The all-new Kia Soul 2019 model builds on a familiar base, with the compact crossover hatchback combining a boxy stance, stylish design and a cute interior.
The third-generation Kia Soul debuted overnight at the 2018 Los Angeles motor show, with a range of drivetrains set to be offered - a 2.0-litre non-turbo petrol, a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol for GT-Line models, and the Soul EV, which uses a pure electric powertrain.
The Soul EV has a 64kWh battery and a 150kW/394Nm electric motor, which has all the makings of a strong level of performance and driving range of at least 350km.
And CarsGuide understands that of all the new-generation Soul models, the EV is the most likely to be sold in Australia. Kia Australia has confirmed plans to offer a few electric cars by 2021, the first of which is expected to be the e-Niro compact SUV. And it could well be that the Soul EV forms part of the brand’s strategy, too
The petrol models are “under close review”, but it is understood Kia Australia would find it hard to justify offering them. The small SUV segment is up 23 per cent year-on-year, and while Soul sales are up slightly in 2018, it has struggled for several years to gain significant traction with customers.
The Soul has always been a style-focused vehicle, and the new-generation version is no different.
The slimline LED headlights almost look like a modifier has stuck ‘eyebrows’ over the top of them, while the rear lights are divisive in their appearance. Apparently Kia designers drew inspiration from aircraft wing design.
There are unique bumpers for the EV model, while the GT-Line version includes a sportier mesh finish and LED lamps at the front. An X-Line version with body cladding, chunkier bumpers and model-specific wheels will also be offered.
On the inside there are a few hallmark elements to the design, including rounded dash components, but with a neat 10.25-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An 8.0-inch head-up display is also available, and there’ll be a 10-speaker-plus-subwoofer harman/kardon stereo offered, too.
And while the existing Soul missed out on funky interior lighting (the first-gen model had lights in the speakers that pulsed to the music), the third-gen version has ambient lighting and some new textured materials on the doors and dashboard.
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