Congratulations on your promotion to President of KIA Motors. The best is yet to come!
KIA builds some excellent products. Here are my suggestions to make the Soul line more excellent. They could also apply to the Fortes:
1.) Replace current engines with the 176, 200 & 270 HP Optima engines.
[1.2) Bring us a diesel!]
2.) Fit quality tires as standard equipment.
3.) Improve strut and shock quality.
I'm not pleased that the EPA MPG "errors" now match my real MPG. I'd say there's something wrong with a strategy wherein a 2013 Soul 1.6 138 HP rated, gets about the same Fuelly MPGs as a 2012 Impala 3.6 with 300 HP.
My proposed solution: Ditch the dog 1.6 Gamma and 2.0 Nu in Soul (and Forte) iterations with the current Theta mills. UNLESS you can punch, GDI, and turbo the Nu to output that exceeds the HP and MPG of the 2.4 and 2.0t Thetas as currently used in Optima, Sportage, etc.
Since the abovementioned Nu products don't exist yet to the best of my knowledge, Plan B is replace the two Soul (might as well do the Forte while you're at it) underperformers with the 176, 200, and 270 HP Optima/others engine. Gear that baby up so owners can punch through and beyond 30 MPG on the road. Get SOMEONE to do a bit of aero work, get that Cd down below .42 please.
You could put the non-GDI 176 HP 2.4 motor in the base model, the 2.4 GDI 200 HP in the midrange + model, and the 2.0t 270 Hp in the !.
EASY button please.
OK, hopefully the power and MPG problems are now solved.
The second leg of the stool is replace the low-performance, harsh and noisy OE tires that KIA uses. Hankook, Nexen, other off brands like these that are somewhere below #20 at the Tire Rack customer ranking scheme.
I replaced the junk Nexen 195.65.15 stock tires with 215.60.15 Michelin Defenders when my Soul 1.6 was new. The improvements in ride, handling, and sound quality were remarkable to put it mildly.
If I were doing it again, I'd probably use Primacy MXV4s in 205.65.15s. Either way is far far far superior to the stockers.
Third. Talk with Bilstein, KONI, Monroe, or others to develop better-performing stock struts and shocks. The mediocre stock equipment could use some help.
Thanks for reading. There will be no charge for this incredible list of suggestions, but I'd be glad to drive some of the mules as you develop some decently-powered Souls for future customers.