The work of Kia’s design team on the second-generation Kia Soul is expected to be under scrutiny at the New York Auto Show. The 2014 Kia Soul will likely be compared with its widely popular older sibling, the first-generation Soul. The Soul, which is the first production vehicle under chief stylist Peter Schreyer, boosted the brand’s styling prestige when the model was launched in 2009.
The Soul, a boxy subcompact having a wide stance, introduced Kia’s "tiger nose" grille, which made its appearance on every new Kia model since.
Kia only expected to sell around 40,000 Souls every year, but managed to sell over 100,000 units in 2011 and 2012. Sales of similarly designed boxy subcompact like the Scion xB and Nissan Cube paled in comparison to the Soul, with figures of under 20,000 units last year.
The 2014 Soul will receive a new exterior and interior styling, while there is little change in its proportions. We could expect Kia to improve on the areas of criticism for the Soul – plastic-like interior and a bumpy ride on less-than-perfect surfaces.
The 2014 Kia Soul will be underpinned by a new platform that will also underpin compact and subcompact cars from Hyundai-Kia. Ed Kim, a former Hyundai product planner now involved with consulting firm AutoPacific, remarked that every successive Kia has “been very appealingly styled and has pushed the design envelope." The 2014 Soul will be rolled out this fall.