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Sharper price and looks for Kia Soul

Soulja on: Despite a cool reception, Kia is sticking with is Soul crossover and has treated it to a light styling and kit update.

Kia adds spirit to Soul with facelift, extra tech and $2000 price reduction

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Kia logo11 Oct 2016

By DANIEL GARDNER

KIA has treated its Soul crossover to a comprehensive update which brings an up-to-date look inside and out and a boost to entertainment and Drive Mode Select technology, for a $2000 more affordable asking price of $24,990 plus on-road costs.

The fresh styling was quietly revealed in August when images of the updated Soul appeared on the South Korean car-maker’s website, but the company has now confirmed that the new look will roll into showrooms this month.

For the update, Kia has restyled the front bumper and grille, which houses a new headlight and foglight design and revised air intakes, while the rear bumper has also received a tweak. A new wheel design completes the exterior changes.

On the inside a refined fascia and new interior trim materials improve the aesthetics, while technology updates include a larger 5.0-inch touchscreen with RDS radio.

The previous FlexSteer system is replaced by Kia’s Drive Mode Select, which allows the driver to switch between settings for sharper steering and throttle response and a sportier feel.

In addition to the more affordable price, Kia has also chopped its optional paint prices with single-tone metallic colours to $520, a white body with red roof now costs $390 and the Inferno Red with metallic black combination requires an extra $910.

As with all Kia models, the Soul is offered with a seven-year warranty, seven years of capped-price servicing and the same for roadside assistance.

Unlike the larger Sportage and Sorento, Kia’s cheeky offering has somehow sidestepped the Australian crossover and SUV surge with sales floundering since the model’s introduction in 2009, but the update confirms that the company will persevere with the Soul for now.

In other global markets such as the United States, the Soul has gained a strong following and Kia Motors Australia COO Damien Meredith acknowledged the model could do better here.

“Even the best can do with a helping hand from time to time, and for Soul the 2017 adjustments are just that – a bit of a boost for what is an excellent vehicle,” he said.

“The Soul certainly deserves greater recognition than it has enjoyed and with the preferred SUV-like seating position, a willing 2.0-litre engine, a six-speed automatic and clever interior space we believe it has a strong future in Australia.”

Kia offers the Soul in just one Si variant powered by a 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder, which sends 113kW of power and 191Nm of torque to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

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