- Mid-life refresh brings new turbodiesel
- Three models, six variants and auto
- Best value under R400 000 claimed
KIA’S 2017 SOUL crossover has brought overall design updates and a new turbodiesel engine for its facelifted entry-level model to South Africa eight months after the car’s ‘reveal’ at the Paris auto show in September 2016.
The first, quirky, SUV-style familywagons reached SA in November 2014. Since then the instantly recognisable car has been voted a 2015 SA Car of the Year semi-finalist and 2016 Car magazine ‘Best Buy’.
Kia SA sees the Soul as an anti-establishment crossover that “defies traditional classification with the space and practicality of an MPV and the quality and features of an SUV, wrapped in the dimensions of B-segment crossover”.
David Sieff, Kia SA’s marketing director, told The Corner: “The Soul has always provided something a little different – a great way for people to express themselves in a practical, funky, way – with the features and the quality people expect from Kia.”
A new model is among the MY2017 units: the Soul 1.6 Start powered by a 1,6-litre, 94kW (at 4000rpm) / 260Nm (1900-2750rpm) diesel engine and a six-speed manual (no auto available) transmission.
The Soul Start has a radio with RDS, MP3/AUX/USB jacks, Bluetooth and six speakers, central locking, immobiliser, rear camera, auto-dimming rearview mirror, four electric window lifts, heatable exterior mirrors/indicators and a leather-wrapped steering-wheel.
Crash injury avoidance/mitigation items include anti-lock brakes, six crash bags, adjustable head restraints, impact-sensing auto door releases and IsoFix child seat anchors.
“The Start,” says Kia SA sales director and deputy MD Gary Scott, “is probably the best-built, most spacious and best-specced diesel crossover below R400 000 (well below at R329 995 – Ed).
“That’s exceptional value – a test drive will more than confirm its virtues.”
Kia has done nothing to detract from the cars’ distinctive shell design and tiger’s nose grille – just as well! – though the whole 2017 range has amended front bumpers/front foul-weather lights and a metallic skid plate “for a more robust, sportier, appearance”.
The Soul’s rear bumper has also been remodelled and a skidplate added along with redesigned rear foul-weather lights and reflectors. Entry-level units have fresh alloy wheel rims; those on the Street and Smart units are unchanged.
Cabin revisions are minimal: Start units’ cloth upholstery as been redesigned, Street and Smart units keep their black leather interior but “cabin ambience” has been enhanced with gloss-black and metallic highlights and switches.
There are three models and six derivatives in the Kia Soul range of Start, Street, and Smart: apart from the new turbodiesel at entry level, the Start is also available with a 91kW/152Nm 1.6 petrol engine turning a six-speed manual or a six-speed auto transmission
Mid-spec Street units are manual shift only. They come with all the Start’s specification but add glovebox chilling, power-folding external mirrors, smart-key/push-button ignition and leather upholstery, stability control, hill-start assistance and emergency-braking pressure.
Apart from the 94kW 1.6 turbodiesel engine, the Street has a two-litre, 116kW/192Nm petrol engine.
Topping the range are two Smart which add front and rear parking radar, high-intensive discharge projection headlights and diode daytime running lights, diode rear combination lights, cruise control, power seat adjustment and cabin mood lighting.
The Soul 2.0 Smart has a six-speed auto transmission, the Soul 1.6 CRDI Smart a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The turbodiesel Smart engine’s output is 100kW at 4000rpm and 300Nm from 1900-2750rpm – marginally more than that with the manual transmission. (Prices listed below image.)
…AND THE PRICES
Soul 1.6 Start – R309 995
Soul 1.6 CRDI Start – R329 995
Soul 2.0 Street – R347 995
Soul 1.6 CRDI Street – R376 995
Soul 2.0 Smart a/t – R391 995
Soul 1.6 CRDI Smart DCT – R431 995
A sunroof can be specified for the Soul 2.0 Smart and 1.6 CRDI DCT (add R12 500).
Each unit will be delivered with a five-year unlimited distance warranty, five-year unlimited distance roadside assistance and four-year or 90 000km service plan.