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Kia updates Soul crossover

  • Revised Soul boasts improved emissions and economy
  • New 1.6-litre petrol and six-speed geargbox
  • Priced from £12,495, on sale now

Written by Parkers Published: 3 October 2011 Updated: 3 October 2011

Kia has revised its Soul crossover model offering new engines, trims, better fuel economy and improved emissions.

The refreshed Soul is on sale now and the range includes a revised 1.6-litre petrol engine and a new six-speed gearbox. The engine line-up now comprises two 1.6-litre engines – a new direct-injection (GDi) petrol unit developing 138bhp (up 14bhp on the previous 1.6-litre) – and a modified 126bhp turbodiesel (CRDi). A six-speed manual gearbox replaces the five-speed unit previously used, while the CRDi engine is optionally available with a six-speed automatic in place of the former four-speed transmission.

Kia says the new powertrains ‘bring significant gains in performance, economy and running costs’. The diesel manual is now 0.6 seconds quicker from rest to 60mph (10.3 seconds), while more than 3mpg more fuel-efficient (57.6mpg). This is sufficient to bring its CO2 emissions down by 8g/km to 129g/km, which means owners are exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in the car’s first year.

The new petrol engine and six-speed can accelerate from standstill to 62mph in 10 seconds, while its official combined-cycle economy is 44.1mpg. With CO2 emissions of 149g/km, it sits in band F for VED, which saves owners £35 a year compared with the previous model.

There’s a choice of standard trim grades badged Soul 1 and Soul 2, and there’s also the special trims called ‘Soul Originals’, where you can choose from very excitingly titled ‘Hunter’ and ‘Quantum’.

Inside all the cars there’s been changes to the fascia, console and trim and all versions boast more equipment.

On the outside of the car there have been changes to the grille, lights, front bodywork and wheels. A new bumper with a wider, lower air intake are designed to give the car a sportier look and the grilles are now set off with cubic effect inserts in a bid to make the car look more premium. At the back Kia has introduced a large tusk-shaped section in the bumper designed make the car look wider.

The vertical rear light clusters have been revised and incorporate brake lights that wrap around the side of the car. The rear light pattern on models with LED rear lamps is identical to that on the 2006 Detroit Show Soul concept.

Soul 1 now has body-coloured door handles and mirrors and a top-tinted windscreen, while Soul 2 gains larger surrounds around its front foglights, 16-inch alloy wheels and folding electric door mirrors containing indicator repeaters. All versions are 15mm longer than the previous model to accommodate the new powertrains under the bonnet.

Prices range from £12,495 to £17,795.