Weird Crush Update: Kia's "Soulster" Is The Kia Ray

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

TTAC readers have suffered through my weird crush on Kia’s Picanto/Morning-based “Tam” for months now, patiently indulging my fascination with a car that’s so niche it won’t even be sold in Europe. But with Kia showing off these production images of what will be known as the Kia Ray, it seems that a lot of what I found so beguiling about this A-segment MPV will make it to production. What we’re looking at is a tiny A-segment micro-van, with the Picanto/Morning‘s 1.0 three-banger or 1.25 liter four. And, as we suspected based on early prototype shots, the car has three standard doors and one mini-slider on the passenger side, confirming that this funky little cube is half Kia Soul, half Hyundai Veloster. At a little over $11k, the Ray will also be a relatively cheap Kia, which is why it’s focused on Asian markets like Korea and China… but it’s probably too small to ever make it to the US or Europe. Scion is probably breathing a small sigh of relief…

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Ciddyguy Ciddyguy on Nov 11, 2011

    I like this, reminds me of the old Mitsubishi LRV/Expo tall wagons. The larger Expo sold here in the US as both the Dodge/Plymouth Colt Vista wagons beginning in 1983 and later as the Mitsubishi Expo had conventional doors and was available as a 3 row in some markets. The smaller Expo LRV was a shorter wheelbase version of the same car but it had a single sliding door on the passenger side. However, I do see similarities to the Soul, the Cube in its general shape though. Tall boxy wagons like this are as much hatchback as they are wagons, which is why I've always loved the tall Tercel and Civic wagons of yore over the present day Civic based CR-V, which is more mini SUV in stance than anything else.

  • Niky Niky on Nov 13, 2011

    They'd need to add a turbo to get close to ten seconds. With the 1 liter 3-pot, the Kia Morning takes about fifteen seconds to hit 100 km/h (equivalent to a 14+ 0-60 time). But still... that car has a whole lot of character. I can't wait to get ahold of the Ray. Since Korea is a left-hand drive market, gray imports should come to our shores quite quickly.

  • AZFelix Fun duo who lived and worked in China for many years have a candid and crushing assessment on their EV manufacturing.
  • Vatchy Just think how many electric vehicles could be charged from a new nuclear power plant...
  • Arthur Dailey 'The capitalists will sell use the very rope that we use to hang them.' In our household we have cut down our shopping/spending and pay more to purchase products from 1st world nations or 2nd world nations that are our 'allies'. That also means quite often only buying and eating fruit and vegetables that are in season. Just like our parents and grandparents did.At least TTAC published an article on May 21st regarding LAN transformers that contravene the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act being used in some BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, and VW products?
  • ToolGuy I wouldn't buy any old Chinese brand of vehicle, but the right EV at the right price, maybe possibly yes. If you told me this would alarm Ford and torque off FreedMike, all the better. 😉P.S. I would *definitely* consider an EV made in Taiwan. Take that, paramount leader!P.P.S. China batteries/components to convert one of my ICE vehicles to EV? Yes.
  • Wolfwagen I expect Renault to be less popular than Fiat