By on November 14, 2018

Image: Kia Motors

Believe it or not, the Kia Soul has been around for nearly 10 years now, carving a nice niche for itself in the subcompact crossover market and lining corporate coffers with plenty of cash.

Later this month, the company will show its third-gen Soul at the LA Auto Show. It’ll retain a familiar shape if the teaser image is anything to go by. One neat detail buried toward the bottom of the press release? A promise of “several drivetrains,” including what the company calls a “gas-free electric.”

Does this mean we’ll finally see an all-wheel drive Soul? The TTAC magic eight-ball tells us Signs Point to Yes.

To date, AWD hasn’t been part of the Soul playbook, a move that may have made sense when the little trucklet appeared a decade ago. Now, however, such a powertrain option would keep the Soul competitive and even give it a leg up on its competition – especially if Kia can keep a lid on price, which they are likely to do.

There’s a dandy chance the new Soul will share much in the way of mechanical guts with the Hyundai Kona. Its brace of four-cylinder engine options include a 147 hp 2.0-liter and a 175hp 1.6-liter turbo unit. The current turbo Soul, it should be noted, features a horsepower count of 201 but an equal amount of torque as the 1.6T Kona.

Kia regularly sells over 100,000 Souls per annum. You’d have to visit Wall Street to find a place where more souls are sold in a single year. Its best year – Kia’s, that is – was 2016, when 154,768 of the diminutive subcompact crossovers found their way out of Kia showrooms. A combination of attractive pricing, good interior space given its footprint, and a funky style have created a winner for the South Korean brand.

Ages ago, Kia showed a concept called the Track’ster, a modified three-door Soul endowed with all-wheel drive and 250 horsepower. To avoid disappointment, don’t expect that level of grunt from the upcoming machine in LA.

[Image: Kia Motors]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

10 Comments on “Baring Their Soul: Kia Teases an LA Debut...”



Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • FreedMike: This is definitely not good news. China is probably critical to the company’s health.
  • Fordson: Some makes just should never produce SUVs…this is one of them. Look at the Maserati car in the group...
  • FreedMike: Toyota. Why do you think they haven’t invested in EVs?
  • redapple: Who will buy Tesla? GGM?
  • forward_look: Once I bought a ’74 (?) Colt/Mitsubishi for $100 that had the strut towers rusted out. I welded...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States