Today's car is the Kia Soul (Soul). Soul is a compact minivan produced in South Korea for distribution worldwide. It was designed at Kia's design center in California with the first vehicles delivered at European dealerships in February 2009 and North American dealerships in March 2009.
The Kia Soul was designed by Mike Torpey, an American, his inspiration was a Korean wild boar with a backpack (yes it is true). What I think is unique about this car is the edgy design. Also, the The Soul comes in over 10,000 combinations of engines, colours, styling and 50 dealer installed accessories...making the Soul highly customizable.
The U.S. versions of the Soul are available with two gasoline engines.....the base model is a 1.6 litre unit producing 122 hp and with a standard five speed manual transmission. A 2.0 liter unit producing 142 hp connected to a standard five-speed manual transmission with a four speed automatic available as an option. A 1.6 litre diesel engine producing 128 hp torque is offered in European models, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
Kia is also working on a Kia Soul Hybrid concept which features 1.6 litre gas engine with a 15kW, electric motor with an automatic transmission which will greatly increase fuel economy and reduce Co2 emissions.
Kia Soul earned European safety award with a maximum 5 star safety rating. The five star safety rating places Kia Soul among the safest B-segment family cars in the world
According to Kia....the all-new Kia production car will be a car that defies classification and encourages customers to build an emotional bond with their new purchase by providing a creative platform that they can customise to match their car to their own character. It will appeal especially to the young-at-heart – whatever their age.
Pricing for the Soul base starts at $13,300 USD plus options, and the Soul 2.0 liter starts at $14,950 USD plus options. The Soul 's fuel mileage is 24/30 mpg city/highway.
Kia created the Soul with an eye toward Generation Y, the current batch of young people fresh out of college. It will also appeal to retirees with limited budgets due to the Soul's attractive price. Shown below is the original design concept!
The Soul is an interesting design concept....which will sell well with young buyers and old buyers alike. It now makes the small minivans cool!