Kia’s quirky yet beloved urban crossover has entered its third generation at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. The all-new Kia Soul has been completely redesigned from the ground up and rides on a new platform that still stays true to the boxy and unconventional style that it introduced in 2009.
Urban practicality, new technology, and a more dynamic styling have spruced up the Kia Soul, which also expands the number of available trims to six (LX, S, X-Line, GT-Line, EX, EX Designer Collection), and offers a wide range of naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines.
The Soul has been a massive success since its introduction, establishing itself as an automotive icon with its fun-loving character and eccentric style. Even with a new generation of competitors crowding the marketplace, the all-new Soul will once again prove to be a tough contender, with its unparalleled style and impressive level of technology and customization options.
New sculpted lines, lighting signatures, and redesigned front and rear fascias have made this all-new Soul the most striking one yet. The larger grille now has a two tone design, and the C-pillars have been made more distinctive. Gone are the telephone-like tail lights, swapping them out for a new, wraparound 3D boomerang design that’s full LED, and matches the shape of the signature vertical rear window. Slim LED headlights are found near top of the bumper, with daytime running lights and foglights separated at the bottom.
The inside of the all-new Kia Soul gets a full makeover, with music always being the main theme behind the design. The interior now draws more inspiration from the “emotional visualization of sound”, filling the interior with shapes and textures that are acoustic-inspired. The cabin is also fitted with an optional sound mood lighting system, emitting soft light from the door panels and 3D-patterned surfaces. The system can synchronize to the beat of music playing through the Soul’s audio system, with a rainbow of customizable colors. The car is also available with a wireless phone charger at the base of the dashboard, and optional dual-zone automatic climate control. The all-new Soul is slightly longer than before, adding 55 mm to overall length, and the wheelbase has been extended by 30 mm, resulting in more cabin space for occupants and 686 liters of cargo space.
On the multimedia end, the all-new Soul offers next-generation infotainment and technology. Depending on the market, the Soul is available with a large 10.25-inch touchscreen with split-screen functionality and rear view monitor. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is available, as well as an 8-inch head-up display. An optional 640 watt Harman-Kardon audio system features 10 speakers, including a center speaker and subwoofer.
Safety is courtesy of optional driver assistance systems, such as Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA) or FCA with Pedestrian Recognition, Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Lane Changing Assist (LCA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW) , Blind-spot Collision Warning (BCW), Rear Cross Collision Warning (RCW), Smart Cruise Control (SCC) and High Beam Assist (HBA), depending on market.
Engine choices are a 2.0L naturally aspirated gasoline engine producing 147 hp and 179 Nm of torque and a 1.6L turbocharged gasoline engine that makes 201 hp and 265 Nm of torque, mated to a choice of Kia’s in-house intelligent variable transmission (IVT), a six-speed manual, or a seven-speed dual clutch automatic.
The all-new Kia Soul is scheduled to go on sale in the first half of 2019, with other markets to follow. Keep an eye out for any updates, as Kia Philippines will surely be introducing this vehicle by next year. Pricing is still to be determined.