By Bea Elle

Kia Motors America’s funky urban commuter, the 2017 Soul, has again been named as one of the 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000 in 2017, according to Kelley Blue Book’s

This year marks the sixth consecutive time the Soul has been selected for the list, which features some of the most fun-to-drive and fun-to-own vehicles on the market. Once again, Kelley Blue Book editors chose the Soul for its unique combination of technology, design, feature content, and excellent value. With a base MSRP price of $16,100, the Soul offers crossover practicality, plenty of passenger room, and a feature-rich interior.

“It’s exciting to see that the Soul continues to be recognized as the stand-out vehicle it is,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning for Kia Motors America. “We’ve really upped the fun factor this year with a new turbocharged model and its personality is infectious regardless of which model a customer buys. The fact that it’s been consistently included on Kelley Blue Book’s list of 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000 is a clear indication that the Soul offers the perfect blend of style and substance.”

The 2017 Soul is available in three trim levels: Base with manual or automatic 6-speed transmission,  Soul Plus with the 6-speed automatic, and the Exclaim turbo with the new 7-speed DCT. Redesigned headlights and fog lights, along with front and rear fascias lend a more aggressive appearance while the availability of two dedicated USB charge ports and an 8-way power passenger seat add convenience and comfort.

“The Kia Soul continues to find a spot on our list of 10 Coolest Cars under $18,000, because it delivers so much personality and versatility for the money,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director for Kelley Blue Book’s “In fact, there are very few vehicles we can think of that offer more usable interior space, features and sheer presence for the money than the Kia Soul. It’s truly a car whose value exceeds its cost.”

The Base Soul comes standard with a gasoline direct injection (GDI) 1.6-liter all-aluminum DOHC four-cylinder engine that makes 130 horsepower (at 6,300 rpm) and 118 pound-feet of torque (at 4,850 rpm). The Plus model enjoys the more powerful 2.0-liter engine with GDI technology. Power is rated at 161 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 150 lb.-ft. of torque at a 4,700 rpm. Meanwhile, the Exclaim model comes standard with a turbo engine that produces 201 horsepower (at 6,000 rpm) and 195 pound-feet of torque (at 1,500-4,000 rpm).