Kia says the new Soul is based on a chassis that’s longer, wider and 28 per cent stiffer than the current car, which has allowed engineers to reduce NVH and maximise space in the passenger and cargo compartments. The suspension has also been revised, with improved geometry.
The styling has been influenced by the Kia Track’ster. Kia’s Californian-based design team have retained a number of design cues from the current Soul, but elements such as the trapezoidal lower grille and positioning of the front fog lights are a direct carry-over from the Track’ster. Kia’s grille has been reworked to closely mirror that of the concept.
Tom Kearns, the boss of Kia's Californian design centre, said "The Soul was the first car to show Kia's design potential. We wanted it to look good and be an affordable halo product.
"We want to maintain all that with the new one but make it a bit more special and fun to drive. There's lots of inspiration from the Track’ster concept in this. The long wheelbase and pushed out wheels for instance. We kept all the iconic design touches from first car like the wraparound screen and vertical taillights"
A “floating” body colour panel in the tailgate is another signature from the Track’ster. Kia says the tailgate is six centremetres wider to aid access.
The new Kia Soul records increases in front and rear legroom and front head and shoulder room, and is claimed to be easier to climb in and out of. A range of noise-reducing materials sees noise levels reduced by 3db.