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SENSATIONAL SOUL – Kia Soul Mk3

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Kia Motors’ third-generation Kia Soul has made its global debut at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show. An icon of Kia design, the Soul is all-new and once again sports a bold, immediately recognizable design, uncompromising versatility and a fun-to-drive personality. 

As you can see, whilst retaining its distinctive silhouette, it gains a new front look featuring a slim line headlight and DRL design, a larger front grille and fog lamp assembly, an updated front fender, wraparound taillights, a 'floating roof' and upswept rear windows, while a piece with an embossed 'SOUL' logo is proudly displayed. 

In terms of dimensions, the new Soul has grown in length by 56mm to 4196mm, and with this, its wheelbase too has been extended by 30mm to a smidgen over 2600mm. Its height and width however remain the same, at 1600mm and 1800mm respectively. The increase in wheelbase ensures a more spacious cabin. 

At launch, there will be two motors available – both petrol. A naturally aspirated 2.0-litre Nu four-cylinder motor that will be paired with either a 6-speed manual or an Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT), and produces 110kw and 178nm. There is also a sportier option available – a 1.6-litre twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder GDI engine that produces 147kw and 265nm, and is mated exclusively to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. 

The Soul features a new 10.25-inch HD colour split-screen touchscreen, and comes standard with smartphone integration and multiple-device Bluetooth connectivity; plus an available 640-watt Harman Kardon audio package, that includes an amplifier along with 10 speakers, a tuned centre speaker and subwoofer. It’s party trick however, is that it includes ‘sound mood lighting’ that emits soft light from the door panels. This mood lighting can be synchronised and flashes to the beat of the music playing through the Soul’s audio system. 

The new Soul is expected to go on sale in global markets late in 2019, but will apparently only be produced in left hand drive configuration for now, meaning it is not confirmed for a local release. That said, we will keep you posted as soon as KIA South Africa gives us any news.

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