2012 KIA SOUL
Kia has announced that its updated and facelifted 2012 Kia Soul will make its global debut at next week's New York Auto Show.
Launched in 2009 as an early player in the brand's styling and quality revolution, the Soul has remained all-but untouched by the update brush in the past two years.
Recent spy photos showed that the the stylish box-like hatch is ready for its makeover.
While the spied test car is largely obscured by heavily-padded camouflage, the most obvious update is the revised headlights with projector lamps and LED daytime running lights - now mandatory in Europe.
Other styling updates will likely be limited to minor tweaks, with the Soul already bearing more than a few elements of Kia's current styling language, created by former Audi designer Peter Schreyer.
The interior of the Soul, now dominated by hard plastics, will likely also be brought more in-line with Kia's evolving and improving quality standards.
On the mechanical front, the Soul is expected to gain Kia's new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, possibly including the Optima's steering-mounted paddle shifters.
In Australia, the Soul is powered by a pair of 1.6 litre engines, a 91kW petrol unit and a 94kW diesel. The updated Soul is likely to benefit from newer engine technology developed in partnership with Hyundai.