Kia’s Soul Searches for Scions
Looks like the original “box” just got replaced
By Blake Muntzinger
Scion, beware. Prospective customers may be doing some Soul-searching when Kia releases its Soul in North America. In Geneva, however, Kia tantalized journalists with three versions of its Soul concept; the finished product will bow at the Paris Auto Show in September.
Each of Kia’s three Souls has a unique “personality”; the “Bad Boy” Soul Burner, the fashion conscious, style-oriented Soul Diva, and the calm, introverted Soul Searcher. Soul Burner features an aggressive and bold black-on-black paint job; do not be surprised if this color scheme makes it to production. However, do not be surprised if its twin vertical exhausts with bumper outlets remain a dream.
One look at Soul Diva (if the name did not give it away), and it is clear this car is geared for women. White metallic paint suits Soul, accentuating its curves, but not the gold trim, which comes off more gaudy than classy. It may leave an impression on the street, but no one said it would be the right one.
Soul Searcher appears to be the hybrid of the two with its quaint, lived-in look. Its interior looks the most production ready, minus the upholstery and patterned dash. Stripping away the concept touches, the Soul’s interior design is simple, but stylish. All center dash controls are easy to read. The area between the 12V power outlet and shifter is open, creating a more spacious feel in the cabin. With Soul, Kia picks up where Scion left off when the second generation xB went on sale.
In many ways, Soul looks like what the xB should have been. It’s dimensions are compact, the squared-off boxy rear, and its high roofline tappers of slightly in the back. It retains its shape without looking bloated.
Kia says the final product will have the best of all three concepts. Since the combinations are endless, we will have to wait until Paris to see if they’re right.
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