Starting on March 2009, the new Kia Soul will be sold in the UK. The new Kia, a car-based four-door compact SUV, is targeted at young buyers; a market every automaker covets. The mini-SUV will bank on Kia’s fast-improving brand image, affordability and fuel economy, and will likely go head-to-head with the Mini Cooper or ScionxB.
The compact SUV has been secretly tested on U.K. roads and an arrangement with Lotus has produced a ride and handling package fit for UK driving. Specific suspension packages were also developed for Kia Souls bound for the US and European markets.
Kia Motors UK, Managing Director, Paul Philpott said, “Soul is a very exciting product for Kia and for our customers. It has a unique look and style and will bring something fresh to the UK market with several innovations. We firmly believe that customers who have never considered a Kia before will look at Soul and see it as a viable option when it comes to buying a new car.”
‘The result of our partnership with Lotus is a more composed ride which we think is much more suitable to what our roads can throw at Soul, and additionally, it is also a more exciting car to drive,’ continued Philpott.
The Kia Soul should be similar to other Kias: standard antilock brakes and an antiskid/traction-control system, front side airbags and curtain side airbags covering both seating rows. The EX version is likely to come with added conveniences like airconditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, keyless entry, high end stereo, and possibly 17- or 18-inch wheels.