Kia introduced its all-new 2013 Soul urban utility vehicle at the 113th New York International Auto Show. The all-new Soul's upright stance, squared shoulders, and fender flares hasn't swerved away that much from its predecessor although it now sits on a new platform that's more rigid, longer(101.2 inches), and wider (70.9 inches) to optimize passenger and cargo room while minimizing noise, vibration, and harshness levels at the same time.
Signature touches such as the tiger-nose front grille, front LED positioning lights and rear LED halo lights help connect Soul to siblings within the Kia lineup like the Sorento and Forte sedan.
The design team focused more on giving the interior a more premium look by utilizing soft-touch materials and high-gloss piano black trim pieces inside the cabin. Comfort level wasn't compromised either with leather seats that has been improved to provide better lateral and thigh support.
“The Soul moved the needle significantly from a sales and marketing perspective, becoming one of our top-selling cars and inspiring the now-legendary hamster commercials. It was important that the all-new Soul remain true to the original iconic design while infusing it with improved driving dynamics and desirable features that add appeal, sophistication and value.” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing and communications at Kia Motors America (KMA).
Powering the base variant of the all-new 2013 Soul is a 130 hp 1.6-liter GDI engine that's mated to a six-speed manual transmission(A/T available as an option). Meanwhile, a 164 hp 2.0-liter NU engine powers the Plus and Exclaim variants and is equipped with either transmission option for the Plus variant while the Exclaim is available exclusively to the six-speed automatic transmission.
A significant improvement in the car's driving dynamics should be expected as it now sits on a chassis that's 29% stiffer as compared to the outgoing model. Front and rear suspension setups was also revised to improve balance, ride, and handling.
The 2014 Soul's pricing and seven new exterior colors will be announced closer to the Soul's official launch date that's expected to happen on the third quarter of the year.