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It’s got Soul and it’s an urban soldier - Kia Soul

25.11.2014

THE first generation Kia Soul has been a solid performer for the Korean brand since its inception in 2009 with over 5000 units being shifted locally. Now, the second-generation Soul is with us and appears to be the beginning of a Kia model assault with over 90 new or updated models to come in the next four years.

Square order of the day

As with its predecessor, the new Soul embraces the idea of being somewhat different from the rest of the automotive landscape. Its exterior is a mixture of funky lines and well-placed cubism design elements.

We still have the signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille that the brand punts so heavily, while the rest of the car has been made more modern with futuristic rear lights, large windows, reworked front lights and a floating boot lid.

Overall, the new Soul distinguishes itself well as a new model yet retains a similar look to the previous generation, which is sure to please both new buyers and existing Soul owners looking to upgrade.

To personalise your Soul, there are two alloy wheel designs, namely a 17-inch alloy with five double-spokes and an 18-inch alloy in a five double-spoke design, while in terms of colours, certain shades will be offered with a contrasting roof colour a-la-Mini.

Soul-fully circular interior

Inside, the Soul is very much like other high-end Kia models with good quality materials and an ergonomically well balanced design. There are Soul-specific design elements such as a circular gearshift surround with the engine push-button start beside it, while there are high-mounted ‘floating’ tweeters above the air vents on either side of the cabin.

The steering wheel-mounted controls are also found in circular groupings along the horizontal spokes with the buttons for the audio system and trip computer. There is also a six speaker audio system with AUX, USB connectivity and Bluetooth.

Is it more practical?

In a word…yes. It’s 20mm longer, 15mm wider and 10mm lower and the tailgate opening is now 62mm wider, providing easier access to the cargo bay. The bigger exterior means there’s enough space in both the front and rear quarters for adults thanks to the vehicle’s high roof line. Boot capacity is up four percent to 354 litres (VDA) with the rear seats upright and 1 367 litres when the seats are folded and the car is loaded to the roof.

The mechanical bits

The new range will see two petrol engines in the form of the 113kW/191Nm 2.0-litre Nu MPI engine and the 91kW/152Nm 1.6-litre Gamma MPI engine. There’s also a 94kW/260Nm 1.6-litre U2 diesel engine. These engines are mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Equipment lines

There are three specification lines available with the new Soul: The Start specification has 17-inch alloy wheels, ABS Brakes, front fog lamps, body-coloured door handles, electric heated folding door mirrors, windscreen auto-defogging system, 60:40 split folding rear seat backrest, electronic chromatic interior rear-view mirror, air-conditioning, audio system with six speakers, radio with RDS and MP3 / Aux connectivity, electric front and rear windows, Bluetooth, dual front airbags, front side airbags, side curtain airbags

The Street specification package adds 18-inch alloy wheels, ABS brakes with BAS, chrome door handles, Smart key and start button, 4.3-inch TFT screen, chilled glove box, automatic air-conditioning, leather seats, folding rear seat, centre armrest with cup-holders, rear parking sensors, Electronic Stability Control (ESC ), Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM).

The top-of-the range Smart model comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, HID headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED rear light clusters, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, headlight washers, electric driver seat and interior mood lighting with music mode

The KIA Soul comes with a five-year /150 000km warranty, as well as a four-year/ 90 000km service plan.

Pricing:

Soul 1.6 MT Start R239 995
(+R12 000 automatic)
Soul 2.0 MT Street R274 995
Soul 1.6D MT Street R299 995
Smart package upgrade (Street models only) R41 000

 

Article written by Sean Nurse
25.11.2014
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