There’s one car in Kia’s range I’ve never reviewed but I’ve always wanted to the quirky looking Soul compact SUV, well Kia have announced some upgrades over night in Europe that makes me want to drive one even more hopefully these changes make there way down under.
Kia introduces powerful new Soul 1.6 T-GDI and updates Soul model line-up
- New Soul variant powered by 150kW 1.6-litre T-GDI
- Engine paired with fast-shifting seven-speed double-clutch transmission
- Design complements enhanced performance
- Updated design with new colours and wheels for Kia Soul range
- New safety features, and Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ integration
- Upgraded Soul and Soul 1.6 T-GDI on sale from beginning of October
Frankfurt, September 23, 2016 – Kia has today announced details of a range of upgrades to the Soul compact SUV, and the introduction of a powerful new 150kW 1.6-litre T-GDI engine variant, the most powerful Soul ever engineered by the Korean brand.
The Soul has received a light update to its exterior and interior design, and is now available with new safety and infotainment technologies. The upgraded Soul and Soul 1.6 T-GDI will be available across Europe immediately after its public unveiling at the 2016 Paris Motor Show (Mondial de l’Automobile) on September 29.
Soup for the Soul: Kia launches new 150kW Soul 1.6 T-GDI
Kia has introduced a new version of the Soul to the line-up – the new Soul 1.6 T-GDI.
Powered by Kia’s 150kW 1.6-litre T-GDI (turbo gasoline direct injection) engine from the cee’d GT and pro_cee’d GT, the new Soul 1.6 T-GDI is the most powerful Soul that Kia has ever produced. With the new engine, the car will accelerate from 0-to-100 kph in 7.8 seconds, on to a top speed of 200 kph. Producing CO2 emissions of 156 g/km, the Soul 1.6 T-GDI is also capable of 6.9 L/100 km fuel efficiency.
The engine transmits its power to the front wheels through Kia’s advanced new seven-speed double-clutch transmission (7DCT), providing instant gear changes and decisive acceleration at all speeds. A new Drive Mode Selector – available across the Soul range on models equipped with the 7DCT – lets Soul T-GDI drivers switch between Normal, Eco and Sport modes, each subtly adapting the level of steering assistance available, to allow for normal, light or heavy steering depending on driver preference and driving conditions.
The Soul 1.6 T-GDI is differentiated from conventional models in the Soul range with a series of exterior modifications, including a bolder front bumper and air intake grille design, twin exhaust pipes at the rear, and its own 10-spoke 18-inch aluminium alloy wheel design. The model features the T-GDI engine badge on the tailgate, as well as a unique red Soul model logo. Completing the sportier appearance of the T-GDI model are red highlights to the front bumper and side sills.
Kia has also made changes to the interior of the Soul 1.6 T-GDI. The powerful new model features its own distinctive cabin colour scheme, with black cloth and leather upholstery paired with orange stitching. A D-shaped steering wheel and orange highlights throughout the cabin, including orange metal paint on the gearstick, add further purpose to the design of the Soul 1.6 T-GDI’s interior.
The Soul 1.6 T-GDI is available with larger optional brakes than the standard Soul. As standard, the car is fitted with 300 mm ventilated front discs, and is available with 320 mm discs. The solid rear discs remain the same size, at 262 mm in diameter. The revised brakes reduce the stopping distance of the Turbo model slightly, to 35.3 metres when stopping from 100 kph (down from 35.5 metres), with the changes primarily made to ensure fade-free braking power under consistent use.
Design and technology upgrades to the Kia Soul range
The Kia Soul range has received a series of upgrades to further enhance its appeal among buyers.
These include updates to its exterior appearance, with remodelled front and rear bumpers with a metallic skid plate for a more robust appearance. The Soul’s front bumper houses optional bi-function HID (high-intensity discharge) headlights with LED daytime running lights, and an updated finish to Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille. The rear of the car features newly-designed fog lamps and reflectors for greater illumination for following road users. The upgraded Soul is available with three new metallic exterior paint finishes – Mysterious Blue, Russet Brown, and Wild Orange – with white contrast roof and door mirror caps available with Mysterious Blue and Russet Brown. Buyers can specify optional new 10-spoke 16- and 17-inch aluminium alloy wheel designs.
In the cabin, the upgraded Soul benefits from the introduction of unique cloth upholstery, available with a single or two-tone colour scheme (black, black and grey, black and brown). The ambience of the cabin has also been enhanced with the introduction of new gloss black and metallic highlights and switchgear. In addition, buyers can choose a new Orange design pack, which features orange-and-grey upholstery, grey stitching and orange highlights throughout the cabin.
New exterior customisation options are open to buyers, with new ‘Urban Active’ and ‘Red Zone’ design packs. Urban Active emphasises the car’s compact SUV credentials, with a series of cosmetic enhancements including a gloss black finish to front and rear wheel arches, and a body kit for front and rear bumpers and side sills. The Red Zone pack provides owners with a set of red highlights to the grille, front and rear bumpers and sills, a red roof, and a small red rear spoiler.
New technologies will further enhance the appeal of the Soul, with buyers able to choose from Kia’s latest 5.0-, 7.0- or 8.0-inch colour touchscreen infotainment HMI (human-machine interface). The new HMI systems provide smartphone-style touchscreen control over the audio-visual navigation system, and is available with Apple CarPlay™ (for iPhone 5 or newer) and Android Auto™ (for Android 5.0 Lollipop or newer) for full smartphone integration. The new colour HMI systems also house a rear-view parking camera, and a new USB port has been added to the rear of the cabin, allowing back-seat passengers to charge mobile devices on the move. The front passenger seat is also now available with eight-way power adjustment, and drivers can benefit from new rain-sensing windscreen wipers and, in models equipped with 7DCT, the new Drive Mode Selector.
Safety is also improved in the Soul with the adoption of Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) for the first time, giving drivers better all-round visibility on motorways and during low-speed parking manoeuvres.
2017 Kia Soul and Soul 1.6 T-GDI on sale from beginning of October
The upgraded Kia Soul and the new Soul 1.6 T-GDI will be available from Kia’s European dealer network following its unveiling in Paris, with the company’s unique 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty as standard.