Kia Soul Gets A Whole New Spirit

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Kia's breakthrough Soul has lifted the bar yet again with the arrival of a refreshed and re-energised range for 2012.

Kia's breakthrough Soul has lifted the bar yet again with the arrival of a refreshed and re-energised range for 2012.

At the heart of the new model range is the all-new 2.0-litre MPI petrol engine from the Nu family of 4-cylinder engines. The new Nu brings a sparkling 122kW and 200Nm to the table and takes to three the engine choices for the 2012 Soul range.

The 2.0-litre Nu joins the carryover 1.6-litre 4-cylinder Gamma petrol engine which benefits from the addition of dual CVVT for an additional 4kW of power, now 95kW and 157Nm. The third engine in the range is the proven 1.6-litre CRDI diesel with 94kW and 260Nm.

Both the 1.6 petrol and diesel engines are available coupled to 6-speed manual or automatic gearboxes replacing the 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatics from the superceded model. The 2.0 petrol engine comes standard with the 6-speed automatic.

Soul is available in two trim levels, the Soul with 1.6-litre MPi petrol engine, 15-inch steel wheels, 195/65 R15 rubber, six airbags, MDPS steering with rake and reach adjustable wheel, stability control with vehicle stability management and Hillstart Assist Control, 6-function trip computer, 6-speaker audio, seatbelt reminders, streaming Bluetooth and keyless entry with folding key.

The Soul+ gains the 2.0-litre petrol engine or 1.6-diesel over the entry-level model as well as 18-inch alloys 225/45 R18 rubber, front fog lamps, luggage cover, roof rails and driver's seat height adjustment.

Externally the 2012 Soul benefits from styling changes to the front and rear bumpers, a change to the look of the front grille, larger fog lights and a new design for the 18-inch alloys.

Pricing for the 1.6-litre petrol remains unchanged at $21,490 (manual) and $23,490 (automatic) despite the addition of the 6-speed gearboxes, telescopic steering and streaming Bluetooth.

The Nu 2.0-litre Soul+, at $26,990 adds $1300 over the outgoing 1.6-litre model for the addition of the new engine, 6-speed automatic, 18-inch alloys and cruise control.

Diesel pricing has gone up by $800 for both manual and automatic ($27,990 and $29,990 respectively) to reflect the new gearboxes, 18-inch alloys and additional trim features.

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Kevin Hepworth
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