2012 KIA SOUL
Kia's boxy Soul cruiser has picked up a bunch of styling tweaks and a new 2.0 litre petrol engine for 2012, and it's now on sale in Australia. We drove the Australian model in Korea last month, and you can read the review here.
As with the outgoing models, the small hatch is offered in the two Soul and Soul+ trim grades.
2.0 Litre Petrol
Pulled from Hyundai and Kia's four-cylinder "Nu" engine family, the 2.0 litre MPI engine replaces the outgoing 1.6 litre unit in the top-spec Soul+, boosting power from 91kW and 156Nm to 122kW and 200Nm of torque.
Paired with a six-speed automatic transmission only, the 2.0 litre petrol engine lists fuel consumption figures of 7.5 l/100km.
1.6 Litre Petrol And Diesel
The existing 1.6 litre MPI petrol engine carries over into the 2012 range, driving the entry-level Soul variant.
Thanks to the addition of dual-CVVT (Continuous Variable Valve Timing), power is boosted from 91kW to 95kW, and torque remains unchanged at 157Nm.
Joining the 2.0 litre petrol engine in the Soul+ trim grade is the 1.6 litre CRDi engine, delivering 94kW and 260Nm of torque.
The 1.6 litre petrol and diesel engines are available with six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, replacing the five-speed manual and four-speed auto of the outgoing range.
Fuel consumption for the 1.6 petrol is listed at 6.5 l/100km in manual form, and 7.3 with the automatic. For the diesel, it's 5.2 l/100km for the manual and 5.9 l/100km for the auto.
The entry-level Soul variant offers 15-inch steel wheels wrapped in 195/65 R15 rubber, along with a six-function trip computer, six-speaker audio with Bluetooth audio, keyless entry (with a folding key) and a rake/reach-adjustable steering wheel.
The entry Soul offers six airbags and electronic stability control among its standard safety features.
The Soul+ variant adds 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 225/45 R18 tyres, along with front fog lamps, a luggage cover, roof rails and driver's seat height adjustment.
Styling tweaks include new front and rear bumpers, new taillights, a revised front grille design, larger fog lights and the new 18-inch wheels.
The Soul offers a decent 340 litres of rear storage with the back seats in their upright position, growing to 800 litres with the 60/40 split-folding seats laid flat.
Pricing for the 1.6-litre petrol remains unchanged at $21,490 (manual) and $23,490 (automatic), gaining the 6-speed transmissions, adjustable steering and streaming Bluetooth for no extra cost.
The 2.0-litre petrol Soul+ is priced at $26,990 - an increase of $1300 that reflects the (impressive) new engine, six-speed automatic, 18-inch alloys and cruise control.
The diesel Soul+ variants are priced at $27,990 for the manual and $29,990 for the auto - an increase of $800 that reflects the new six-speed transmissions, 18-inch alloys and additional trim features.
Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.
Note on gallery: vehicle shown is the Australian-specification Soul+, photographed in Korea.