The Kia Soul is known for its distinct, boxy look that makes it easily stand out among its competitors in the subcompact crossover segment. It has always represented the fun side of the Korean brand while still showcasing the performance quality and engineering it has become known for. With the release of a refreshed model, it takes its quirkiness and iconic design language merged with sleeker aesthetic modifications to modernize the look. Locally, there are three variants offered which are the top-spec GL VGT CRDi DCT, the SL VGT CRDi DCT, and the base SL VGT CRDi MT. It is powered by a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine and can be had in either manual or automatic transmission.
The Kia Soul was first introduced at the Paris Motor Show in October 2008. Columbian Autocar Corp., the former exclusive distributor of Kia vehicles in the Philippines, unveiled the crossover on August 28, 2009. In 2018, Kia’s majority ownership went through a transition from Columbian Autocar Corporation to the Ayala Group’s automotive arm who launched the third-generation Kia Soul. The latest model of the Soul was first seen at the 2018 LA Auto Show.
The latest model of Kia Soul takes the same quirky styling and trademark boxy shape of its predecessors. However, it has been revamped to take on a more aggressive look starting with its front fascia that boasts of a large H-shaped grill. Chrome accents connect the two-tier LED headlamp design with the sleek LED daytime running lights giving a consistent full-width look. The blackened lower grille gives the crossover an SUV-like design while housing the fog lights and turn signals. Extra body sculpting and a floating roof add to the sporty vibe of the latest Soul. On the rear are modified boomerang-shaped taillights to create a more modern aesthetic. Completing the look are 18-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, the Kia Soul displays a familiar cabin following the same configuration of its previous generations. Among the similarities are the driver-oriented dashboard and the center console. It still has the same upscale European aesthetic that other Kia nameplates carry. The spacious interior can comfortably accommodate five passengers with its generous legroom and headroom, thanks to a longer wheelbase. It also has more cargo space with an additional 142 liters. Seats are wrapped in premium fabric with accent stitches. While the exterior takes a boxier look, the cabin features curvy, rounder shapes with a smoother flow. In front is an oval-shaped instrument cluster that is ergonomic and convenient.
Technology & Safety Features
The higher range variants of the Kia Soul are equipped with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, an 8-inch heads-up display, and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. It comes with wireless connectivity, a navigation ready system, and the latest entertainment software for added convenience. A new sound and mood lighting system is also furnished with the crossover which can be adjusted depending on the desired ambiance.
Among the Kia Soul’s safety features are a reverse camera, parking sensors, crash sensors, pre-collision warning system, lane departure warning, and an Anti-lock Brake System with electronic braking distribution. Adding to the drive convenience are Cruise Control, Keyless entry, push-button start features.
Platform & Chassis
The 4-door subcompact crossover is furnished with MacPherson Strut front suspension and torsion beam at the rear. Stopping power comes from ventilated discs in front and drum brakes at the rear.
Engine & Drivetrain
Powering the Kia Soul is a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder Turbocharged CRDi diesel engine that produces 128 hp and 300 Nm torque. It is mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic transmission that delivers power to the front wheels.