A mildly-updated 2017 Kia Soul has been revealed on the company’s Korean website, bringing a lightly refreshed look and new interior options for the boxy hatch.
While the differences are subtle, the new Soul sports a revised front bumper for a toughened, SUV-like look with a faux skid plate, and more pronounced fog lights.
New multi-spoke alloy wheel designs fill the arches, along with a lightly-revised version of Kia’s ‘tiger nose’ grille. Heated folding exterior mirrors are also featured on the website.
While both the head- and tail lights feature LED technology in the images, these were already available in other markets like the US and Europe, but not in Australia.
Inside, the updated Soul offers more customisation options, along with a flat-bottomed steering wheel.
The exterior and interior revisions appear to be included as part of a “Style Up” package offered in the Korean market, so it is unknown whether these upgrades will make it to the Australian market.
Despite being a slow seller in Australia – with only 52 finding homes year-to-date at the end of July – the Soul has proved very popular in markets like the US, where its boxy styling, interior space and array of personalisation options (most of which aren’t available here) are embraced by a youthful demographic.
It is unknown whether the updated Soul receives any mechanical upgrades. Currently the boxy hatch is powered by a 113kW/191Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Kevin Hepworth, manager of communications for Kia Australia, said the company’s local arm has no official details regarding whether the Korean-market upgrades will make it to Australia, though a new model-year update is scheduled to arrive before year’s end.
Considering the model’s low-selling volumes Down Under, it’s possible we could again miss out on the extensive exterior and interior customisation options offered in overseas markets.
In June, Kia Australia’s chief operating officer, Damien Meredith, said the company is looking to reposition the Soul as an entry-level SUV model to attract younger buyers that may be looking at the Mazda CX-3 or Honda HR-V.
Meredith added that a lower list price than the current $26,990 before on-road costs is also likely, though he shut down any notion of a $19,990 kick-off point.
Little marketing has been spent on the Soul, which hasn’t helped it to make an impact on the Australian market, though Meredith said that’s something the company hopes to change.
“It’s probably a matter for us to get motivated to put the right strategy in. We’re working hard on it,” he said.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more Kia Soul updates in the coming months.
Click the photos tab for more images of the Kia Soul