With the 2014 Soul, Kia managed to revolutionize the funky hatch’s design while still making it a clear evolution of the first-generation car. The overall shape is similar — despite the longer wheelbase — and the blacked out pillars, vertical taillights, and rounded nose remain. However, what caught my eye was the hatch of the new Soul: it is decorated in interesting gloss-black detailing.
Thanks to bulging bumpers, the hatchback isn’t just a flat plane, like on the old Soul; here, it makes a convex motion outward to meet the bumper. To help create visual interest, the Soul’s tall taillights are connected by black trim that creates an island of body color. Surrounding this squircle of brightness (assuming you’ve opted for the Soul in a vibrant hue like the yellow one pictured) are the taillights on either side, the rear window on top, and the tailgate trim on the bottom. The taillights are framed in the same plastic, so it looks as though there are a number of concentric shapes circling the upper half of the rear end.
Up front, the inside of the upper grille is a solid piece of gloss black — the grille is actually just for show, as it doesn’t allow for any airflow. That’s entirely the responsibility of the lower intake. The side flanks are also adorned with gloss black trim.
Importantly, the gloss black trim will look great on any color and gives the 2014 Soul a unique and eye-catching bit of individuality.