The Soul finally becomes the hot-ish hatch it was born to be.

Even before it was launched in 2008, there have been rumors Kia’s funky, chunky Soul would become a turbocharged hot hatchback. It took until the second-generation car received a mid-life refresh, but it has finally come to pass.

Up to a point. The new Kia Soul SX, which debuted at the Paris Motor Show earlier this week, is more of a “warm hatch”. Power comes from a 1.6-liter T-GDI engine that produces 201 horsepower (150 kilowatts) and drives the front wheels through a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox. The 0 to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) sprint is quoted at 7.5 seconds, while top speed is pegged at 124 mph (200 km/h).

It won’t keep up with a Ford Fiesta ST, then, but should be a reasonably punchy performer. It’s just a shame it isn’t available with a manual ‘box, which would make it punchier still and move interactive.

The Soul SX is marked out by a unique front bumper and air intake grille, flared side panels, and 10-spoke, 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside, there’s black cloth and leather upholstery with orange stitching, a D-shaped steering wheel, and orange detailing.

It also adds updates from the facelift applied to the wider Soul range, including a new rear bumper, revised “tiger nose” grille, LED daytime running lights, gloss black finish on the fender trim, and improved interior switchgear.

With the DCT gearbox, Kia has also added a drive mode selector which toggles through Normal, Eco, and Sport settings. Blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert have been added to the driver aids, as well.

Kia hasn't revealed a detailed equipment list for the SX, but the Soul range is now available with a choice of three infotainment systems with 5.0-, 7.0-, or 8.0-inch touchscreens. All are compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Pricing hasn't been announced either, however the revised Soul range is now available to order worldwide.


Gallery: 2017 Kia Soul Paris Motor Show