The quirky Kia Soul has been surprisingly popular among younger buyers, and its success caught just about everyone off-guard. The only drag to the Soul lineup is the fact that it has limited drivetrain offerings here in the U.S. However, it looks like that will soon come to an end if a report from Motor Trend is accurate.
According to this report, the next-generation Soul is set to receive a sportier version with a peppier engine and possibly all-wheel drive. We’ll start with what Motor Trend says is a done deal; the next-gen Soul will receive a turbocharged engine. Unfortunately, it isn’t some 300-horsepower monster, but rather the 201-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbocharged four-pot that one can find under the Forte SX’s hood. Though it is small in displacement, this little four-banger lays down 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque in the Forte. That’s a nice bump over the current Soul’s 164-horsepower, 2.0-liter engine and plenty to compete with the Juke.
Motor Trend also reports that Kia is considering adding all-wheel drive to the Soul lineup. I have often wondered why Kia never offered an AWD Soul, and I am obviously not the only one. Dealers have reportedly been clamoring for a Soul that has all four wheels powered, and this will add to the Soul’s ability to tackle its key rival, the Juke.
Moreover, Kia is reportedly treading carefully with the design of the third-gen Soul as it understands that a funky design like this oftentimes doesn’t carry on well after two generations. They look awesome for a few years, but the extreme design doesn’t age well. There are also reports that Kia is considering an entire Soul family of vehicles that’ll include a coupe and pickup, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.