All-new Soul Reboots its Unique Appeal

Friday, 14 February 2014
Kia’s second-generation Soul is an all-new model that introduces a smooth new-look exterior inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept, creating a thoroughly fresh, more grown-up appearance without losing its appealing character and individualistic edge.

The original Soul generated immense loyalty among owners and both existing and new buyers for the latest model will appreciate the latest car’s significantly quieter cabin, higher quality materials, increased space for people and cargo, plus the new range of premium features.

“While Soul has not been a volume model for Kia in Australia, the car has won a loyal following through its individual styling, practical use of space and all-round ease and satisfaction of ownership,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow, said.

In Australia, Soul has held a loyal niche market position with 1779 sales since the car was launched in 2009.

“The Kia Soul has become one of our brand’s most popular export models, attracting loyal customers from a wide range of backgrounds across many countries – so it was important that the all-new model remained true to the original iconic design,” said Soon-Nam Lee, Kia’s Vice-President of Overseas Marketing.

“Now, the introduction of the exciting second-generation Soul is a truly significant landmark for Kia."

“Keeping what made the current Soul special while addressing areas for improvement presented Kia’s designers and engineers with a difficult task, so our people have listened closely to customer feedback. We are confident that the new Soul, with its transformed appearance, broader range of features, improved dynamics and refinement, will attract both existing and new customers to Kia showrooms.” 

New Soul adds modern visual cues to original iconic design

The iconic all-new Soul design is instantly recognizable yet thoroughly fresh, becoming more grown up, without losing its edge and honoring Soul owners’ fierce individualism. The new Soul was created at Kia’s American Design Centre in California, by a design team headed by Tom Kearns, Chief Designer, Kia Motors America and overseen by Peter Schreyer, Chief Design Officer, Kia Motors Corporation.

Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille is present, but it’s been reworked to more closely resemble the concept. Adding a touch of flare, the unique ‘floating’ body-color panel inset into the tailgate also originated with the concept.

Although the new Soul is ‘all-new’ – none of the exterior body panels are carried over, and the interior is a new design – the Soul’s upright stance, squared shoulders, wraparound greenhouse, high-mounted tail lights and confidence-inspiring ride height are all hallmark design elements.

Smoother exterior panels and careful attention to surface detailing have cut the Kia Soul’s aerodynamic drag to Cd 0.34 (down from 0.35), despite the new model’s wider stance – improving fuel economy at higher speeds.

The new Soul will come with standard 17-inch alloy wheels with a five double-spoke design and space-saver spare.

For Australia the new Soul will come in a choice of six exterior colours _ Clear White and five premium colours, Cherry Black, Bright Silver, Titanium Silver, Inferno Red and Acid Green. There will be a single interior colour, a one-tone black.

More style and more features make Soul’s cabin a delight

The interior design team for new Soul paid particular attention to creating a more premium look and feel for the new model’s cabin.
The instrument cluster features deeply recessed circular gauges. Along the door panels, sculpted circles incorporate the power windows and door locks. The centre console features a circular gear shift surround which is also a direct carryover from Track’ster.

Higher quality materials are used throughout the cabin, with new soft-touch materials on the instrument panel, centre console and door panels.

The cabin is also larger, with increased headroom (by 6 mm) and shoulder room (up 7 mm). The already generous rear legroom is also increased by 4 mm.

The new Soul’s step-in height has been reduced (by 5 mm in front and 7 mm at the rear), while seat hip points are lower (by 12 mm in front and 18 mm at the rear) – allowing even easier entry and egress.

Inside, the standard front seats have larger bolsters on the cushion and backrest – offering greater support during cornering. The new design of steering wheel continues to offer tilt and telescopic adjustment over a 40 mm range, so that drivers can find the ideal position for their individual stature.

For Australia, new Soul will come as a single Si trim level powered by a 2.0-litre MPI petrol engine coupled to a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox.

Standard equipment will include ESC with ABS and BAS, Hill Start Assist Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, MDPS steering with FlexSteer, six airbags (front, side and curtain), cruise control, reversing camera, tinted glass, 60:40 rear folding seats, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, air-conditioning and tilt and telescopic steering adjustment.

Every new Soul comes with six audio speakers (one in each door and two tweeters), AUX and USB connectivity.

As well as offering more room for occupants, the cargo capacity in new Soul has been increased by 4% to 238 litres (VDA) with the rear seats upright – expanding to 878 litres with the rear seats folded (loaded to the window line) and 1251 litres when loaded to the roof.

Well balanced blend of performance and economy

For Australia, the all-new Soul will be powered by the 113kW 2.0-litre Nu MPI petrol engine.with peak torque of 191Nm at 4700rpm.

The Nu lightweight engine is manufactured with cast aluminum cylinder blocks and aluminum cylinder heads and highlights an offset crankshaft (to reduce friction), a low-noise timing chain, mechanical lash adjustment, variable intake valve timing and a plastic variable intake manifold.

Together, these features (and the six-speed transmissions) enable new Soul to deliver a competitive combination of power, performance, fuel economy and modest emissions.

The Nu powerplant will drive through a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox with manual mode.

To reduce fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions when cruising at speed, both the six-speed transmissions feature high top-gear ratios and low first-gear ratios that enable drivers to fully enjoy the new Soul’s off-the-line performance.

Buyers of automatic new Souls can switch between two operating modes – fully automatic or ‘Sport’ engaged by moving the lever towards the driver when in D mode. For city driving, fully automatic mode is ideal, while ‘Sport’ mode allows clutchless manual gear changes for greater driver involvement.

Improved steering and ride, plus enjoyable dynamics

The core specification of the new Soul’s fully independent MacPherson strut front suspension and CTBA (coupled torsion beam axle) rear suspension is unchanged from the first-generation model, but both systems have been further developed to improve handling agility, enhance shock absorbance and minimize NVH. The new bodyshell also creates a stronger foundation for the suspension and steering – in turn enhancing ride comfort and steering precision.

The steering geometry is modified to deliver improved on-centre steering feel. In combination, these changes result in improved steering response, reduced impacts felt through the wheel, and less sensitivity to winds.

Every new Soul comes with Kia’s FlexSteer and MDPS (Motor Driven Power Steering) systems. FlexSteer provides three different settings for the steering to match each customer’s preference with Normal, Comfort and Sport modes. The effort required to turn the wheel varies with mode, but the gearing remains the same.
By fitting MDPS electric power assistance, rather than hydraulic assistance, significant fuel savings can be achieved – up to 3%, depending on driving conditions.

In keeping with Kia’s industry-leading localised ride and handling program, the Soul has been assessed and modified by Kia Motors Australia’s engineering team to provide the optimum match with Australian conditions.

As previously, the Soul’s steering wheel features both tilt and telescopic adjustment.

To maximize stopping power, new Soul is equipped with an all-disc braking system featuring large diameter 280 mm ventilated front discs and 262 mm solid discs at the rear, backed up by an ABS braking system.

Delivering the highest safety standards

Kia Motors makes the safety of people using its products and other road users a top priority, and invests heavily in safety-related R&D to deliver real-world benefits to its customers.

The official crash test standards around the world are becoming tougher and Kia’s safety team has re-engineered the new Soul’s structure using a much higher percentage of high-tensile strength steel to ensure that the latest model will also deliver the highest safety standards in its class.

The all-new Soul has already been awarded a five-star safety rating by the US NHTSA and there is the full expectation that it will win a similar mark from the ANCAP program.

For Australia Soul will come standard with a full suite of active and passive safety features, including ESC (electronic stability control), HAC (hill-start assist) and VSM (vehicle stability management), front fog lights, reversing camera and rear parking sensors.

Inside the new Soul, the front seatbelts are fitted with pre-tensioners and there are six airbags – dual front airbags, front side airbags and side curtain airbags (offering head protection to both front seat and rear seat occupants) as standard.

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