• Kia Soul

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    Kia’s all-new Soul arrives in the Philippines with a diesel engine. PHOTO BY DYLAN AFUANG

    Kia’s all-new Soul arrives in the Philippines with a diesel engine. PHOTO BY DYLAN AFUANG

    KIA said the second-generation Soul will exceed the expectations of the model’s loyal fans, as well as draw more people to it, thanks to styling that’s inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept car and the combination of character and quality it has always been known for.

    Of course, it does not hurt that the new Soul also looks a lot like the original.

    The distributor of the brand in the Philippines, Columbian Autocar Corp. (CAC), displayed the latest Soul at the recent Manila International Auto Show, where the car promised to continue on its path as Kia’s most popular export model.

    Compared to its predecessor, the new Soul is larger, with easier access to its cargo bay and more space for people. Kia said a few millimeters made all the difference in terms of convenience and comfort as the latest car has more head, shoulder and rear legroom. Seating with folding options makes for flexible cabin arrangement.

    In contrast to the original Soul’s totally boxy lines, the new model has more a circular theme, especially in its cabin. Deeply recessed round gauges reside within the instrument cluster while the steering wheel-mounted audio and trip computer controls are also housed in circular groupings.

    Lifted off from the Track’ster’s circular references, the new Soul’s center console also has a rounded gearshift as more sculpted circles surround the power windows and door locks, and the front-door mounted speakers. First-rate quality materials are used throughout the car’s cabin, with soft-touch materials wrapping over the instrument panel, center console and door panels.

    Kia said its new Soul also boasts significantly improved driving dynamics courtesy of its FlexSteer and Motor Driven Power Steering systems that allow for different settings for different driving preferences. Drivers can choose between Normal, Comfort and Sport modes to match their desired effort in turning the wheel.

    An all-new platform made of 66-percent ultra-high-strength and high-strength steels support the latest Soul’s body shell. Structural adhesive applied around the car’s door, tailgate and roof have led the model to become 29-percent more rigid than the original Soul, benefitting steering, handling and ride, as well as reducing noise, vibration and harshness levels.

    Another advantage afforded by the increased rigidity is that it makes the car safer; the new Soul has been awarded a five-star safety rating by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    In the Philippines, the new Soul initially arrives with a 1.6-liter CRDI diesel engine that can be matched to either a six-speed manual transmission or a multi-mode automatic gearbox.

    CAC has set an introductory price of P970,000 for the new Soul.

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