The All-new KIA Soul appealing to the young-at-heart


“Look deep into your Soul…and there you’ll find it…It’s you, an individual, your own person. Whatever your age or lifestyle you have the freedom to choose and be different. The new KIA Soul will allow you to express your personality and set yourself apart from the rest… Make your own individual statement… Soul is a reality” says KIA Motors South Africa’s CEO, Ray Levin.

A bold statement of KIA’s determination as one of the world’s top automotive companies, the new KIA Soul is destined to appeal to a whole new group of consumers. It will appeal especially to the young and the “young-at-heart”.

The passion behind this vehicle arose from the idea to create a rebellious new car for a new generation of drivers. The new KIA Soul is anything but standard. KIA’s suggestion to their customer is to “think inside the box and drive beyond it…” says Ray Levin, from KIA Motors South Africa.

This is a brand new urban crossover packed full of liberating ideas – a car that challenges consumers to ‘free your mind’. This new addition to the range will encourage customers to rethink everything they know about KIA.


Creating a car with ‘irresistible’ customer appeal

The 4.1-metre long KIA Soul urban crossover is a five-door hatchback with front-wheel drive, a high roofline and an unusually long (2550 mm) wheelbase. But the key dimensions behind the Soul’s striking appearance are vertical measurements. Overall height is 1610 mm, the base of the windscreen is 135 mm higher than a typical compact car, the ‘hip point’ is 120 mm higher and the ground clearance is raised by 45 mm to 165 mm. Luggage capacity is 340 liters with the rear seats upright, similar to the KIA Rio hatchback.

“The KIA Soul is all about creating a car that demonstrates KIA’s passion for automotive design… The Soul will get KIA talked about and generate customer appeal that will translate into strong sales,” projects Zian van Heerden, Sales Director for KIA Motors South Africa.

At the front, the Soul’s high bonnet and rounded forms imply power and strength, while the bulging wheel arches and wide track give the car a broad stance that heightens its sense of stability. Large head lamps and a chrome grille give Soul a ‘friendly face’ and the prominent centre bumper shouts ‘tough-not-rough’ style. The A-pillars are masked with a high-gloss black moulding for a wrap-around look that is crucial to the Soul’s appearance.

The profile makes the KIA Soul truly distinctive. At the rear, the view is dominated by the vertical combination rear lamps set into a body colour panel and featuring clear outer lenses. The regular outline of the rectangular tailgate hints at the Soul’s interior practicality, while the KIA badge which doubles as the tailgate handle adds a touch of fun and class.

The five-door, KIA Soul is built on an all-new platform which is an unusually accommodating design, allowing for a wide variation of wheelbase, track and wheel/tyre size. Soul marks the first use of this platform which is scheduled to also appear, in slightly different forms, in future KIA models.

Beneath its uniquely stylish exterior, KIA’s new Soul benefits from a bodyshell that has been engineered to achieve high torsional (twisting) stiffness, which delivers a host of benefits in terms of handling, ride quality, durability, refinement and safety.

Kia vehicle dimensions (mm) for comparison:

  • Kia Rio 4240 Length 2500 Wheelbase 1695  Width 1470 Height.
  • Kia Soul 4105 Length 2550 Wheelbase 1785 Width 1610 Height.
  • Kia Sportage 4350 Length 2630 Wheelbase 1840 Width 1730 Height.

Space to feel free… Distinctive styling like no KIA before!

KIA Motors Corporation Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, has overseen the transformation of the KIA Soul from the 2006 concept fantasy to its 2009 production reality. “The new KIA Soul will be a breakthrough vehicle for KIA on its journey to be seen as a design-led company and the maker of distinctive cars which consumers aspire to own.”

“Conceived in the USA, developed in Korea and fine-tuned in Europe, I strongly believe that the production KIA Soul urban crossover is a completely resolved design that has successfully achieved its own distinctive style.”

“The visual themes and core proportions of the original Detroit Show concept car have been largely retained, while a range of subtle styling and innovative equipment choices have been skillfully created to enable Soul to be tailored to the specific requirements of consumers in different global markets – with cars sourced from a single factory,” adds Schreyer.

KIA Motors’ and its many dealers are confident that when customers first experience the new KIA Soul urban crossover they are going to be deeply impressed by its style, colours, execution, quality, materials, fit and finish. They are equally confident that the spacious cabin will be the brand’s most exciting demonstration (so far…) of its growing ‘Power to Surprise’.

“First impressions will make a big impact and there will be several unique aspects to the experience of sitting in the Soul,” enthuses Gregory Guillaume, Chief Designer, KIA Motors Europe. “The tall doors and high-mounted seats make for easy access, while the ‘laid back’ dashboard, triple dial instrument cluster and thick-rimmed steering wheel create an unusual combination of spaciousness for passengers and cosy-ness for the driver to generate a very special ambience inside this new KIA.”


Driver-focused cockpit and controls

The KIA Soul driver will enjoy the feeling of a ‘compact and sporty’ cockpit with its commanding view of the road, thick-rimmed four-spoke steering wheel, sporty three-dial instrument cluster beneath a tightly curved cowling and bold centre stack design sweeping up and over the dashboard.

The instrument cluster features KIA’s new ‘three-cylinder-style’ family look, housing four gauges – rev-counter (with inset lighting-status advisors), large central speedometer (with lower turn indicator lights) and engine temperature / fuel status, plus a bank of warning lights on the right.

This new-style KIA cluster has red-orange negative LCD illumination for improved day and night visibility, with white figures and graphics against a black background. The
result is a detailed, precise and clear ‘high-tech’ look. All the controls are ergonomically designed to place them within easy reach of the driver’s hands and the overall layout has real elegance.

Innovative Audio

Every KIA Soul in South Africa will be equipped with a factory-fit RDS Radio/CD player with MP3 compatibility, plus USB, AUX and iPod connections in the centre console (to enable Soul owners to play their favourite music through the car’s speaker system), speed rated volume control, six audio speakers – one in each door and two tweeters – a 112 watts output, innovative PowerBass technology and a roof-top antenna. The KIA Soul is fitted with steering wheel mounted audio controls.

The PowerBass system employs psychoacoustic audio technology to overcome the inherent challenges of an in-car sound system – small speakers, harsh environment and obstacles within the interior – and deliver concert hall quality sound with lively reproduction of bass tones.


The KIA Soul offers excellent luggage capacity for this size vehicle – a total of 340 liters with the rear seats upright. The 60/40 split rear seat backrest can be folded down without having to remove the head restraints and the resulting (almost flat) load area can accommodate a total of 570 litres of luggage (without obstructing the windows).


Standard features on the KIA Soul in South Africa will include: 16-inch alloy wheels, 205/55 R16 tyres, body colour side mouldings and door mirror housings, electric front and rear windows, front driver & passenger airbags, head restraints and three-point seat belts for all five occupants, remote release filler flap, rear screen wiper, an RDS Radio/CD player with MP3/AUX/USB iPod connection ports and six speaker, 112-watt audio system and steering wheel mounted audio controls.

The KIA Soul has electric power steering, air-conditioning, tinted glass with shaded windscreen band, central locking, ‘battery saver’ to prevent draining of the battery, electric heated door mirrors, special “Soul Glow” seating fabric, a rear spoiler and front & rear fog lights.


Soul drivers will want to enjoy a particularly responsive and lively performance, so the spirited 1.6-litre petrol engine will deliver an ideal combination of power and economy. The 1.6-litre Gamma petrol engine is equipped with performance-boosting electronic multi-point fuel injection and continuously variable valve timing (CVVT). This all aluminium 16-valve engine generates a maximum power output of 91.2 kW at 6,300 rpm and 156 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm.

Benefiting from a modest kerb weight, the KIA Soul accelerates briskly, delivering acceleration times (to 100 kph) from 10.4 seconds and going on to reach top speeds in excess of 177 kph.

The long wheelbase and wide track (1570/1575 mm front/rear) of the KIA Soul urban crossover have inherent benefits for the car’s ride and handling. The KIA Soul is fitted with a fully independent front and twist-beam rear suspension system designed to deliver responsive handling and a supple ride.

At the front, mounted on the same sub-frame that supports the engine and transmission, the MacPherson Struts have co-axial coil springs, offset for smooth operation, together with offset kingpin geometry and a 4 degree castor angle, designed to provide optimal handling stability and improved ride, while allowing the driver to steer and manoeuvre Soul with minimal effort.

The front suspension geometry ensures minimal camber and castor angle changes for good steering stability under all conditions, and the anti-roll bar is mounted directly onto the shock absorber to maximise its effectiveness.

At the rear, the Soul’s suspension is also sub-frame mounted and employs a transverse torsion beam axle with trailing arms, designed to deliver a smooth ride and to ensure the minimum intrusion into the trunk space.

The coil springs and dampers are mounted separately to ensure smooth operation and minimal intrusion into the cabin/trunk space. In addition, ‘third generation’ hub bearings improve durability and urethane bump stops improve refinement. To optimise use of space, the rear anti-roll stabiliser bar is mounted inside the torsion beam.

Nitrogen gas-filled shock absorbers, tuned to best suit specific market requirements, are standard fit for both the front and rear suspension systems for optimal damping performance and body control.


While developing the all-new KIA Soul urban crossover, company engineers worked hard to ensure that the latest KIA is one of the safest cars on the market. It will be available with a high level of active and passive safety, to fully satisfy the ever-increasing consumer expectations of modern car design. The Soul comes standard with dual airbags.

A four-channel, four-sensor, ABS anti-lock braking system is fitted as standard. The system incorporates an electronic brake force distributor (EBD), helping to distribute braking force evenly between front and rear wheels.

The EBD is able to adapt to individual wheel grip conditions, adding a further degree of control and stability. A single 10-inch booster supplies the braking power and the parking brake is a mechanical unit operating on both rear wheels.


Displacement (cm²) Power


(Nm@r/min)PriceKIA Soul158291/6300156/4200R189 995Nissan Qashqai 1.6 2×4159881/6000154/4400R 220 500Suzuki SX41995107/5800184/3500R 204 900Daihatsu Terios 2×4149577/6000140/4400R 199 995Daihatsu Materia149576/6000132/4400R 164 995Honda Jazz Ex149788/6600145/4800R187 900VW Golf 1.6 Trendline159575/5600148/3800R 214 400


Crossover to KIA and ‘free your mind’ with the Soul

“The new KIA Soul will kick-start the second major change in perceptions of our brand in recent times and will have an enormous effect on our sales in South Africa, says CEO, Ray Levin. With the introduction of the cee’d, our first car designed and manufactured in Europe, we brought about a qualitative revolution for our brand and started the process of changing the way KIA is viewed by customers.”

With the introduction of the new Soul, KIA shows they have their finger on the pulse of consumers and are making a dynamic move forward to spread the appeal of the brand to a previously untapped group of consumers…

The KIA Soul will retail at a suggested retail price of R189,995 and will include a 4 YEAR / 90,000 KM Service plan and a 5 YEAR / 100,000 KM warranty.


KIA Soul urban crossover

Body & Chassis

Five-seater, five-door urban crossover vehicle with an all-steel unitary body-chassis construction.


  • 1.6 Petrol
  • Type Double-overhead camshaft, four-cylinder in-line with CVVT
  • Capacity 1.6-litres, 1591 cc
  • Max power 91,2 kW @ 6300 rpm
  • Max torque 156 Nm @ 4200 rpm
  • Valve system DOHC, 16 valves (2 intake, 2 exhaust per cylinder)
  • Fuel system Electronic multi-point injection


  • Manual 5-sp

Gear Ratios 1.6 MT

  1. 3.615
  2. 1.962
  3. 1.286
  4. 0.971
  5. 0.839


  • 3.545

Final drive

  • 4.267

Suspension & Damping

Front Fully independent by MacPherson Struts, with coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers. Anti-roll stabiliser bar.

Rear Semi-independent transverse twist-beam, with trailing arms, coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers. Anti-roll stabiliser bar.


  • Type MDPS electric power-assisted rack and pinion
  • Ratio / Gearing 14.1:1 / 2.7 turns lock-to-lock
  • Turning circle 10.5 metres (kerb to kerb)
  • Steering wheel 370 mm diameter
  • Steering adjustment Tilt, up/down by total of 40 mm / 5 degrees


  • Power 10 inch single booster
  • Front 280 x 26 mm ventilated discs (all models)
  • Rear 203 mm drums
  • ABS 4-Channel anti-lock system with EBD (all models)

Wheels & Tyres

  • 16 x 6.5-in alloy wheels with 205/55 R16 silica tyres
  • Spare Space saver steel spare wheel and temporary tyre



  • Overall length 4105 mm
  • Overall width 1785 mm (excluding door mirrors)
  • Overall height 1610 mm / 1661 mm (excluding / including roof rails)
  • Wheelbase 2550 mm
  • Track (front / rear) 1570 / 1575 mm
  • Ground clearance 165 mm

Interior Front Rear

  • Head room 1020 mm 1005 mm
  • Leg room 1070 mm 990 mm
  • Shoulder room 1403 mm 1400 mm
  • Hip room 1353 mm 1339 mm

Weights & Capacities

  • Kerb weight (kg) 1170
  • Maximum weight (kg) 1800
  • Fuel tank (litres) 48

Fuel type Unleaded

  • Luggage (VDA)    340 litres (back seats upright, without luggage undertray)
  • 222 litres (back seats upright, with luggage undertray)
  • 570 litres (back seats folded, with luggage undertray)
  • Max roof load (kg) 75


  • 0-to-100 kph (sec) 10.4
  • Top speed (kph) 177

Fuel Consumption (Combined Cycle)

Litres per 100 km

  • 5.1
  • 5.8
  • 6.6

CO2 g/km

  • 137
  • 156
  • 159