New face and rear-end design revealed for the first time

The next-generation Kia Soul has been spotted on the streets of Mexico City ahead of its debut this week at the 2018 Los Angeles motor show.

These photos were taken by Donovan Ivan Bernal, and published on the Facebook page of Auto Dinamico.

Apart from a bit of tape on the D-pillar and on the Kia badges, these low resolution pictures give us our first unobstructed look at the exterior of the third-generation Soul.

The new Soul not only has hockey-stick tail-light clusters, but there's also a red bar across the top of the rear windscreen to complete a unique-looking red frame design.

At the front, the next-generation hatch has a thin strip of LED driving lights, which flow directly into an upper grille section.

The main- and high-beam lights are situated in a semi-disguised pod further down the front fascia. Interestingly, the new car doesn't seem to feature the company's signature tiger nose grille.

This prototype wears eye-catching red accents, suggesting it is a GT-Line model. The new Soul will also be available with crossover styling in X-Line models.

Last week, along with photos of the interior, Kia confirmed the new Soul will be available with the choice of two four-cylinder petrol engines for the North American market: a naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre, and a turbocharged 1.6-litre.

The turbo engine can be paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Soul will also be available with an all-electric drivetrain.

We won't have long to see the new Kia Soul in all its high resolution glory with the Los Angeles motor show due to kick off this week.

Australia

The Soul will go on sale in North America during the first half of 2019, but the car's Australian future is uncertain.

A little while back CarAdvice was told the vehicle was "under consideration" for Australia. It's possible the Soul EV could be one of the two all-electric vehicles promised for our market by 2021.