Our spy shots reveal the new Kia Soul will sport a familiar boxy shape and new Hyundai-style split headlights.
Kia is cooking up an all-new version of its popular Soul compact crossover to keep up with the growing competition and judging from these photos our spies managed to snap of the small SUV undergoing winter testing, it will retain the current model's quirky design. The new third-generation model sports a familiar boxy shape and upturned rear window, and while the camouflage conceals some of the details it also appears to have bulked up since the last model. There are some subtle styling changes, however.
At the front, we can see the new Soul will adopt a split headlight design similar to new Hyundai models. Rumors also suggest the platform underpinning the new Kia Soul will support all-wheel drive to make it more capable off-road. As for powertrains, it seems likely that some of the engine options available for the current models will carry over. Right now, the Soul is available as a base model with a 1.6-liter engine producing 130 horsepower, while the mid-range model is powered by a 2.0-liter unit with 161-hp. Topping the range is a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four unit with 201-hp paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, resulting in a compact SUV that's surprisingly fun to drive.
Plug-in and EV variants should also be available. The current Soul EV recently had a range increase from 93 miles to 111 this year, so the new model may only offer incremental improvements initially. Lane departure warnings and autonomous emergency braking driver assists are also available as optional extras for the current model, but it isn't clear which technology upgrades the next model will come equipped with. As this is our first look at the prototype, we're not expecting to see the new generation Kia Soul arrive in dealers until 2019 as a 2020 model but it could debut at next year's Detroit Auto Show.