The 2019 Kia Soul made its world debut in at the LA Auto Show this week. Here’s how it differs from its predecessor.
The Kia Soul stays true to its design heritage with its boxy silhouette and confident stance in its third generation. However, now, the quirky sub-compact crossover is brawnier and sophisticated. Sculpted lines, slim LED DRLs, split headlamps, larger front grille, clamshell hood, upswept beltline, distinctive C-pillar garnish featuring new “Soul” graphic and 3D wraparound boomerang-shaped tail lights define its modernised exterior.
Inside, the designers have raised the focus on youthfulness with the addition of sound mood lighting that emits soft light from the centre door panels and a unique 3D pattern surface on the upper door panels. The new mood lighting system can work in sync with the beat of the music playing through the audio system. Other main new technologies include 10.25-inch HD central display, 8-inch head-up display, wireless charging and 640-watt Harman Kardon audio system with an amplifier and 10 speakers.
Under the hood, the all-new Kia Soul has either the 2.0-litre Nu or the 1.6-litre T-GDI petrol engine. The naturally aspirated engine develops 147 hp and 132 lb.-ft. (178.97 Nm) of torque. It is married to a 6-speed manual transmission or the IVT (Kia’s branding for its first-ever CVT) borrowed from the all-new Kia Forte. The turbocharged engine produces 201 hp and 195 lb.-ft. (264.38 Nm) of torque. It sends drive to the wheels via a 7-speed DCT.
Of course, there’s a pure electric variant too, with a slightly cleaner design and a “magic carpet ride”. The zero-emission variant uses a new liquid-cooled lithium ion polymer 64 kWh battery. Its electric motor generates 201 hp and 291 lb.-ft. (394.54 Nm) of torque. Kia hasn’t revealed the driving range, but promises a rating higher than ever. Just last year, the outgoing model’s EPA-estimated range had increased from 93 miles (149.67 km) to 111 miles (178.64 km) with the increase in the battery energy from 27 kWh battery to 30 kWh.
The all-new Kia Soul goes on sale internationally in the first half of 2019. Needless to say, it’s not meant for the Indian market.