Lifestyle

Australia, are you ready to discovery some Soul?

GOT NO SOUL? A driveaway price of $24,990 and new style and kit means Kia is hopeful Australians finally give its boxy and very fun Soul model a bit of love.
GOT NO SOUL? A driveaway price of $24,990 and new style and kit means Kia is hopeful Australians finally give its boxy and very fun Soul model a bit of love.

HEY, Australia. Where's your sense of fun gone?  

More importantly, where the bloody hell's your soul? Kia's Soul I'm talking. The funky little square box on wheels which despite its fun quirkiness we Aussies refuse to buy.  

It wouldn't be so unusual if the rest of the world eschewed them too. But here's the thing. In America, Kia sells more Souls than any other car in its range. Yes, really.  

2017 Kia Soul.Photo: Contributed
2017 Kia Soul.Photo: Contributed

Not in small numbers either. The Korean brand shifted nearly 150,000 Souls in the States in 2015, making it the best-selling sub-compact car on its market.  

For 2015, our top seller in this segment was the Mazda2. In America, the Soul outsells the Mazda by more than four to one.   

It's a head scratcher for Kia Australia, so for the MY2017 Soul, the brand is getting more aggressive in its efforts to woo buyers. Especially the "hip urban youths" it first targeted from its 2009 launch.  

Prices are down from $26,990 plus on-roads to $24,990 drive away, while exterior styling changes include a refreshed radiator grille, bumper, air intake, fog lamps and wheel design.   

2017 Kia Soul.Photo: Contributed
2017 Kia Soul.Photo: Contributed

Inside there's a refined centre fascia, new cloth door trim, new seat covering and metal painted steering wheel bezel. There's also an upgraded 5.0-inch colour-screen audio unit and a new Drive Mode Select to adjust steering and engine mapping.  

But the most compelling reason to buy one, aside from the eye-catching style, is Kia's seven-year unlimited kilometre warranty and roadside assist. That's of mighty appeal to private and business buyers alike, surely?  

In America, these Souls are ubiquitous as mobile billboards for companies, but the same idea simply hasn't caught on here. The proof? Australians bought just 178 Souls in 2015, and sales have dropped off again in 2016 - we've ordered a mere 65 in 2016 thus far. I reckon businesses in particular are missing a trick here, especially with that unbeatable warranty.  

2017 Kia Soul.Photo: Contributed
2017 Kia Soul.Photo: Contributed

Okay, so it may be a tad plasticky inside, the boot's tiny, it's a bit wanting on the spec front and the Soul can't match its rivals for driving dynamics. But you sit pleasingly high, passenger space is generous and if you like attention, you'll be happy in your mobile style statement.  

Plus, as America proves, if you're into aftermarket modifying, few cars respond better to a touch of personalisation than the Soul. It really is a cult car over there.  

CALIFORNIA SOUL: Americans go mad for modifying Kia Souls.
CALIFORNIA SOUL: Americans go mad for modifying Kia Souls.

From the factory, Australian Souls can be had with single-tone metallic paint for a cheapie $520, while you can go two-tone (a good look for this Kia box) with white body and red roof ($390) or red body with black roof ($910).   

Kia is realistic about where the Soul sits in the hearts of the Australian buying public, admitting it has largely flown under the radar on our shores.  

SOUL STATEMENT: Modified Soul from America.
SOUL STATEMENT: Modified Soul from America.

"The Soul certainly deserves greater recognition than it has enjoyed and with the preferred SUV-like seating position, a willing 2.0-litre engine, a 6-speed automatic and clever interior space we believe it has a strong future in Australia," said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith.

"Even the best can do with a helping hand from time to time, and for Soul the 2017 adjustments are just that - a bit of a boost for what is an excellent vehicle."  

ON TOW: Modified Soul from America.
ON TOW: Modified Soul from America.

It could be make or break for the Soul model in Australia if these latest moves don't see a buck up in sales.

And in a market heavy on vanilla styling, that would be a real loss.  

ERRR....Modified Soul from America.
ERRR....Modified Soul from America.

Topics:  cars news driveaway pricing kia soul modified motoring my2017 new models update



Caravaning on the coast better than Bali?

TRAVELLERS: The Prosser's and Hardwick's are just two of the families that have contributed to the massive 26% increase in caravaning and camping holidays.

Statistics show a huge increase in caravaning holidays.

Smokin' hot for Australia Day

BARBIE BOYS: Brett and Garth Morrison are all geared up for Australia Day with Weber product

At this time of year you often hear, "Come round for a barbie.”

Win an A-League experience

Win a coach's perspective of Coffs' first ever A-League match

Local Partners

41-year-old playgroup under threat of closing down

IT'S been an important part of the Ballina community for decades, but this playgroup could be forced to shut its doors.


Fans invited to meet Jets at training session

FLYING IN: Catch the Newcastle Jets at the free training session at the international stadium on Thursday.

Catch up with the Newcastle Jets at the free training session

Legendary batsman opens up

STAR: Sir Viv Richards.

Cricket hero Sir Viv Richards will tell his tale at Coffs race club

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Elsa voice actor's son hates Frozen

Idina Menzel's son "hates" his mother's most famous film 'Frozen'

Chrissy Teigen likes her "soft" stretch marks

Stretch marks are no problem for Chrissy Teigen

Naomie Harris in the dark over Daniel Craig's future as 007

Naomie Harris has no idea if Daniel Craig will be returning as 007

REVIEW: Will Kasey Chambers' Dragonfly take off with fans?

Kasey Chambers’ new album Dragonfly gets 3.5 stars from Cameron Adams.

CHAMBERS is back with her 11th studio album.

Ed Sheeran wants Beyonce collaboration

Ed Sheeran wants to record a duet with Beyoncé.

Nicole Kidman squirms through questions on Keith

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban

'God, you guys are personal ... that’s for him to talk about'

Steady growth in a Coffs buyer's market

Boambee stood out as the region's most expensive suburb for houses with a $650,000 median sale price.

Lower price ranges stand out as Coffs property best sellers

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Our coastline suburbs offer cheapest beach living in NSW

GOING CHEAP: You can snap up a property at Nambucca Heads for as little as $95,000.

Could you imagine buying a beach property for less than $100,000?

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!