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 modified motoring my2017 new models update



Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

YOU may not associate Brisbane with a burgeoning art scene, but you’d be mistaken.

Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

The Gresham's charm will win you over before your first sip.

THESE are the perfect places to hang this winter.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

LETTERS: Not being in Hinkler, 'ridiculous'

NO GOOD: A letter writer wants to be part of the Federal seat of Hinkler, not Flynn.

LETTERS to the editor: editorial@news-mail.com.au

SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Why we have a GP shortage

CRISIS: Dr David McDougall outside The Family Practice Medical Centre in Bundaberg, which may have to close if he cannot recruit a GP.

Crisis looming if action isn't taken

Reef now no barrier to dugongs as food source back on menu

PRECIOUS CREATURE: Dugongs are back in the barrier reef after cyclone Yasi depleted their food source and numbers declined.

Dugong calf population shows significant increase

Local Partners

HBO spills new details on Game of Thrones’ final season

JUST ahead of the premiere of Game of Thrones season 7, we’ve been given new details about what to expect from the eighth and final instalment.

Karl’s rant on Corby: ‘Made to look like idiots’

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Today co-host launched a tirade against Schapelle Corby media circus

Big Pineapple festival safety concerns as 100s walk home

LONG WALK HOME: Many festival goers opted to take a dangerous walk home due to transport difficulty following the Big Pineapple Festival in Woombye on Saturday.

Big Pineapple festival-goers have braved dangerous walks home

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

Sally Skelton and Bojesse Pigram pictured after their battle performance on The Voice.

Sunshine Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!