Johannesburg – Marketing mavens are always trying to find click-catching new ways to describe a facelifted model, so here we have what Kia is calling the ‘enhanced’ 2017 Soul crossover, released in South Africa this week.

In addition to a number of styling updates, there’s also a new entry-level turbodiesel derivative.

On the outside there are new bumpers at both ends, with metallic-look skid plates for a more ‘tough guy’ appearance, along with a minor update for Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille and new headlight clusters on the top-of-the range Smart models, with the LED daytime running lights moved to the bottom.

Inside, the revisions are more subtle, with new fabric upholstery for the Start, while the Street and Smart trim levels retain their black leather trim with contrast stitching, along with new gloss black and metallic highlights and switchgear.

The Start comes with central locking, a six-speaker RDS radio/CD/MP3 player, USB, Aux and Bluetooth connectivity, electric windows all round and a rear-view camera.

It’s available with either the new turbodiesel or a 91kW/152Nm normally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol four. Standard issue for the petrol derivative is a six-speed manual ‘box, with a six-speed automatic as a R13 000 extra-cost option.

The mid-range Street trim adds the aforementioned leather upholstery, as well as glove-compartment cooling, electric folding mirrors, a smart key with push-button start, and a driver aids suite that includes hill hold and and an electronic stability programme.

Choose from the 94kW/260Nm turbodiesel or a normally aspirated two-litre petrol four rated for 116kW at 6200 revs and 192Nm at 4000rpm, each in manual-transmission format only.

The top-spec Smart boasts front and rear parking sensors, high-intensity discharge projector headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED tail-light clusters, power-adjustable front seats and cruise control.

The two-litre petrol Smart has a six-speed automatic transmission, while the 1.6 CRDI has a new seven-speed dual clutch transmission, which allows the U2 engine to be uprated to a quoted 100kW at 4000 revs and 300Nm from 1900-2750rpm.


1.6 Start 91kW/152Nm R309 995
1.6 CRDI Start 94kW/260Nm R329 995
2.0 Street 116kW/192Nm R347 995
1.6 CRDI Street 94kW/260Nm R376 995
2.0 Smart AT 116kW/192Nm R391 995
1.6 CRDI Smart DCT 100kW/300Nm R431 995

IOL Motoring

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