The Kia Soul is long overdue here in Malaysia, so long that the funky box has received a mid life facelift, as revealed in New York. The usual facelift rules apply here, but the Soul also gets new powertrains.

A new 1.6-litre gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine mated to a six-speed manual produces 140 PS – an 11% increase over the previous engine – and 164 Nm. Some markets such as the US get a new 2.0-litre unit available with six-speed transmissions, manual and auto. The 2.0 produces 162 PS and 194 Nm.

On the outside, Soul is freshened with new projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights (a must have these days), a redesigned hood and new front and rear bumpers. The rear lights are also LEDs. Kia says that the overall shape of the vehicle has been “finessed” for a smoother and more streamlined silhouette.

New creature comforts include an Infinity premium audio system for the higher trim levels. Also new is the UVO powered by Microsoft in-car hands-free communication/infotainment system. A Premium Package is also available with heated front seats, leather seat trim, automatic climate control, and navigation system. The car you see here is fully loaded with all these features.

A MINI Countryman for a fraction of the price? This could be it. But when it’s coming is anyone’s guess. Full gallery after the jump.

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