The discontinuation of the six-speed manual transmission coincides with the introduction of the 2016 model year range, which now includes just one variant, the Soul Si six-speed automatic.
The price of the 2016 Kia Soul auto rises $500 to $26,990 plus on-road costs, meaning the price of entry to the Soul range has effectively increased by $2500 with the manual now gone.
The Soul’s exterior paint palette has also been overhauled for the new model year.
Available in the updated range are three two-tone finishes: Newport Blue metallic body with white roof, Inferno Red metallic body with black roof, and Clear White body with red roof. The first two are classed as premium paint options, and cost an extra $620.
The MY16 switch means the Acid Green metallic paint that was the hero colour at the launch of the second-generation Soul is now no longer available, nor traditional blacks, silvers and greys.
There are no changes to the Kia Soul’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which continues to produce 113kW and 191Nm and consumes 8.4 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle.
Kia Australia will be hoping the fresh look gives the Soul a shot in the arm in the market place. Sales are down 21.3 per cent this year to just 70 units to the end of April. Despite the drop, it’s outperforming Toyota’s ancient boxy rival, the Rukus, which has tallied just 55 sales over the same period.