Kia Soul

From Kia press: The hugely successful Soul is fine-tuned for 2012 with a significant number of technology and powertrain enhancements to deliver more power and improved fuel efficiency.

"After just two model years, we've given the 2012 Soul significant improvements in power, style and fuel economy, making this iconic vehicle the perfect package for consumers looking for something a little outside the box," said Kia's Michael Sprague. "The Soul has always stood out from the crowd and is responsible for bringing new customers to the Kia brand and positioning the company for a series of record-breaking successes. With gas prices on the rise, this refresh adds even more style and fun-to-drive performance, while also improving fuel economy by 10 percent."

The 2012 Soul will amplify the fun-to-drive factor with significant horsepower increases, new six-speed transmissions and the ability to deliver up to 34 miles per gallon on the highway. A new 1.6-litre GDI engine produces 135HP (100kW), an 11 percent increase from the previous engine). For buyers looking for a greater boost in power, a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is available with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission - advanced technology that is rare in this segment.

This engine, which produces 160HP (119kW), a 13 percent increase from the previous engine, and 143 pound-feet (194Nm) of torque, is standard on the three Soul models.

In addition to the 2012 Soul's performance upgrades, the new model also introduces a number of significant design improvements. On the outside, Soul is freshened with new projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights, a redesigned hood and new front and rear bumpers. New and modern LED rear light clusters enhance the Soul's unique design, while the overall shape of the vehicle has been finessed to give Soul a smoother and more streamlined silhouette.

Soul envelopes its passengers within a more high-tech, futuristic cabin for 2012, featuring a generous blend of technologies at tremendous overall value. Soul was a recipient of the Ward's AutoWorld "Grooviest Interior" award for 2010, and passengers in the 2012 model will find genuine comfort in the roomy cabin.

New for 2012, an Infinity premium audio system is available on Soul+ models and standard on Soul! and Soul sport models for a more robust listening experience. Also new for 2012 is the UVO powered by Microsoft® in-car hands-free communication and infotainment system. A Premium Package is also available with heated front seats, leather seat trim, automatic climate control, and a navigation system among its upscale comforts.

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