Following its unveiling at the Paris Motors Show in September 2016, the enhanced Kia Soul this week makes its arrival on South African shores.
Featuring a number of design updates, the Soul’s up-to-date styling is complemented by the introduction of a new turbo diesel-powered entry-level model.
The Kia Soul has established itself as one of the most popular crossovers in its segment across the globe, offering customers a striking and funky car of class-leading quality. In fact, the KIA Soul has topped its segment in the annual J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey in the USA, first reaching the top spot in 2012, and retaining that position ever since then.
Introduced locally in November 2014, the second-generation Kia Soul has firmly established itself as the ultimate anti-establishment crossover, defying traditional classification by offering the space and practicality of an MPV and the quality and features of an SUV, wrapped in the dimensions of B-segment crossover.
As an alternative, the Soul gives consumers a great way to express themselves in a practical and funky way, but with all the features and the quality people expect from Kia.
Introducing the new turbodiesel KIA Soul 1.6 Start
Bolstering the Soul line-up at the entry level, Kia is introducing a new turbocharged diesel derivative to the range. The Soul 1.6 CRDI Start is powered by Kia’s renowned ‘U2’ 1,6-litre turbodiesel engine that develops 94 kW of power at 4,000 r/min and 260 Nm of torque between 1,900 and 2,750 r/min. This engine mates to a six-speed manual transmission, with no automatic option available.
The Soul Start features a comprehensive list of standard specification, including a radio with RDS, MP3/Aux/USB jacks, Bluetooth connectivity and six speakers, central locking, an immobiliser, a rear-view camera, electrochromatic rearview mirror, electric windows front and rear, electric heated side mirrors with integrated indicators, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
It also features ABS brakes, six airbags, active (up and down) headrests, an impact-sensing door unlock function and ISOFIX child seat anchors.
Updated design for the KIA Soul range
While the Kia Soul’s exterior and interior design remains one of its most memorable characteristics, the range has received a series of upgrades to further enhance its appeal among buyers.
Exterior updates include remodelled front bumpers, which now feature a metallic skid plate treatment that endows the Soul with a more robust and sportier appearance. Kia has also given the Soul’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille a minor revision, while its headlights also see a revision to its composition and layout – on the high-specification Smart models, the Soul’s LED daytime running lights move to the bottom of the light.
The Soul’s rear bumper has also been remodelled, now featuring a metallic skid plate treatment as well as newly-designed fog lamps and reflectors for greater illumination for following road users.
Entry-level Start are now equipped with a sportier alloy wheel design, while the alloy wheel design on the Street and Smart models remains unchanged.
Featuring one of the most spacious and innovatively designed interiors in its segment, revisions to the Soul’s cabin have been kept to the minimum. Entry-level Start models feature a unique redesigned cloth upholstery, while Street and Smart models retain their black leather interior with contrasting stitching detail. Cabin ambience has also been enhanced with the introduction of new gloss black and metallic highlights and switchgear.