The Kia Soul made quite a splash when it was first introduced to market back in 2009, thanks to its edgy looks and compact design. The third-generation of the vehicle, set for release in 2019, looks set to bring a host of features and upgrades, designed to capitalise on the appeal of the original car.
Perhaps the most significant change of all will be the electric-only engine in the UK. Electric vehicles are approaching a tipping point right now where the price of batteries has come down enough to make them economical for a vast swath of buyers. People want electric cars to reduce their fuel expenses, protect the environment, and drive their cars knowing that they’re not causing damage to people's lungs. Now the South Korean carmaker appears to be making a real commitment with the 2019 Soul in the UK, relying on an electric-only option to drive sales. It’s a brave move.
Buyers, however, are likely to be enticed by Kia’s exceptional 10-year/ 100,000-mile warranty - something which will no doubt make more economic sense for the company if it begins selling more low-maintenance, high-mileage electric drivetrains.
Many automakers competing in the small, budget crossover market put a lot of investment into the exterior of their cars, but tend to neglect the interior. It’s the exterior that captures the interest of buyers - or so the logic goes.
But you can tell that Kia does not subscribe to this philosophy. The inside of the Soul is surprisingly plush, with plenty of space for passengers and high-quality materials throughout. For a car in the crossover segment, it’s quite impressive, and you immediately get a premium vibe as you step into the cabin.
Alongside an electric drivetrain, Kia is adding a host of safety features to the new Soul. These include stability control - a system that helps to keep the tyres glued to the road - anti-lock brakes, plenty of airbags, and a collision warning system. There’s also a blind spot monitoring system that will alert drivers if they are at risk of ploughing into a car beside them on the road which can work with the in-built lane-assist technology to prevent blind-spot collisions altogether.
How the Kia Soul will compare the other fully-electric cars on the UK market remains to be seen. It’s clear that Kia will not try to compete with Tesla when it comes to range, but it will offer an electric vehicle in a segment that the US automaker is yet to conquer. Kia says that its car is an “icon of design” and that it will hit the market sometime in 2020, although the exact timetable remains to be thrashed out. An electric version of the old version of the car already made its debut in the UK, with some 350 units selling through UK dealers every year. Kia will hope that the updated all-electric Soul will appeal as a mass-market vehicle, instead of a niche product for motorists with eclectic tastes.
If you would like to find out more, contact us today.