Kia Soul Receives A Lift

Kia Soul Receives A Lift

Kia has given its enigmatic Soul urban crossover a lift for 2012, with the re-energised model now heading into showrooms around New Zealand. Kia has used the opportunity of a mid-life facelift to introduce a number of technology advancements it has been working on recently to ensure Soul keeps ahead of the pack.

For instance, the standard transmission has been upgraded to a new 6-speed sportshift sequential automatic that is not only smoother, but also provides more urgency to the Soul’s performance thanks to the additional ratios, whilst still returning a handy 7.3L/100km combined fuel economy.

The 1.6-litre Gamma petrol engine also benefits from the fitment of dual CVVT (Continuously Variable Valve Timing) technology, adding another 4kW of power, which lifts the peak output to 95kW and 157Nm of torque.

Already one of the safest compact cars on the road, with a 5-star ANCAP rating, the 2012 Kia Soul has more safety technology than ever. The standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is now enhanced to include Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), a steering assist system that provides safer braking control in situations where, for example, one side of the car loses traction on a wet or slippery surface. It also includes Hillside Assist Control (HAC), which applies the brakes for two seconds during the brake-to-drive transition to prevent roll-back.

In the event of a crash the occupants are protected by an advanced crush-cell system, six airbags and front head restraints.

Kia retains the five-door body, tweaking it with a more pronounced tiger nose grille, finished in chrome, and revised lower air intake. The lights are all-new, with

projector style, 4-bulb headlamps making night time driving safer by improving beam distribution. The Soul also incorporates additional safety features including in the other Kia models such as LED daytime running lights front and rear, as well as front and rear fog lights. New grip-type chrome door handles complete the exterior changes.

Inside, Soul’s dashboard is re-designed for better usability and convenience, with a creative, ergonomic centre fascia as the focus, incorporating a 6-speaker audio system that now has Bluetooth function in addition to USB/ipod input. Remote controls for the audio are on the steering wheel. Speaking of which, the MDPS power-assisted steering wheel now has telescopic adjustment, as well as tilt.

As expected with all Kia vehicles, the standard specification is substantial and includes air conditioning, reverse warning sensors, power windows with driver’s side auto up/down, height-adjustable driver’s seat, rear privacy glass, electric heated mirrors, auto light controls with escort function that turns on the lights according to conditions, trip computer, remote locking with flip key, sunglasses case etc.

The new 2012 Kia Soul comes with Kia’s comprehensive 5-year Warranty Programme that includes roadside assistance and free first service and is priced at a very competitive $30,490 plus on-road costs.

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