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2009 Kia Soul'ster concept – click above for high-res gallery

Will they build it or won't they? That's the question we've all been asking since Kia showed off its funky Soul'ster concept earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show. We've been hearing rumblings that there's a solid push from inside the Korean automaker's own ranks to put the little trucklet into production, and it appears that's still the case.

Speaking to our friends at PickupTrucks.com at the LA Auto Show, Tom Kearns, Kia North America's Chief Designer, said, "Kia's internal design community is firmly behind building the Soul'ster. We'd like to see it happen. There's no official decision to build it but it's still possible."

The base Kia Soul starts at $13,995, and though we have no idea what Kia might charge the Soul'ster if it were to make it to U.S. dealerships, the open-bed unibody would likely have its own little niche to itself as it figures to be significantly smaller and cheaper than vehicles like the Honda Ridgeline. Would it sell? Let us know what you think in 'Comments.'

[Source: PickupTrucks.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      VehiCross is the first thing that popped into my head, shape-wise atleast. i know they didn't offer soft tops for it, but to actually comment on its looks; I agree, think it would make a good alternative for 16 year old girls that want their daddy to buy a wrangler
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would buy one of these for my spouse, as long as it retains the 5* safety. She loves the way it looks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is among the product planning no-brainers of the decade. It's not only a huge hit waiting to happen but also guaranteed to re-make Kia into a brand people want.

      Anyone remember Volkswagon before the GTI? It was ANYTHING but sporty until that came along. One product, well done and well timed, can change everything.

      The only thing I could see standing in the way is if the product planners want to load it with content or price it out of the sweet spot. If this comes in at $25k or $30k with 500 extra pounds of crap, it's a bust. If it's $18k-22k and stylishly spartan, they won't be able to build enough.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In my view, this is much closer to the Suzuki Samurai than the X-90.

      The Samurai had many faults (too many to list here), but MAN was it a blast to buzz around in! Top off in the summer or blasting through snowbanks in the winter, every ride was a thrill. I had it for many years until I handed it down to my younger brother. He painted it camouflage and used it as a vehicle for hunting trips before selling it off again. To my knowledge, that 1980 Samurai is still buzzing around the northwoods somewhere.

      I can't wait to buy this car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i like it and would definitely drive it if it has a peppy engine.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If the Honda CR-Z and VW Polo 2-door can make the case, why not a 2-door Soul? How many do they have to sell to make a profit?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think it's an interesting concept that would fly. Basically another spin on a convertable. I think it more akin to a convertable Subaru Brat than anything. I don't think it's trying to be a heavy duty truck or anything.

      I find it hilarious how upset everyone is getting, and arguing semantics... No, it wouldn't compete with the Ridgeline or Baja, but it is a car with a quasi bed. And yes, it technically would compete with the Wrangler, in that it's cheap fun transportation with power to four wheels and no roof, and is vaguely truck-ish. I think it's pretty obvious that a person going off road would not drive the Soul, but for the thousands of Wrangler drivers out there that don't, this would be an alternative.

      And in the end, it'll have the subcompact convertible market pretty much too itself. Which I think it's mainly it's cause for creation.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I say heck yes, bring it on! There is a complete void of small fun trucks like this in the U.S
      I for one would buy one immediately. The new Mahrinda pick up will be the only thing out there soon in the small pick up market, if no one else steps up after the Ford Ranger dies.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They can't sell it as a truck due to the stupid chicken tax because this thing is still being built in Korea, i think.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @ CDWRX, the Sidekick wasn't popular in the late 80s as it was released in 1989 and was popular until 1995 or so, sales declined when a FORD official released a bogus study that claimed they rolled over easily.

      I've driven Sidekicks (three) for over 10 years and I've never rolled one although not a month goes by when some peep will stop me in a parking lot and tell me "Aren't you afraid it will roll over?"


      As for the Kia, it's nice and if they make it into a 4x4 I might be interested depending in the pricing.

      My current Sidekick is 12 years old and in mint condition but it can't last forever...

      Specially in Canada.
      • 5 Years Ago
      what's that I smell? reheated Geo Tracker?

      I had one of those little tin cans, great in the snow and on gas...but other than that....noooo way man. I think it would be a popular car with my age group (broke, single, 20somethings) and older people reliving their midlife crisis, and since they blew all their money on that harley, can't afford the Wrangler.

      just my $0.02
      • 5 Years Ago
      how many suzuki sidekicks and geo trackers sold? a little runabout for the sub-urban where you don't have to bring the roof with you
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