We first heard about an all-new Kia Soul back in February, and we haven’t seen very much since then aside from a couple sightings. That’s about to change, because our spy photographers caught a very good, up-close look at the next Soul while it was taking a break from hot-weather testing in Death Valley, California.
Right away we see the heavy camo up front has been replaced with a wrap that no longer hides the lighting. In fact, this next-generation Soul looks to be completely different from the A-pillar forward – it appears a bit wider and longer, and of course the narrow unibrow lighting is new. It certainly gives the popular crossover a modern look, and we suspect Star Wars fans will liken the design to that of a Stormtrooper helmet even more than the current model. We can’t wait to see one of these fully uncovered and finished in gloss white.
There are some new details worth mentioning at the rear as well. A close look at the taillights confirms what we saw in a spy video from a couple weeks ago – there’s definitely a boomerang shape with the lights wrapping around to the hatch. We also see a new center-exit exhaust setup, though it’s unknown if that will be a model-wide thing, or just an option for sporty trim levels.
Speaking of which, our sources tell us the next-gen Soul has the codename SK3 and it will ride on a new front-wheel drive platform that can also accommodate all-wheel drive. The rumor mill is curiously silent on power options and whether AWD will be optional, but given the popularity of AWD in today’s market – not to mention the strong demand from Soul customers for it – we expect Kia will step up to the plate.
As for when we’ll see the new Soul, our bets are on a U.S. reveal at either the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, or early 2019 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.