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Frankfurt show: Kia refreshes its Soul

Refreshed: Kia's facelifted Soul will go on sale in Australia within two months.

Bigger petrol engine but no LED running lights for fresh Kia Soul due next month

15 Sep 2011

KIA has staged the European debut of its facelifted Soul, which will go on sale in Australia within two months without the two headline acts of its 2012 upgrade – the option of LED tail-lights and daytime running lights and a new 1.6-litre GDI petrol engine.

Australia’s version of the facelifted model, which was first seen at the New York motor show in April and will be released here by early November, will do without the new LED lighting and – instead of the new direct-injection engine – will be powered by a new 2.0-litre ‘Nu’ MPI petrol engine.

The latter will replace the 1.6-litre petrol engine that currently powers Australia’s entry-level Soul ($21,490 plus on-road costs), while the 1.6-litre turbo-diesel in the Soul CRDi (from $27,190) will be carried over.

Australians will also forego the new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions to become available in Europe, where an optional fuel-saving EcoDynamics pack will also be available, comprising ISG idle-stop and AMS alternator management systems to reduce CO2 emissions in petrol and diesel models to a respective 125 and 139g/km.

17 center imageAs standard, the European Soul’s new 1.6-litre GDI Gamma direct-injection petrol engine delivers 100kW of power (up from 91kW) while using a claimed 10 per cent less fuel.

Instead, Australia’s petrol Soul will be powered by a larger 2.0-litre engine offering more performance (119kW and 194Nm).

Otherwise, changes are identical to the US and European models, including new projector headlights, a redesigned bonnet, fresh front and rear bumpers, revised trim and enhanced interior features.

While the new-look front-end extends the car’s overall length by 15mm to 4120mm and applies a wider front air intake and larger foglights, the 2012 Soul also features an extended black inset panel for the rear bumpers, new-design 18-inch alloy wheels, pull-type door-handles and new door mirrors with integrated LED side repeaters.

Kia says the interior upgrades are designed to give the Soul a more premium feel. They include a revised centre console, rotary LCD heater controls, “nano-layered, multi-metal” paint surfaces on key touch points for greater durability, telescopic adjustment for the steering wheel and, in Europe, an optional high-definition Supervision cluster and a wider choice of new interior fabrics, including leather, Tartan Check and Houndstooth.

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