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The Kia Soul with more fun, funk and function!

Kia Soul

The Kia Soul was first introduced back in 2009, and since has become one of Kia’s top-selling cars in the U.S. This week at the 113th New York International Auto Show Kia unveiled an all-new version.

Instantly the Soul, Kia’s iconic urban crossover is now riding on a new chassis that is stiffer, longer and wider, still with plenty edge, its gained more passenger and luggage room while reducing levels of noise, vibration and harshness.

Increased torque and significant suspension upgrades make the 2014 Soul a nimble and agile companion in congested cities or towns.  Honouring Soul owners’ fierce individualism, three unique trim levels will be available when U.S. sales begin towards the end of the year: Base, Plus and Exclaim.

When the wild Track’ster concept made its debut in 2012, Soul enthusiasts and experts alike urged Kia to turn fantasy into reality. Tom Kearns, Chief Designer at Kia’s California studio, described Track’ster as a bulldog and so be staying true has injected all-new Soul with that very expression from almost any angle.

“The all-new Soul was one of the more difficult assignments we’ve taken on,” said Kearns. “Striking the right balance between the wonderful design of the current car with the audacious proportions and stance of the Track’ster was daunting. It proved to be a truly collaborative effort with guidance from Peter Schreyer in Frankfurt and assistance from our studio in Korea. In the end, we’ve kept the essence of Soul while infusing it with more presence inside and out.”

With the hard points set, the all-new Soul was boiled down to three focus areas: Maintaining the iconic design while adding modern cues; providing premium features and content; and improving driving dynamics that would make the 2014 Soul more desirable than ever.

The Base Soul comes standard with a long list of features that set it apart from the competition.  Electric windows, central locking, heated and electrically-operated mirrors, a reach and rake adjustable steering wheel and a six-speaker AM/FM/MP3 audio unit are all standard. Bluetooth® hands-free wireless technology, SiriusXM™ satellite radio with three months complimentary service and USB/AUX inputs round out the Base Soul’s impressive audio/infotainment equipment.  Desirable options include remote keyless entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and a six-speed automatic transmission.

The Soul Plus takes a step up in standard and available optional amenities. Attractive 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 215/55R17 tyres, exterior mirror-mounted indicator repeaters, automatic headlights and unique trim on the front wings distinguish the Plus from the Base exterior.  Inside, the Plus benefits include a floor console stowage box with integrated arm rest, UVO eServices, colour reversing camera and rear seat centre arm rest.  Options include navigation, an upgraded Infinity® audio system, ‘string’-LED front speaker surround mood lighting, fog lights, a panoramic sunroof – a Soul first – leather seating with segment-exclusive ventilated front driver and passenger seats, and heated seats for all four outboard positions, a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, leather wrapped and heated steering wheel and a leather-wrapped gear shift knob.

The Soul Exclaim adds to the Plus as standard features 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235/45R18 tyres, fog lights, body-colour bumper ‘tusks’, projection head lights, front LED positioning lights and rear LED “halo” lights.

Open the door and standard features include a high-gloss piano-black centre console, cooled glove box, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear-shift knob, 10-way power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment and auto-dimming rear-view mirror.  Optional equipment includes navigation, Infinity audio, front speaker LED mood lighting, panoramic sunroof, leather seating with front driver and passenger ventilation and heating for all four outboard positions.  Supervision Cluster/TFT LCD screen, Xenon head lights, push button start and automatic climate control make the Exclaim the most premium Soul ever.

Prices will be announced closer to the Soul’s launch date.  The release dates for mainland Europe and the United Kingdom have yet to be confirmed although an on sale date in the first half of 2014 is anticipated.

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