Saturday, April 23, 2011

2012 Kia Soul

2012 Kia Soul
2012 Kia Soul
When Scion released the second-generation xB in 2008, many fans of the original, smaller xB were disappointed and upset at the larger, heavier replacement. Ever the opportunist, Kia seized the moment and introduced its Soul urban crossover/tall mini-wagon/CUV/whatever around the same time, and offered fans of the genre something a little closer to the original xB in spirit. While we don't have any solid data on how many first-gen xB buyers opted for the Soul over the second-gen xB, we'd venture to guess it was more than a handful.
Well, fans of the Hamsters' favorite ride will have even more to get excited about for the 2012 model year, as Kia is introducing two brand-new engines to the Soul, both direct-injected, and offering solid improvements in power and fuel-efficiency over their predecessors. The base engine will be a 1.6 liter direct-injection four-cylinder producing 135 horsepower and 121 pound-feet of torque. Mated exclusively with a new six-speed manual, this combination is good for 28 city and 34 highway miles per gallon. Not enough power for you? Try the 2.0-liter direct-injection engine, good for 160 horsepower and 143 lb.-ft., offering a still very good 27/33 rating. The added bonus with the bigger engine is the availability of a six-speed automatic transmission for the three-pedal-challenged.
In an update that's sure to be a hit with the Soul's target demographic, available LED running lights and taillight clusters on the Soul! (Exclaim) model add a touch of high-tech class to the exterior, along with projector-beam headlamps. New for 2012 is an Infinity premium audio system, and Kia's UVO (think Sync) system on the Soul! and Sport trims. An available premium package adds heated leather-trimmed front seats, automatic climate control, navigation, and push-button start. All Souls feature standard air conditioning, power windows, locks and mirrors, and Sirius-ready radios.
Pricing info was not released, but prices are expected to be close to current models, comparably-equipped.

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2012 Kia Soul
2012 Kia Soul


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