Kia Canada launches the new 2012 Soul

Popular urban passenger vehicle builds on successful formula with more power and improved fuel economy, new technologies and updated styling

  • New engines and six-speed transmissions help Soul deliver enhanced performance yet delivers fuel economy rating as low as 5.4 litres per 100 km on the highway
  • Award-winning Soul receives enhancements and new technologies such as LED lighting, a new Infinity® audio system and UVO audio infotainment system

SEATTLE, Sept. 29, 2011 /CNW/ - The product that began Kia's design-led transformation to the Kia line-up has been updated with a freshened look, more power, and the same distinctive personality consumers have come to love from the segment-leading compact crossover. Refined for 2012 with a significant number of technology and powertrain enhancements, Kia's iconic urban passenger vehicle now delivers increased horsepower and improved fuel efficiency as low as 7.0 L/100 km in the city and 5.4 L/100 km on the highway.

Since its debut in Spring 2009, Soul has enjoyed enviable popularity and earned many prestigious awards, including: a 2009 "Top Safety Pick" honours from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), being named a Consumers Digest "Best Buy" for 2010, achieving a "Top Recommended Vehicle for 2011" by Edmunds.com, receiving the "Best Family Cars for 2010" designation by Edmunds.com and Parents Magazine, and being recognized as "Best Hatchback of 2010" by Cars.com.

"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."

The 2012 Soul delivers a healthy 164 horsepower (up 22 horsepower) thanks to a new 2.0-liter engine and 138 horsepower (up 16 horsepower) with a new 1.6-liter engine which features GDI technology. Both engines are now available with new and efficient six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. Later this model year, Soul will be the first among its competitors to offer the fuel saving Idle Stop and Go (ISG) technology, that temporarily turns off the engine when the vehicle is not in motion, such as at a stop light or in traffic. The engine restarts automatically when the driver releases the brake pedal, resulting in lower levels of fuel consumption and emissions.

Fuel economy for the 1.6-liter comes in at a meagre 7.4 L/100 km in the city and 5.6 L/100 km on the highway, while the 2.0-liter offers an impressive 7.9 L/100 in the city and 5.8 L/100 km on the highway with manual transmissions. For 2012, an Eco model will be offered in tandem with the 1.6-litre engine and automatic transmission, which also includes low-rolling-resistance tires. This model will appeal to environmentally conscious consumers with ISG technology and an Active Eco System for optimal fuel-efficient driving. Active Eco System is also standard on every 2012 Soul equipped with the automatic transmission. In addition to these features, ECO's engine uses optimized internals to help achieve 7.0 L/100 km in the city and 5.4 L/100 km on the highway.

The Soul's exterior design has been updated with changes to front and rear fascia to project a wider stance, while new headlamps, taillights, side mirrors and wheels project a contemporary look. In addition to the exterior, all Soul models receive redesigned and upgraded interiors, which yield better noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) reduction qualities, a more refined ride and many new standard features, including a tilt and telescoping steering column, Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC).

The 2012 Soul is available in seven trims - 1.6, 1.6 ECO, 2U, 4U, 4U Retro, 4U Burner, and 4U Luxury - with the base trim offering numerous standard convenience features, including electric power steering (EPS), tilt and telescopic steering column, power windows, door locks and mirrors, heated front seats and Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity. Also standard are front fog lights, auto-off headlamps, body-coloured door handles and outside mirrors, rear wiper/washer, variable intermittent windshield wipers, privacy glass on the hatch and rear side windows, four-wheel disc brakes and 15-inch steel wheels fitted with P195/65R15 tires. The 2012 Soul remains an attractive proposition with a starting price of $16,595.

The 1.6 models equipped with the 6-speed automatic transmission also offer standard air conditioning. The 1.6 ECO proposes standard 16" alloy wheels, satellite radio and keyless remote entry with flip key.

In addition to the 2.0-litre engine, upgrading to the Soul 2U adds side mirrors with integrated turn signals, roof rails, luggage net and front tweeters. Stepping up to the 4U yields 18" alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, power sunroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

As the name suggests, the 4U Retro offers a touch of nostalgia with its two-tone beige/black tartan interior trim but also adds contemporary touches such as auto-dimming rear view mirror and solar glass.

The Soul 4U Burner trim is easily distinguishable from the other models with exclusive projection headlamps with front LED daytime running lights and LED taillights and a rear spoiler.

The 4U Luxury model pampers its occupants with features that include leather seat trim, automatic climate control, navigation system, and push-button start with smart key.

Not only does the Soul have a striking design, it also offers appealing features such as UVO powered by Microsoft®3 voice-activated infotainment system with a 4.3-inch color touch screen and rear camera display matched to an all-new eight-speaker Infinity audio system that enhances the sound with a center speaker, subwoofer, external amplifier and speaker lights in a rainbow of colors that pulse to the beat of the music or add mood lighting.

Soul's interior design is decidedly influenced by the car's highly specified audio system. An uncluttered dashboard with a three-pod instrument cluster, LCD illumination and floating center stack design is the key visual feature and offers instant access to the AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system available with Satellite Radio and three months complimentary service. Standard USB and auxiliary input jacks also can be found in the centre console with full iPod® and MP3 controllability via the audio head unit and steering wheel-mounted controls.

Soul is different, right down to its platform. With its own distinguished style, Soul features front-wheel drive, a high roofline and a wide, distinctive stance. Built with a wheelbase of 2,550 mm, an overall length of 4,120 mm, an overall width of 1,785 mm and overall height of 1,660 mm, the Soul offers a comfortable interior with roomy seating for up to five passengers. Constructed with high-tensile-strength steel to enhance structural strength without adding a lot of weight, the Kia-engineered body achieves high torsional stiffness, benefiting handling, ride quality and refinement.

Soul features an independent, front suspension system with MacPherson struts, coil springs, rear mono-tube gas shock absorbers and stabilizer bar designed to maximize the friction between the tires and the road, providing steering stability with responsive handling to offer passengers optimal comfort. At the rear, Soul's suspension is a transverse torsion beam axle with trailing arms, coil springs and mono-tube shock absorbers for a smooth ride and minimum intrusion into the cargo space. A sport-tuned suspension is standard on 4U trims.

All Soul models continue to offer the same high level of standard safety equipment as in previous years, offering a comprehensive list of safety features, including front seat active headrests, dual front advanced airbags, and front seat-mounted and full-length side curtain airbags14. An Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist System (BAS), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) also are standard, as are front and rear crumple zones, side-impact door beams and Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH).

Kia has undergone a dramatic, design-led transformation, which has been delivering dynamically styled vehicles in several important segments contributing to the brand's continued gains in Canadian market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and brand growth through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technology.

The 2012 Kia Soul is now available in Canadian showrooms.

Like all Kia models in Canada, the 2012 Soul is covered by a comprehensive warranty program, which offers unprecedented consumer protection. Included in this program are a five-year or 100,000-km limited powertrain warranty, a five-year or 100,000-km limited comprehensive warranty, and a five-year unlimited-km anti-perforation warranty. A five-year/100,000-km roadside assistance plan is also part of the comprehensive coverage program.

Kia Canada Inc. (www.kia.ca - www.facebook.com/kiacanada) -- a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart -- is a subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) in Korea was founded in 1999 and sells and services high quality class leading vehicles like the Soul, Forte and Sorento through a network of 172 dealers nationwide. Kia Canada Inc. employs 141 people in its Mississauga, Ontario headquarters and four regional offices across Canada. Kia Motors Corporation continues to showcase the company's global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.

For further information:

Kia Canada Inc. Media Contacts:
Patrick Saint-Pierre
Public Relations Manager
(O): 905.755.6358
(C): 647.462.8986
e-mail: psaintpierre@kia.ca

Cathy Laroche
Assistant Public Relations Manager
(C): 819.350.3463
e-mail: claroche@kia.ca