This is Kia’s mini-MPV – think of it as a Korean Honda Jazz or Toyota Verso. Caught testing for the first time, the new MPV will be based on the Kia Soul and go on sale at the very end of 2009.
Is this car called the Kia Soul MPV?
No, it remains as yet unnamed. But Kia has recently shown off its Soul crossover, which sits on an all-new platform, and this new little MPV spied here will use those underpinnings.
But while Kia’s head of design Peter Schreyer only arrived in time to have a limited influence on the Soul, he will have a much greater say over the look of the new MPV. Expect a grille and headlights influenced by the Kee concept, taking the smart looks of the Soul one step further.
Inside you’ll find lots of clever folding seats and a dash similar to that of the Soul.
What other parts does it share with the Soul crossover?
Expect 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines, both with 124bhp. But the latter will have a strong 188lb ft slug of troque, while the petrol has a weedier 115lb ft. All cars will be front-wheel drive and prices should start at close to £10k, making it a small step up from the Soul.
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Anything else I should know?
Kia is working hard on its eco-technology, and the eco-Ceed concept has shown the way forward. In early 2009 we’ll see a stop-start Ceed on sale, before the end of 2009 when all Ceeds will be available with the full eco-tweaks, including new aerodynamics and low rolling resistance tyres.
This fuel-supping tech will then spread onto other models, so expect it on the Soul and this new MPV by the end of the decade.