Though Kia has covered the front and rear of the new Soul carefully, the middle section gives it away as the favored transportation of anthropomorphic hamsters. Also, while there are indications there will be significant design changes, the basic formula won't change. It will still have a really thick D-pillar, darkened A-pillar and a roof that gets thinner toward the front. The roof itself also looks a bit taller, although perhaps its just the rear windows that have gotten smaller. It appears the front fascia and windshield will also retain a similar amount of rake to the current models to prevent it from looking overly boxy.
The front end, as camouflaged as it is, also reveals a major lighting change. Instead of the very large headlamps of the last two generations, the forward lighting will be split in two, and the primary illumination looks to be coming from the lower elements. This design follows in the footsteps of Hyundai's Kona and upcoming Santa Fe, as well as the Nissan Juke and previous Jeep Cherokee. The upper elements also look as though they sit lower in the fascia than on past models, perhaps to give the new Soul a more aggressive look. The back is also thoroughly covered up, but we can tell that the high-mounted taillights in the D-pillars will continue. It also looks like they wrap around the bottom of the rear glass this time.
This is the first time we've seen the new Soul, and Kia hasn't said much about its plans for the car. We expect that it will continue to offer at least one naturally aspirated engine, if not two as it does currently, and a peppier turbo model. We would also suspect that all-wheel drive will be on the table to better compete with sub-compact SUVs like the Jeep Renegade and Honda HR-V, which have virtually the same body style as the tall, boxy Soul. Many already consider them rivals and Kia has even hinted at the possibility with its Trail'ster concept.
We'll be keeping an ear to the ground, and an eye on the rear ends of Souls, to learn more in the future.