On Monday, September 22, 2008, Kia Motors debuted Scion xD look-alike, the 2009 Kia Soul, at the Seoul Motor Show in Seoul, South Korea. Intended to be the flagship vehicle for Kia’s brand new design direction, the Kia Soul illustrates the heavy influence of newly hired head designer, Peter Schreyer, formerly of Volkswagen.
Intended to hit dealer showrooms in the U.S. next spring, the Kia Soul’s most distinctive feature is its redesigned grill, which will be used as the “seal” for each redesigned vehicle in Kia’s line-up. Described as an “urban crossover”, the Soul is powered by either an 124-hp 1.6L or 142-hp 2.0L engine and is expected to be extremely fuel efficient. Although official details will be withheld until its grand entrance at the Paris Auto Show in October, the Kia Soul Hybrid concept reportedly averaged 50 mpg, which experts predict will translate to about 30-40 mpg for the production version. Pricing for the U.S. has yet to be announced, but the 2009 Kia Soul is listed in Japan for 14 million won, or approximately $12,600.