Along with unveiling their newest Rio at the Paris Motor Show, Kia also showed off new versions of the Soul compact SUV and the not-quite-a-CUV, not-quite-a-minivan Carens (which Canadians know as the Rondo). All-new in 2014, the pair receive a mid-cycle update and refresh for 2017.
The Soul gets new front and rear bumpers, with a metallic skid plate to give it a tougher look. There are now optional HID headlights and LED running lights. The Kia “tiger-nose” grille has gotten a new finish as well. Closer to the ground, there are new optional 16- and 17-inch alloy wheel designs.
Inside, the Soul gets a new cloth interior with single or two-tone colour schemes. There are gloss black and metallic trim highlights for a more upscale appearance. Available trim packs give either orange or red highlights to the inside and the outside of the Soul.
The SX trim gets an engine upgrade to a 204 hp 1.6L turbo four-cylinder. That will be combined with a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, a bolder body kit, 18-inch wheels and dual exhaust to provide a much sportier SX than Souls past. It will also get a cloth and leather interior with orange highlights.
A trio of new touchscreen infotainment systems are available, in 5.0-, 7.0- and 8.0-inch sizes. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is available, and there is now a USB charge port for rear-seat passengers. Rain-sensing wipers are now an option, as are blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert.
The the small seven-seater Carens (aka Rondo) gets many of the same changes as the Soul for model-year 2017. There are new front and rear bumpers, an updated grille and new wheel choices, along with new interior materials. It receives the same infotainment systems but gets a new JBL premium sound system.
Both models go on sale later this year.
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