Kia’s Soul is here, and looks nearly identical to the trio of concept cars that appeared in Geneva earlier in 2008. The faux-4x4 will be launched at the Paris Motor Show later this year, before going on sale in the UK in March 2009.
Underpinning the Soul is an all-new platform but it will lift engines and transmissions from the Ceed hatch, led by 1.6 petrol and diesel engines. And if the Ceed is anything to go by, the Soul might just be the best Kia yet, with much improved interior quality. Here's hoping.
And what about a picture of this improved interior?
There are no official shots yet but the concepts at Geneva 2008 were 95 percent production-ready. Remove a bit of the concept car bling and you’re looking at a very smart interior (see picture far right).
The Soul is also Kia’s attempt at a specifically youth-orientated product so expect a long list of options like the Mini. However, if Nissan’s faux-4x4 Qashqai is anything to go by the Soul will no doubt end up being quite popular with older buyers, especially as the Kia badge doesn't have enough cachet yet.
Expect prices around £9000, and it will have unusual marketing, we hear. You'll buy a base car and then personalise it with your choice of colours, trims and options (but don't expect Mini-style bills, apparently).