Kia updates Soul for 2012

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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For 2012, Kia has updated its Soul compact hatchback with two new engines, two new transmissions and revisions to the interior and exterior.

The base 1.6-litre engine in the 2012 Kia Soul now features direct injection and generates 138 horsepower, up 16 horsepower over last year. 2012 Souls equipped with the 1.6-litre engine consume 7.4 L/100 km in city driving and 5.6 L/100 km on the highway. A larger 2.0-litre engine is also available and delivers 164 horsepower, up a whopping 22 horsepower over last year. Fuel economy with the 2.0-litre engine is 7.9 L/100 km in the city and 5.8 L/100 km on the highway. Both the 1.6 and 2.0-litre engines are available with new 6-speed automatic or manual transmissions.

Kia says that later this year the Soul will be the first vehicle in its class to feature Idle Stop and Go (ISG) technology. ISG shuts off the Soul's engine when the vehicle comes to a stop, and restarts the engine when the brake pedal is released. In this way, ISG and similar systems help to further reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. An Eco version of the Soul will be offered that makes use of the 1.6-litre engine, automatic transmission, ISG technology and low-rolling-resistance tires to achieve a fuel economy rating of 7.0 L/100 km in the city and 5.4 L/100 km on the highway.

Exterior styling updates on the 2012 Soul include new headlights, taillights, side mirrors and wheels. Inside, the 2012 Soul boasts a tilt and telescoping steering column and a reduction in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) thanks to additional insulation and vibration damping measures.

Other features include (but aren't limited to) a Microsoft voice-activated infotainment system with 4.3-inch touch screen display and rear camera display. There's also a new eight-speaker Infinity audio system, steering wheel-mounted controls, satellite radio and USB and auxiliary input jacks.

In terms of safety equipment the 2012 Soul comes well equipped with front seat active headrests, dual front advanced airbags and also front seat-mounted and full-length side curtain airbags. Other equipment includes an Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a Traction Control system (TCS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), and a Brake Assist System (BAS), plus Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC).

"The Soul is an important vehicle for Kia Canada. From its head-turning design to its functional and inviting interior, the Soul has all the key ingredients to experience success in our market," said Robert Staffieri, Director of Marketing at Kia Canada Inc. "The latest Soul enhances this offering with even greater levels of comfort, power, and efficiency while preserving its cool factor."

In all, there are seven trim levels available including 1.6, 1.6 ECO, 2U, 4U, 4U Retro, 4U Burner, and 4U Luxury. The 2012 Kia Soul is now available in Canada.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Hatchback, Kia, 2012, Soul,

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