Kia rolls out next-generation Soul

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Kia rolls out next-generation Soul

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Kia introduces its all-new Soul, the first full makeover of its iconic compact CUV, yesterday at the W Seoul Walkerhill Hotel. The new Soul is longer, wider and shorter than its predecessor. Provided by the company

Kia Motors introduced the second generation of its Soul compact crossover utility vehicle yesterday with the goal of selling 190,000 units worldwide next year.

It is the first full makeover for the Soul since its introduction in 2008 and has been tabbed as a showpiece of Kia’s creative design.

“From the first-generation Soul, Kia Motors really started to focus on design management and has made remarkable growth in brand value,” said Kia Motors President and CEO Lee Sam-ung at the introduction event at the W Seoul Walkerhill Hotel.

Under the project name “PS,” Kia said it invested 240 billion won ($226 million) over 44 months to develop the second-generation Soul.

Kia said it is offering a choice of grey, red or black for the Soul’s 18-inch wheels, as well as a “two-tone roof.” It has also installed convenience and safety features like the Advanced Smart Parking Assist System and Lane Departure Warning System.

“For the first-generation Soul, we focused on exterior design, so we admit that the interior and other convenience features were not that good,” said Suh Choon-kwan, Kia’s vice president for domestic marketing. “But since the all-new Soul has upgraded marketability and safety, we will be able to sell 20,000 units in Korea and 170,000 units overseas.”

The Soul will be available in gasoline and diesel versions, both equipped with 1.6-liter engines. Compared to the first generation, the latest Soul is longer, wider and shorter.

The price of the new Soul ranges from 15.95 million won ($15,000) to 20.15 million won for the gasoline model and 19.8 million won to 21.05 million won for diesel.

Meanwhile, Kia said it also plans to release an electric Soul in Korea in the first half of next year.



BY JOO KYUNG-DON [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]

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