The funky Kia Soul is one of the three affordable, efficient and style-first boxes on sale today (along with the Scion xB and Nissan Cube). Like its competition, it sits atop a front-drive platform with a longitudinally mounted four-cylinder engine.

It's a dandy car in this setup, but it sounds like Kia may be looking to differentiate the Soul from the herd by offering an optional all-wheel-drive system in the future. According to the report filed by Kia World, the popularity of the small, stylish crossover segment is expected to expand considerably over the coming years, especially overseas.

Citing the optional all-wheel drive on the Renault Captur, Ford Ecosport and Opel Mokka (Buick Encore in the US), along with the eventual arrival of a sub-Tiguan Volkswagen, called the Taigun, an all-wheel-drive Soul seems to make a lot of sense for these foreign markets. In the American market, meanwhile, AWD would open the Soul up to a new segment of buyers that like its looks but want all-wheel ability. Kia World is claiming the Soul AWD could hit markets in 2016 wearing a ruggedized version of the sheetmetal shown on the 2014 Soul that debuted in earlier this year in New York. Expect a bit of extra ground clearance to accompany the new drivetrain. Finally, all-wheel drive would likely only be available on the mid-range Soul + and top-spec Soul !.


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  • 46 Comments
      Jeff Gilleran
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not a bad idea to have AWD. Problem is.. Cost. The Soul is already dangerously close to a Subaru with this potential offering in that department, and for instance, with the Impreza, you get a little better gas mileage. The only big thing going for the Soul is Funk factor. To me, it is interesting looking, but it is mostly a box. Id have a harder time considering the Soul with AWD when I have the ability to buy a Scoob for around the same price. I'm kind of in the middle on this one.
        Bernard
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jeff Gilleran
        While I can understand why a performance enthusiast would feel this way, I highly doubt that Kia is too worried about Subaru. The Soul moves more units than the Impreza by far. Also, a Soul has way more interior space. So there's probably not too much cross shopping between these two cars.
      drewbiewhan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Now it'll get even worse mileage!
        BB79826
        • 1 Year Ago
        @drewbiewhan
        Go away, troll. It's faster and gets better gas mileage than the xB. It's a brick, of course it doesn't get 40mpg.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BB79826
          [blocked]
        Matrix
        • 1 Year Ago
        @drewbiewhan
        Since when does any awd vehicle get good gas mileage?
      ChaosphereIX
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nothing different about AWD in a small tallHatch/microSUV. Encore [Trax too here in Canada] already has it, as does the Juke. Kia isnt trying to be different, they are playing catchup!
        Snark
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ChaosphereIX
        We're talking about the American market, first off, and aside from the Juke there's nothing in the size and price class that offers AWD. The Encore is much more expensive and luxury-oriented, and it compares much more directly with the Countryman - not the same market, not the same buyers.
          jrmosery86
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Snark
          Also the Encore looks the one of the Soul's dancing hamster friends.
      Drezz
      • 1 Year Ago
      I keep waiting for word on a Soul TURBO. Turbo AWD would be even better.
        ChaosphereIX
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Drezz
        Get an Encore, tune it. Or get Juke AWD. There you go. The Soul Turbo, it it comes to be, will be a laggy dissapointment, just like the Veloster Turbo.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ChaosphereIX
          [blocked]
          Drezz
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ChaosphereIX
          A tuned Encore... that would be an interesting creature.
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ChaosphereIX
          The 2.0T would make this thing a rocket with AWD. Skip the 1.6.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ChaosphereIX
          [blocked]
          Snark
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ChaosphereIX
          Oh, I see, you're one of those posters.
        Slideways
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Drezz
        ^ Tuning a Buick .... Encore? I almost spat out my coffee there.
          Caprice Dates
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Slideways
          Almost knocked over my iced coffee on that one!
          ChaosphereIX
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Slideways
          I said that because the Encore is underpowered - a tune fixes that. And the 2.0T in the Optima et al. is a fine engine, no argument there. Was not talking abou those cars. I was talking about the 1.6T in the Veloster Turbo...like I said in my post. It is a laggy underperforming mill. Stick it in the Soul AWD and it will be more of the same. Although, truth be told, will probably feel very much like the Encore now...overtaxed and underpowered.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        foxtrot685
        • 1 Year Ago
        You make it sound like once Kia adds AWD, they can't add anything else to the lineup in the future. It isn't an "either A or B, but not both," situation.
      S40Powered
      • 1 Year Ago
      Really? This will be like the fakey AWD of the Sportage/Tucson/Sorento.
      xersn
      • 1 Year Ago
      since the theme was rats cruisin' in the city head-bobbing to tunes in past commercials.. guessing the next theme could be rollin' in snow with white hip hop Arctic fox occupants for the AWD version..
      SpecB-56
      • 1 Year Ago
      Its longitudal? not traversal!?
      speterjr
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's. About. Time.
      subierider
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wish Kia will bring Ray here.
      red1992v6rs1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great news! My friend could have used this a couple of years ago when he drove his Soul into a ditch.
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