THE NEW Kia Soul has been unveiled at the 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show. Here’s everything you need to know about the quirky compact crossover ahead of its launch in the UK.
What is the Kia Soul?
The Kia Soul is the Korean car maker’s distinctively-designed SUV-style hatchback that’s been standing out from the crowd since the first generation car went on sale in 2009.
It hasn’t been a top seller in the UK to date, though demand for the Soul has been strong enough for Kia to justify unveiling its third-generation car here.
Though the car’s biggest draw is its “quirky, fun-loving and crowd-pleasing” design, there’s more to the Kia Soul than aesthetic flourishes. The boxy shape helps maximise interior space and practicality, for instance, as well as making the car that bit easier to squeeze into tight parking spots. It’s also a model that comes with a variety of powertrains, including pure electric.
The Kia Soul also promises a peace-of-mind ownership experience, too, courtesy of its seven-year/100,000 miles warranty.
What engines will the Kia Soul come with?
Though the bluff-sided urban runabout was revealed with petrol engines at the LA Motor Show, Mk 3 Kia Souls sold in the UK won’t be powered by any form of internal combustion. Instead, the new Soul will only be offered as an electric car.
Powering the 2019 Kia Soul EV will be an electric motor with a 64kWh battery pack, with claimed outputs of 201bhp and 291 lb ft of torque. The range is still yet to be verified but, as the Soul uses the same powertrain as the Kia e-Niro electric SUV, we expect the Soul will have a similar range to that car’s claimed 301 miles per charge.
What tech does the Kia Soul have?
The electric powertrain’s arguably the tech highlight, but the Kia Soul comes with many more interesting gadgets. Many of the controls are operated through a 10.25in touchscreen on the centre console, and Kia says the Soul’s telematics system allows drivers to see the car’s charging status and where the nearest charging spots are.
The new Kia Soul also be available with lots of safety equipment. Buyers will be able to have lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring and autonomous emergency braking, though Kia didn’t say whether these will be standard fit or only offered as optional extras.
When will the Kia Soul go on sale?
A release date hasn’t been announced for the new Soul, but as it will be launched in continental Europe early next year, it’s expected the car will arrive on our shores before the end of 2019.
How much will the new Kia Soul cost?
UK prices for the 2019 Kia Soul will also be revealed next year, though it’s expected the car will be similarly priced to the £30,495 current Kia Soul EV. It should qualify for a £3,500 new car discount when it goes on sale too, assuming the government’s current Plug-In Car Grant terms remain as they are when the new Kia Soul is launched.
What are the Kia Soul’s rivals?
When the Kia Soul goes on sale in the UK, its closest rivals will be the Nissan Leaf, the Renault Zoe and the BMW i3 hatchbacks. As the Soul is described by Kia as an SUV, the electric Hyundai Kona crossover is also a competitor.