2014 Kia Soul revealed
* New cabin with more space * 1.6 petrol and diesel engines * On sale in the first half of 2014...
This is the new Kia Soul, shown in European specification for the first time ahead of its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September.
The new Soul switches to a chassis set-up based on that of the Kia Ceed - but it has retained the oddball looks that have made it a left-field choice for those wanting a small SUV.
The new model is longer and wider than the one it replaces, though; Kia claims this helps it to offer more shoulder-, leg- and headroom. The Soul's boot also grows, by around 4%, to 354 litres with the rear seats in place. Underfloor storage increases this capacity further.
The Ceed chassis components help the new Soul to be more rigid than the outgoing model, and Kia claims improvements in ride, handling and refinement.
Kia says the car will be offered with its 1.6-litre GDI petrol engine (133bhp) and the 1.6 CRDi diesel; that engine is normally offered with 126bhp only in the Ceed. The standard gearbox will be a six-speed manual, but a six-speed automatic will be offered as an option.
No specs have been confirmed, but Kia says the 2014 Soul will offer a range of standard and optional features new to the model, including LED daytime running lights, xenon headlights, keyless entry, climate control, cruise control, leather seats, ventilated front seats, heated front and rear seats and a panoramic glass sunroof.
The Soul will launch with a range of roof colours - red, white and black - and 11 body colours. The cars at Frankfurt also feature an 'SUV styling pack' that includes piano black bumper trim, side skirts, wheelarches and a black painted roof.
The new Soul is due on sale in the first half of 2014; prices have yet to be confirmed, but we'd expect them to stay close to those of the current model.