Inspired by the 2012 Track’ster concept, the 2014 Kia Soul retains the soul of the original, which began production in 2008 and received a minor update in 2011. What it gains is an all-new platform, based on that of the current Kia cee’d. Ride, handling and on-road behaviour are improved as a result, says Kia.
It’s slightly larger than the outgoing model, with a longer wheelbase and wider track yielding more interior and luggage space. Leg, head and shoulder room are up for all passengers, while boot volume gets a 4% boost to 354 litres (not including additional underfloor storage) with the rear seats upright.
Thanks to upgraded suspension, a 29% stiffer bodyshell and more soundproofing, the second-gen Kia Soul boldly claims to be the best in its class for refinement, with cabin noise levels reduced by around 3 dB.
Buyers will be able to choose between the latest versions of Kia’s 1.6 litre GDI petrol and CRDi diesel engines, as well as six-speed manual and automatic ‘boxes. Both engines are carried over from the outgoing model, and feature improved efficiency with lower emissions.
Depending on trim levels – which will be announced at a later date – the Euro-spec cars get LED or HID headlamps, LED ‘halo’ tail lamps, keyless entry and start, auto climate control, cruise control, leather seat trim, ventilated front seats, heated front and rear seats, panoramic sunroof and heated door mirrors. The roof can be had in black, white or red, and no fewer than 11 body colours are available.
Additionally, the pair of Kia Souls displayed in Frankfurt will exhibit a new SUV Styling Pack, featuring piano black bumper garnish, side skirts, wheel arches and a black painted roof.
See our previous story on the US-spec car for more detailed information on the second-gen Kia Soul.