It is one thing to buy a cheapvehicle, but quite another to purchase an inexpensive vehicle that keeps providing value after it leaves the dealership lot. The 2014 Kia Soul urban crossover was recently one of only two models on the market to make About.com’s list of the Least Expensive Cars of 2014 and the site’s Best New Cars of 2014.
To be considered for the About.com Best New Cars of 2014 list, vehicles were required to be either new or significantly redesigned, and only 12 models made the final cut. The redesigned 2014 Soul earned a spot on the list for retaining its signature boxy style and affordable pricing, while gaining a more “expensive” feel on the road with its upgraded underpinnings. Featuring a 29 percent increase in torsional body rigidity, a revised suspension system and a chassis with a 66 percent composition of either ultra-high- or high-strength steel, the new Soul provides a more comfortable and responsive ride than its predecessor.
“The new Kia Soul is still instantly recognizable out on the road, but it now offers bolder styling cues, a smoother ride and more precise handling,” said Scott Levy, general manager of Rosen Kia of Elgin, a Kia dealer in Illinois. “You’d be hard-pressed to find another vehicle as affordable as the Soul that has also earned so much critical acclaim.”
Kia is using its popular Soul as the vessel for its first foray into the U.S. electric-vehicle market, unveiling the all-new 2015 Kia Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show last month in advance of the model’s on-sale date in the third quarter of this year. Housing an energy-dense lithium-ion polymer battery that fits conveniently under the vehicle’s floor, the Soul EV is expected to achieve a range of 80 to 100 miles. Efficiency is further improved by Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system, which captures up to 12 percent of the Soul EV’s kinetic energy and transfers it back into the battery. When it comes time to replenish the battery, charging can take as long as 24 hours with a 120-volt outlet, but less than five hours with a 240-volt outlet, and as quickly as 33 minutes for an 80 percent charge with a 50-kilowatt-output charger.
With its three-door design and aggressive style lines, the Hyundai Veloster compact hatchback is already one of the most unique cars out on the road, but its fans will soon be able to stand out even more with a new limited-production model. Designed to build on the popularity of the 2013 Veloster RE:MIX Edition, the 2014 Hyundai Veloster RE:FLEX Edition was revealed at the Chicago Auto Show last month, sporting a variety of exterior style upgrades and an exclusive paintjob option.
Outside, the Veloster RE:FLEX Edition features chrome hood accents and door handles, as well as a PVD chrome finish on its 18-inch alloy wheels. Contributing to the hatchback’s bolder styling are projector headlamps with LED accents, LED taillights, illuminated door sills and RE:FLEX badging. Buyers can also opt for an exclusive Ice Pearl paintjob or choose from Boston Red, Century White, Ultra Black and Vitamin C, while either red or black full-leather seats greet passengers on the inside. Just 3,000 units of the Veloster RE:FLEX Edition will head to dealerships when the model goes on sale early this spring.
“Hyundai recognizes that Veloster buyers like to forge their own path, so the automaker continues to produce new, stylish options like the RE:FLEX Edition so they don’t have to worry about seeing someone else with a carbon copy of their ride,” said Scott Levy, general manager of Rosen Hyundai, a Hyundai dealership near Chicago. “Drivers aren’t limited to just upgrading their style either, as the Veloster Turbo model offers them amped-up performance as well.”
Outfitted with a 201-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with a twin-scroll turbocharger, the 2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo boasts a class-leading power-to-weight ratio while still netting up to 33 mpg on the highway. That mix of performance and cost savings recently helped the Veloster Turbo top the Sporty Compact Car category of the 2014 5-Year Cost to Own Awards from Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com. Factoring in Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price and projected depreciation as well as a variety of ongoing financial considerations like fuel, maintenance and financing costs, the KBB.com 5-Year Cost to Own Awards recognize the vehicles in each class that are predicted to be the most affordable during the first five years of ownership.
The redesigned 2014 Nissan Rogue arrived at dealerships last November with improved fuel efficiency, increased passenger space and new intuitive technologies, and since then, the compact SUV’s fresh look and feel have won over buyers and critics alike. In addition to setting a January sales record last month, the new Rogue recently doubled up on awards recognizing its value, named the Most Fuel-Efficient Small Crossover in the 2014 Best Value Awards from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and listed by Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com as one of the 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000.
To determine its 2014 Best Value Awards, Kiplinger’s organized 2014 models by price and category before rating each of them on performance, safety and value. Returning up to 33 mpg on the highway, the 2014 Nissan Rogue is 18 percent more efficient than the 2013 model, leading its class in front-wheel-drive fuel economy. Helping the latest Rogue net that impressive gas mileage are a new aerodynamic exterior with a drag coefficient of just 0.33 and a next-generation Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) that significantly reduces friction.
“Buyers of the new Nissan Rogue benefit from class-leading fuel economy while still enjoying a ton of versatility inside the vehicle, including the option of a new third row,” said Jeff Rosen, general manager of Rosen Nissan Milwaukee, a Wisconsin Nissan dealer. “Not to mention, they get those things with a progressive exterior design and the advanced in-car technology that modern drivers are looking for. Those characteristics all combine to create an excellent recipe for value.”
KBB.com praised the 2014 Rogue’s mix of style and practicality while dubbing the model one of its 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000. With its available third row, the Rogue can comfortably seat up to seven passengers, while the EZ Flex Seating System allows the second-row seat to slide forward and tilt for easy access to the back. Drivers can also stay safely wired in with a variety of optional technologies, including NissanConnect Apps with Google, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Facebook, as well as active-safety features like Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning.