2012 Kia Soul Subtly Refreshed, gains New 135HP 1.6-liter and 160HP 2.0-liter Engines

Just three years into its sales run, and the Kia Soul is getting fine tuned to improve its place in the market. Set to be unveiled at the New York Auto Show alongside the all-new Rio Sedan that we told you about in our previous post, the 2012 Soul comes with a number of technology and powertrain enhancements and some subtle design updates.

The cosmetic differences on the outside are limited to the new projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights, a redesigned bonnet, restyled front and rear bumpers, plus the new LED tail lamps. Inside, Kia updated its audio offerings and added the new ‘UVO’ in-car hands-free communication and infotainment system. There’s also a new Premium Package with heated front seats, leather seat trim, automatic climate control, and a navigation system.

The most important revisions concern the updated engine range and the introduction of new six-speed transmissions. For 2012, the Soul gets a new 1.6-liter GDI four-pot that delivers 11 percent more power than before at 135HP, while returning 28mpg city and 34 mpg highway (8.4-6.9lt/100km), which translates into a 10 percent improvement over the previous engine.

Those looking for more power can opt for the also new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 160HP and 143 lb-ft (194Nm) of peak torque, up from 142HP and 115 lb-ft of the outgoing unit. The two-liter powerplant also gets new six-speed manual or automatic transmissions. Kia calculates that fuel economy for the 2.0-litre at 27 mpg city and 33 mpg highway (8.7-7.1lt/100km) for both the automatic and manual transmission models.

“After just two model years, we’ve given the 2012 Soul significant improvements in power, style and fuel economy, making this iconic vehicle the perfect package for consumers looking for something a little outside the box,” said Kia’s Michael Sprague.

We’ll have more on the refined 2012 Soul after its official presentation at the New York Auto Show.

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