LA Auto Show: Kia bares its (new) Soul

This is the funky new Kia Soul you probably won’t get to drive. Here’s why…

LOS ANGELES, USA — Fun-lovin’ California seems like the perfect place for a car like the Kia Soul, with its boxy shape and quirky styling, which might be why the Korean carmaker chose to reveal the new, third-generation model to the world at LA.

It has slimmer lights and more sophisticated styling than the previous model, which you might not remember because it never went on sale in Singapore. Drivetrain options include a 2.0-litre engine and, for the racy GT Line model, the chance to have 201hp of turbo power. There is even an all-electric version with a 64kWh battery pack (range unannounced but likely in the region of 400km) made possible by the car’s new platform. 

Alas, none of that matters to us because there are no plans to market the new Soul in Singapore. Why not? It might be a question of demographics. The Soul is aimed at young people, who usually lack the funds for a car in Singapore. Parents wealthy enough to render financial assistance are more likely to lean towards the German or Japanese mainstream, which leaves little chance for the Kia. And that is one possible reason Singapore could remain a place lacking in Soul.

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Leow Ju-Len
Leow Ju-Len is a lot older than he behaves. He's been writing about cars for 23 years. Someday he might do it coherently. Ju-Len believes in world peace and V8s, but not necessarily in that order.