Kia Soul to get AWD?Tue, 16 Jul 2013 08:58:00 EST
The funky Kia Soul is one of the three affordable, efficient and style-first boxes on sale today (along with the Scion xB and Nissan Cube). Like its competition, it sits atop a front-drive platform with a longitudinally mounted four-cylinder engine.
It's a dandy car in this setup, but it sounds like Kia may be looking to differentiate the Soul from the herd by offering an optional all-wheel-drive system in the future. According to the report filed by Kia World, the popularity of the small, stylish crossover segment is expected to expand considerably over the coming years, especially overseas.
Citing the optional all-wheel drive on the Renault Captur, Ford Ecosport and Opel Mokka (Buick Encore in the US), along with the eventual arrival of a sub-Tiguan Volkswagen, called the Taigun, an all-wheel-drive Soul seems to make a lot of sense for these foreign markets. In the American market, meanwhile, AWD would open the Soul up to a new segment of buyers that like its looks but want all-wheel ability. Kia World is claiming the Soul AWD could hit markets in 2016 wearing a ruggedized version of the sheetmetal shown on the 2014 Soul that debuted in earlier this year in New York. Expect a bit of extra ground clearance to accompany the new drivetrain. Finally, all-wheel drive would likely only be available on the mid-range Soul + and top-spec Soul !.
By Brandon Turkus
See also: Kia builds one millionth vehicle in the US, Rumored Kia Soul EV spied for the first time, Is Kia working on a sporty convertible?.