Kia Soul is undoubtedly one of the most widely recognized and popular models in the Kia Motors vehicle line-up. Since its conception in the early 2000s, the Soul has transformed and changed in surprising ways, taking shape into one-of-a-kind concept cars and building its reputation as a stylish but practical mobile unit. With its further success as Kia’s one and only electric vehicle (at the moment), this iconic boxy car continues to surprise and impress with its ever growing range of features and upgrades. Discover the past, present and future of the Kia Soul!
First Generation, Kia Soul
Soul Concept 2006
The Soul concept, a predecessor to the current day Kia Soul, was first imagined and presented to global audiences at the 2006 North American International Auto Show. The concept was not realized into a commercial vehicle until late 2008. With a distinctly edgy style and accentuated boxy profile that broke conventional automobile design standards, the Soul was created to appeal to the young and hip.
To showcase Kia’s versatility in design, the Soul was available in several special editions and repurposed as cutting edge concept cars. Sweeping notable awards for its stylistic design and functionality such as the Red Dot design award, the Soul made a successful debut as a game changer for the compact SUV segment.
Houndstooth decal upgrade for the first generation Kia Soul
The Kia Soul was also popularized by the commercial featuring animated Kia Soul hamster characters.
Second Generation, all-new Soul
The Track’ster concept revealed in 2012 served as the foundation for the second-generation Kia Soul. With a new platform, stronger body shell and upgraded HMI interior, the all-new Soul offered larger dimensions, wider stance and sporty silhouette.
The second-generation model also provided upgraded visual elements, offering a broader range of color for the vehicle roof and body panels. The high mounted tail lights, refined wheel design and reworked signature tiger-nose grille was an added touch of sophistication.
With the newest model, Kia created a box car that is fun yet functional. The most notable features are the more dynamic but stable ride and spacious interior cabin. Embracing seamless enhancements and fresh new features over the years, the second generation Kia Soul has become a best-seller among its box car competition.
Following prototype testing that concluded in 2013, the full-electric version of the second generation Soul was unveiled for the first time under Kia’s EcoDynamics sub-brand at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. While it maintains many of the classic design elements of its gasoline/diesel-powered counterpart, the Soul EV features a revamped grille that also serves as a charging port.
Powered by a 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, the Soul EV possesses an all-electric driving range of over 160 km. The DC fast charge feature is estimated to provide a nearly full charge in under 30 minutes. As Kia’s sole electric vehicle, the Soul EV provides high power and fuel efficiency in a fun and attractive package.
Autonomous Soul EV on display at 2016 Geneva Motor Show
The innovations for the Kia Soul don’t stop there. With the unveiling of the Kia’s new DRIVE WiSE sub-brand, the Soul EV underwent another transformation, taking on autonomous capabilities. This addition makes the Soul the most versatile Kia vehicle by far.
While only in the second-generation of its lifecycle, the Kia Soul has embraced endless innovations that have helped it emerge on top as a stylish and quirky segment frontrunner. As the model continues to foreshadow the future, we look forward to more transformations and surprises in store from this uniquely iconic car!
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