Wednesday 20 September 2017

Kia puts bit more Soul into the drive with new model

First Drive: Kia Soul 1.6 litre diesel

The new Kia Soul
The new Kia Soul
Inside the new Kia Soul
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

IT certainly turned heads last time around so I expect people will notice the arrival of this new Kia Soul on the roads here.

This is all-new, though that distinctive profile remains (if it ain't broke – 700,000 sold in the US – why fix it?)

We took the new one, with its 1.6-litre diesel, and 6spd manual transmission, for a bit of a drive on Monday. The cabin is much improved; I liked the seating, fabric and upholstery. You can choose between single and two-tone interiors.

This is such a different car from most others on the road. It reminds me of a shrunken Range Rover Evoque. It looks wonderful in red and there is a coffee colour no one else liked. I did.

The drive was on the solid side of sporty, the engine had good power (128bhp), though the road tax is €280 because emissions are 132g/km on combined consumption of 5l/100km.

There will be a 6spd automatic.

There was some road noise/rumble. I think it might be the choice of tyre (there is a space-saver spare wheel).

Right now there are two spec levels, EX and Platinum, with the former by far the bigger seller. They expect 450 to buy one next year. There will be an entry-level LX later but the EX will attract most people.

This has an all-new platform, the suspension is improved (based on the cee'd) and the bodyshell is stiffer.

It is a bit longer (20mm) and wider (15mm) but a tad lower and there is a smidgen of extra space in the cabin.

Prices start from €24,495 for EX trim, €28,495 (Platinum) with delivery and related charges extra.

Standard equipment includes Bluetooth, cruise control/speed limiter, climate control automatic air con, digital radio, rear view camera and 17ins alloys.

Platinum adds 18ins alloys, sat nav, leather upholstery, heated front seats, electric driver's seat, panoramic sunroof and Infinity sounds system.

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