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Kia fires up the facelifted Soul with turbo power

Published: 29 September 2016

► Updates to quirky crossover
► 1.6 T-GDI petrol from Cee’d GT
► On sale later this year

Kia’s madcap SUV/crossover/MPV mash-up, the Soul, has been treated to mid-life refresh – and it was unveiled in full at the 2016 Paris motor show.

On the outside the changes are nothing too radical – it’s still unmistakably a Soul. It’s under the bonnet where the most interesting revisions have been made, thanks to Kia fitting the turbocharged petrol engine found in the Cee’d GT – resulting in the most powerful production Soul to date.

How much power does it have?

A Kia Soul wouldn’t be the first car you’d think of to get the 200+bhp turbo treatment, but it’s happened, and we’re not complaining.

It’s the same 201bhp 1.6-litre T-GDI unit you’ll find in the Cee’d GT, and it aids the Soul in sprinting from  0-62mph sprint in 7.5 seconds. Its top speed is a little less impressive, at 122mph, but we suspect few will have issues with that. CO2 emissions of 156g/km are also pretty high. Fuel economy, however, is yet to be confirmed.

Power is sent to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, while there’s a choice of Eco, Normal and Sport driving modes – which alter the steering assistance to suit the driver’s tastes.

What else is new?

It’s the usual facelift fare on the outside, with the new Soul featuring remodelled bumpers, lights and new alloy wheel designs, while the 1.6 T-GDI gets some suitably racy red trim details.

There’s also gloss black exterior trim around the wheelarches, while a beefier body kit is available higher up the range.

2016 Kia Soul

Inside, the fashionable gloss black theme continues with some new trim. Kia’s latest touchscreen infotainment system is present and correct, too, with various screen sizes available, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto both feature.

Kia’s boosted the Soul’s safety credentials as well, adding Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert appearing to the options list.

When can I buy one

Not yet. The car was revealed at the 2016 Paris motor show and will be in showrooms later this year. More details in due course.

See more from the Paris motor show here

By Tom Goodlad

Senior reviewer on our sister website Parkers

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