A four-wheel drive Soul could be a game-changer for Kia

As positive as the reviews have been for the Kia Stinger sports tourer, there’s no denying that the quirky, fun-loving Soul crossover still stands as the face of the franchise. The Soul has proven its worth by turning into one of Kia’s most popular models. But as awesome as the Soul has been, there’s always room for improvement. In the case of the funky crossover, that improvement could come in the form of all-wheel drive capability.

As popular as the Soul has become, the one complaint owners had about it was its lack of all-wheel drive capability

This is big news for Kia and the Soul crossover. As popular as the Soul has become, the one complaint owners had about it was its lack of all-wheel drive capability. It didn’t matter at the start when the Soul was selling like lottery tickets, but sales of the crossover have dropped as the model has aged. In 2017, Kia “only” sold a little over 100,000 units of the Soul, a steep decline from its sales numbers the year before when it moved 145,000 units of the crossover. It’s still doing well in the market, but the reality is that the current Soul is aging and in need of a serious update.

Spy photos of what certainly looks like the crossover have been spotted recently so that update is coming, possibly as early as the latter part of the year. Kia needs to roll out a new Soul to stave off rising competition from automakers that have launched new crossovers of their own. What better way to stay ahead of the game than (finally) offering the feature that has eluded Soul owners for years.

Will the Next-Gen Kia Soul Be Available with AWD? Spyshots Exterior
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It’s still doing well in the market, but the reality is that the current Soul is aging and in need of a serious update.

Granted, Kia has given no indication that the updated Soul will, in fact, carry a hybrid system. But I’d like to believe that it’s up for serious consideration for the reasons I just mentioned. There’s no denying that the Soul is arguably one of Kia’s most important models, so it’s important for the Korean automaker to make sure that the aesthetically inclined vehicle remains appealing to consumers as it gets its first major update.

For now, we know that the new Soul will sit on a platform that will also be used by the Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic. Power will likely come from a variety of sources, similar to the setup for the current Soul that can be equipped with either a 1.6-inline four engine that produces 130 horsepower, a 2.0-liter four mill that pumps out 161 horsepower, or an electric powertrain.

The next obvious step for Kia to bring the Soul up to the next level is to give it an all-wheel-drive system. Time to make sure that happens, Kia. Your customers are banking on it.

References

Kia SOUL

Will the Next-Gen Kia Soul Be Available with AWD? Spyshots Exterior
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Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Kia SOUL.

2017 Kia Soul Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Kia SOUL Turbo.

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Read more Kia news.

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