urban dwellers with access to reliable charging as its 27-kwh battery is 3-kwh larger than the Nissan Leaf’s.

In the NHTSA safety test, the Soul earned five stars in the frontal and side impact tests and four stars in the roll-over test.

“Soul’s 5-star safety rating speaks to Kia’s commitment to our customers. Our vehicles combine top-level safety with iconic design, world-class quality and, of course, the outstanding value for which our brand is well known,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. “We took a great deal of care with the design and engineering of the second-generation Soul, and NHTSA’s testing has validated that effort.”

Kia said 66 percent of the redesigned 2014 Soul’s chassis utilizes either Ultra High Strength Steel (35 percent) or High Strength Steel (31 percent). The 2014 model is said to offer consumers invaluable protection in the form of standard safety features and technology, including six standard airbags (dual advanced front and front seat-mounted side air bags, full-length side curtain air bags) and a four-channel, four-sensor Antilock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), which takes into account vehicle load and weight distribution and applies the appropriate stopping force to improve control and stability. Additional standard safety equipment for Soul includes Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and a Traction Control System (TCS).

The Korean automaker explained in conjunction with the ABS, the TCS uses brake and engine torque intervention to enhance traction during launch and acceleration on slippery road surfaces. If the ABS system detects wheel slip, it signals the engine control unit to adjust torque output accordingly. TCS also senses when one or more wheels spin faster than the vehicle’s speed, and if necessary, applies the brakes accordingly.  Working together, the two systems limit wheel spin and help the driver maintain control.

Working with the standard ABS with EBD and TCS, the ESC system can apply individual brakes selectively to help control oversteer and understeer as needed to help the driver maintain control on slippery surfaces or during certain emergency maneuvers.