New pictures emerge of forthcoming pseudo-SUV
16 July 2008

Kia has released these new pictures of the forthcoming Soul mini SUV, which will go on sale later this year.Despite its rugged styling the Soul will be front-drive only, with no four-wheel-drive option planned. The five-door, five-seat hatchback rides on a new platform which will go on to underpin the next Rio. It's a joint development with Hyundai, but there will be no direct Hyundai equivalent of the Soul. Kia will also launch a mini-MPV and further models based on the same platform.The Soul will be sold worldwide and will initially be built in Korea. It's been designed in the US by Tom Kearns and Hyundai's California-based team, but looks likely to suit European appetites for hatchback vehicles. Kia claims the Soul will be a relatively spacious model; at 4.1 metres long, 1.7 metres wide and 1.6 metres high it’s slightly larger than a Nissan Qashqai. The company’s UK MD Paul Philpott reckons that “The British car buyer is looking for something new and exciting as well as representing excellent quality and value and that is just what Soul will provide”. Kia plans to show off its three Soul concept cars again at the London motor show next week before revealing the finished production version in Paris on October 2. The concepts all have different ‘personalities’ and indicate Kia’s intention to offer numerous custom accessories on the Soul – something that’s proved successful for Mini. Prices will be announced closer to the Soul’s launch but sources suggest that prices for the base model could start at around £12,000.

>> See more pics of the Kia Soul and Kia Soul concepts

Will Powell

Our Verdict

Kia Soul 2009-2014

The Kia Soul is dull to drive, but it's an appealing, quirky product allthesame

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