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Car Tech Spotlight: Kia Soul Advanced Lighting Speaker

This cheesy feature -- albeit in a cool car -- creates a pulsing ring of light around the front door speakers.

By Douglas Newcomb Nov 9, 2012 10:24AM

When I first saw something like this on an aftermarket subwoofer box back in the 1990s, I thought it was pretty cheesy. And when I saw it in the 2012 Kia Soul, I still thought it was cheesy.

The Advanced Lighting Speaker that's standard on the Soul! (the "!" is a trim level, which is also cheesy) and available as an option on the Kia Soul+ features an LED light ring around each front-door speaker that pulses to the beat and changes colors.

Or, if you want your car to be more lounge than disco, it cycles through various colors in a "Mood" mode : from red to green to blue to sky-blue to purple to yellow and back again.

You can also change the intensity of the lighting with the + and – control. And, fortunately, have the option to just turn it off.

While I find the feature more than a little annoying and a bit distracting at night, it was a big hit with my kids, ages 11 and 14. They invariably asked me to turn it on while riding in the Soul -- while playing equally annoying pop music. It’s obviously not aimed at my demographic of car buyer, and neither is the Soul.

But I do know several people around my age who own a Soul and love it. The car -- not the light-up speakers.

Nov 12, 2012 5:44AM
We purchased a new 2011 Soul in January 2011. Here is our experience. Millage averages at least 5-10% above sticker EPA claim; the Soul has proved to be very good in Wisconsin snow conditions; the Soul is very easy to enter and exit due to it's height and door design; the interior room and legroom exceed that of some vehicles costing over $40000; the body is tight and the steering and cornering are very stable, large storage area with rear seats folded, and finally, the visibility is almost like a truck or SUV. Great commuter car for ease of parking, getting around in traffic. Oh...the lighted speakers can be uplifting at times.
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