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Kia India files trademark for Kia Soul! Coming soon?

The sub-compact crossover could come in either ICE or EV guise.

Kia Soul started as an ICE-powered sub-compact SUV back in 2008, whereas, in 2014, it received an EV sibling for the international markets. Now, looking at the response to the SUVs from the Indian audience, Kia is bringing the Soul here, albeit it is yet to be decided as to what will power the SUV – a conventional ICE or electricity.

The Soul has a tallboy look and is quite the looker when compared with its rivals. Some of the key features include sleek full-LED headlights with LED DRLs, a large front grille, trapezoidal fog lamp casing, and sporty 18-inch alloys. At the back, you get boomerang-shaped taillights and dual exhaust with chrome tips in the centre.

Switch to the inside and you’re welcomed by a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone app connectivity, an 8-inch HUD, a fully-digital instrument cluster, a 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, 8-way power front seats, leather upholstery, heated seats, automatic climate control, and much more.

Mechanically, the ICE version of the Soul is offered in two states of tune – a 1.6L turbo-petrol or a 2.0L naturally-aspirated petrol unit. In the former, you get 198bhp and in the latter, you have 145bhp available. The turbo-petrol motor comes mated to a 7-speed DCT while the naturally-aspirated motor can be had with either a 6-speed MT or a CVT.

In its EV guise, the Soul makes just over 200bhp and 395Nm of torque from a 64kWh battery that offers 450km of range on a single charge. The battery can be fully topped up in 9.5 hours via an AC charger and in an hour via a DC charger. The Soul EV also comes with four driving modes: Eco, Eco+, Comfort, and Sport.

Back in last year’s Auto Expo, Kia did showcase the Soul EV, but Manohar Bhat, Head (Sales & Marketing), Kia (India), was persistent that the EV would not sell well because of the low demands. “We got a lot of feedback from customers at the Auto Expo 2020 about the Soul. The Soul is a very young and different-looking vehicle. While the Soul EV might not be a viable solution for India right now, its Soul is available in other powertrains and it is well worth looking at. We have got very positive feedback about the design of the Soul. We will look at the Soul or a similar vehicle for the Indian market going forward. We are seriously looking at it and we’ll bring it only after checking out on how the market is progressing.”

Well, if anything, I am sure that Mr. Bhatt would’ve gotten the answers he was looking for as India is quite serious about EVs. The only concern is that since the Soul sold internationally measures over 4,000mm in length, it will attract the same GST pricing as the Kia Seltos, meaning directly importing it would be even worse for Kia, so the only viable option is to locally manufacture it, thus meaning it has to be placed in between the Sonet and the Seltos.

Editor’s note: The only problem that the Soul brings in is that the media houses who called the WagonR ‘ugly’ will be using the term ‘stylish’ for the Kia Soul because well… they need cars from Kia! So, in a nutshell, the Soul is ugly… especially that rear end. Although, the inside is a typical Kia/Hyundai cabin with good quality touches all around and SCREENS! Because a car is all about how many screens it has.

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Chirag Khanna

I can look at the headlights of a car and can tell which car it is. I am an automobile and motorsports (specializes in F1) geek, for starters. For the main-course, I write.

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