RAC Cars News


Second Generation Kia Soul For 2014

By raccars Published

An updated Kia Soul will be revealed in Frankfurt in European specification, remaining faithful to the spirit of its predecessor but offering a better ride. The new Soul was first introduced at March's New York Motor Show and is due to reach forecourts early next year.

Using the Ceed's architecture, the funky crossover retains the original model's elevated ride height and chunky box silhouette. Kia has sensibly adhered to a policy of 'if it ain't broke...' - the Soul sold well for the company in its earlier guise so alterations have been subtle, to update rather than change the car's character. Elements such as the vertical taillight cluster will be familiar, but the front end has seen some attention. However, the improved driving dynamics will be welcomed, in the form of a stiffened up shell and added refinement – three decibels lower than the earlier model.

The Kia Soul Mk2 is slightly bigger than the Mk1 on the outside but feels quite a lot more spacious on the inside. There's better passenger space and an extra four litres on the first Soul's 340 litre cargo space. Underfloor capacity helps to make the most of the space available.

The original Kia Soul 133bhp GDI 1.6 litre petrol and 1.6 litre CRDi diesel engines will be retained, but both have been massaged to get a few more miles per gallon and decreased CO2 emissions. There is a six speed manual gearbox as standard and the option of a six speed automatic. The cabin has been upgraded with softer touch materials and a more driver-centric layout.

Kia has yet to confirm specifications but intends to dramatically increase the range of features available compared to those of the current model, Soul. Expect LED DRLs, xenon headlamps, keyless entry, cruise and climate controls, leather upholstery, a panoramic glass sunfloor, heated seats all round and ventilated front seats.

Two versions of the new Soul will be shown at Frankfurt, designed to show off the extent of personalisation and accessorising that can be specified upon order. These include white, black or red roofs, with a choice of 11 colours of body paintwork. An SUV styling pack adds side skirts, bumper trim and wheel arches in piano black, along with a black roof.

The Soul, particularly in its new and improved format, makes for an offbeat change from the usual small SUV/crossover suspects and is a value for money option in Kia's traditional style.

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