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Kia cooking a success story

Created on 28/02/2015 @ 08:14
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Test Report by Graham Breeze
The Kia Soul arrived in 2008 offering distinctive SUV styling, but despite being one of the first beefy crossovers in the UK sales never really took off.

Now Kia has introduced the second generation model with even more dramatic styling at just the right time with the B-segment SUV market really booming across Europe.

Kia research discovered that buyers are looking for the appearance, semi-elevated position and perceived safety advantages of a 4X4, but without the fuel consumption 
and taxation that all-wheel-drive normally brings to the party

Riding on the same platform as the Kia Cee’d there’s no doubting that this new arrival stands out in any company with the distinctive chunky SUV-inspired looks of the bold original – but with more space.

The SUV look comes thanks to sharp angles and bulging wheel arches while the top spec Mixx 1.6 CRDi on test came with gloss black wheel extensions, 18 inch alloys and roof rails.

This Kia looks good and has performance to match. With 126bhp you can expect a top speed of 112mph, 0-60mph in 10.8 seconds, 56mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 levels of 132g/km.

Inside the cabin you’ll find black woven upholstery, electric windows, tilt and telescoping steering wheel and a funky black high gloss centre fascia containing an eight inch touch screen with all the information you’ll ever need to enjoy the driving experience.

There’s 60/40 split folding rear seats and Kia has worked hard to improve storage space with plenty of extra pockets and cup holders.

Compared to the first Soul, the latest version has a 20mm longer wheelbase and is 15mm wider and is 10mm lower to the ground. Boot space has increased by 14 litres to 354 litres, plus you get extra storage under the boot floor. 

Safety has also been high on the agenda with ABS, electronic stability control, hill start, tyre pressure monitoring, emergency stop signalling with Normal, comfort and 
Sport modes available at the flick of a switch.

There’s front, side and curtain airbags and impact-sensing automatic door unlocking as well as an engine immobiliser.

Improvements to the suspension system mean you get a better ride and feel more confident in corners. The Soul is surprising comfortable on motorways too.

Prices start at £12,600 but the test car would cost you a cool £19,750, which is lot of money for a car of this size. The advantages though include Kia’s incredible seven year or 100,000 mile warranty and roadside assistance for 12 months.

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