2009 Kia Soul, Revealed

Illustration for article titled 2009 Kia Soul, Revealed

The first time we saw the boxy little 2009 Kia Soul it was still just a concept, and a funky tribal tattoo-covered one at that. Since then we've had peeks at the production model, but now we get to see the full picture. This is the first official image of the 2009 Kia Soul, and for an econo-box, it doesn't look all too shabby. Think of it as the Korean alternative to the Scion xB, although the original Soul concept was actually a joint-venture between the Kia's design studios in California and Korea, and the actual production model was designed by Kia's European team. But what does all this mean for you?

Well, Kia is trying to double sales in the non-KDM (that's Korean Domestic Market) world by 2010, so the Soul is one of the new models designed to help meet that goal. The other upcoming offering from Kia will likely be an updated Sportage SUV in July, with the Soul coming soon after. In addition, we're expecting to see two new sedans sometime after that. The Soul will be cranked off the production lines in both South Korea and China, although the company's first American plant is set to open in Georgia next year, production of the Soul there is not expected. As for technical specs, not much is certain yet, but we expect a 2.0-liter engine driving the front wheels which should allow for the ability to lug around up to five adults. Hopefully.
[Kia via MotorAuthority]

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This might sound crazy, but I think this thing has the real potential to boost Kia's image with the young folk (and me too). As long as the price isn't too high or the quality too low, this definitely could fill the niche voided by the Scion xB (hat tip to tanooki2003).

I think they've done a very nice job from a design perspective getting this thing to look aggressive, chunky and fun, while maintaining some solid utility. Looking forward to see what engines they give it.