2010 Kia Soul Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2009
FAST FACTS
  • Urban crossover makes debut at Paris Motor Show
  • Five-door hatch hits the streets of Europe early in 2009
  • U.S. sales likely to begin in the spring of 2009
  • Diesel and gasoline engines are available
  • U.S. rivals include Scion xB, Mazda 3 hatch

Introduction

Kia uses words such as chic, active, unique and individual to describe both the Soul and its likely buyers. That's Soul, not Seoul, although this is the newest model from the South Korean automaker. It makes its debut in October at the Paris Motor Show, and then arrives at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. A concept version of the Kia Soul first appeared at the Detroit auto show in 2006. In the spring of 2007, the company said the car-based crossover would join its U.S. lineup in 2008 as a 2009 model. It now appears ready to arrive in 2009 as a 2010 model, but the company's U.S. representatives have only released photos of the Soul, and no updated details. It goes on sale in Europe in early 2009. Manufacturing, at Kia's Gwangju factory, starts in November.

The Soul's boxy shape might remind U.S. buyers of the Scion xB, the Honda Element, or the MINI Cooper. Besides its exterior styling (of which the forward-sloping roofline is the distinctive feature), the emphasis is on the size of the passenger cabin, ride height, and interior design, including a triple-dial instrument cluster and a thick-rimmed steering wheel. The concept's rear hatch featured a backpack-like compartment, able to hold wet clothes or even a skateboard. It's unknown if the feature will appear in the production version. The concept was powered by a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission.

Design

The front-drive, 5-door Soul measures 13 feet, 5.5 inches, and carries a 100-inch wheelbase. Kia notes that the Soul's high roofline, its hip points and its ground clearance all best a typical compact car. "It is packed with clever and liberating features and will offer cavernous passenger space that matches or even outperforms many vehicles with much larger exterior dimensions,'' claimed Hyoung-Keun Lee, senior executive vice president and COO of Kia's international business division. Photos of the car's cabin show two-tone seats and center-console storage above the stereo.

Hardware

Kia has said it will offer the Soul in Europe with a choice of two gasoline engines and one diesel powerplant. The top gasoline engine measures two liters and produces 142 ps at 6000 rpm and 186 Nm of torque at 4600 rpm. It comes with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic transmission. A 1.6-liter gas engine will be available in some countries, generating 126 ps at 6300 rpm and 156 Nm of torque at 4200 rpm. The available 1.6-liter turbo-diesel also makes 126 ps, but at 4000 rpm, and with 255 Nm of torque at 2000 rpm.
Explore car shopping guides
What Happens When You Put Too Much Oil in Your Car?
What Happens When You Put Too Much Oil in Your Car?
Aside from filling the gas tank, changing a car’s engine oil is perhaps the most common task required to keep a vehicle running properly. Fresh oil is an engine’s best friend, but too much of it can cause costly damage. Learn what happens when you put too much oil in your car.
Read the full review
2021 Cars: The Ultimate Guide to Upcoming New Cars, Trucks, and SUVs
2021 Cars: The Ultimate Guide to Upcoming New Cars, Trucks, and SUVs
What cars are coming out in 2021? That’s a good question. With a focus on brand new models, redesigned vehicles, and those receiving substantial refreshes, this is your ultimate guide to new car models for 2021.
Read the full review
Automakers Create Coronavirus Car Payment Plans & Programs in Bid to Boost Flagging Sales
Automakers Create Coronavirus Car Payment Plans & Programs in Bid to Boost Flagging Sales
In an attempt to boost flagging sales in the period of economic uncertainty fueled by the coronavirus pandemic, automakers are creating car payment plans & programs to help those whose jobs are threatened by the economic downturn associated with the spread and containment of COVID-19.
Read the full review
Read all articles
Scroll to the top
New Car Preview
2021 Ford Bronco Preview
Most Dependable
2019 Vehicle Dependability: Most Dependable Coupes and Convertibles
Most Popular
10 Most Popular Compact SUVs and Crossovers
New Model Update
New for 2019: Land Rover
New Car Preview
2021 Mazda3 Preview
More related
articles