The 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show has played host to the new and exciting KIA Soul that definitely has got its soul back… Guess who’s got it all this year!!
Besides bearing a completely new design, KIA has also granted its ‘urban dweller’ with a more exciting, unconventional and modern design that is complemented by new technology, practicality and improved performance.
Let’s start with the ‘boxy’ exterior styling, which benefits from new front headlight configuration with a connecting trim piece, slim-design daytime running lights with integrated indicator lights, a larger front grille with a unique two-tone treatment, C-segment pillars designed to resemble airplane wings, and three-dimensional wraparound boomerang-shaped taillights.
More soul has been given to the interior design which has been shaped by the “emotional visualisation of sound”, granting it with funky highlights that include sound mood lighting in the door panels (with the ability to synchronise to the beat of the music being played), Soul’s signature tweeter speakers, wireless charging and dual automatic climate control. Being slightly longer and wider has meant that the 3rd generation KIA Soul has become a bit more practical as far as accessibility, cargo and passenger space is concerned. Some highlights include a wider and lower rear tailgate opening to ease loading and unloading of luggage, an easy-grip handle on the tailgate, a dual-level luggage board that offers flexibility in accommodating taller items.
Infotainment features include a 10.25inch HD colour touchscreen with split-screen function, rear-view camera and parking guidance, as well as Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth Multi-Connection. An 8inch Head-Up Display is also on offer, as is a 640-watt Harman Kardon audio system (including amplifier, 10 speakers, subwoofer and tuned centre speaker).
Safety is catred for by a full suite of KIA DriveWise features including Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA), Lane Keeping Assistant (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).
The all-new Soul will be offered with a 2.0-litre MPI engine mated to either a 6-speed manual or IVT transmission, whilst the 1.6-litre turbo GDI petrol engine also on offer is mated to a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission.
Six trim-lines (USA Spec) will be on offer on the new KIA Soul, with two trims (GT Line and X Line) being new to the range. The GT Line trim incorporates a sporty new front and rear fascia, 18-inch alloy wheels, unique side sills, fog lamps integrated on the front grille, a leather-wrapped D-shaped steering wheel, larger disc brakes, a sport-tuned suspension and a chrome-tip centre exhaust. The rugged-looking X Line gains a body kit with rugged body cladding, overfenders for a chunkier look, and other off-road inspired accents. Unique 18inch alloy wheels are added, as are fog lamps, optional two-tone paint and roof-rail inspired accents.
For the time being, the all-new Soul will only be produced in left-hand-drive configuration, and is therefore not expected to debut in South Africa until further notice. Stay tuned