Upgraded Kias arrive in the UK

new-soulAfter their launches at the Paris Motor Show, the 2017 Soul crossover and Carens compact MPV are now on sale in the UK. Both feature upgraded exterior and interior styling, improved standard equipment and, for the first time, Kia says, state-of-the-art connectivity systems.

The Soul line-up now consists of grades 1, 2, 3 and Sport, bringing it closer into line with every other model in the Kia portfolio. Pricing starts at £18,350 for diesel models. The revised Carens diesel range is on sale from £21,790 to £27,790.

The Soul is a five-door, five-seat, front-wheel-drive urban crossover. For 2017 it has a new trim grading structure – badged 1, 2, 3 and Sport – to bring it into one with every other model in the Kia portfolio.

The Urban Styling Pack which was previously an option is now standard – but has been revised and improved.

The addition of the Urban Styling Pack brings a new lower front grille and foglights section with bright silver trims around the foglamps, echoed on the side sill trim. Roof rails are now standard and there are new 16-inch (grade 1) and 17-inch (grade 2) alloy wheels. Multi-focus reflector headlamps continue to feature on grade 1, while grades 2 and 3 have new projection headlamps with black interior bezels. The Soul 3 and Soul Sport have ‘floating’ tweeters with red mood lighting utilising LED technology to create a ripple effect.

The 2017 Soul offers full connectivity with upgraded navigation and multimedia services on grades 2 and above. Kia Connected Services with TomTom is offered with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay once the system has been paired with a compatible smartphone. There is a 7-inch or 8-inch touchscreen display and 3D maps with SD upgrades.

Kia Connected Services with TomTom allows the driver to make phone calls, send and receive text messages and access music apps or audio books using Google Now or Siri voice commands, minimising distraction on the move. On grades 3 and Sport the multimedia system includes a JBL sound system with external amplifier and subwoofer.

Standard features include USB and AUX ports, Flex Steer variable power-assisted steering (except Sport) and a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Also fitted to every model are body-colour bumpers, door handles and side mirror casings, a high-gloss black grille with chrome surround, keyless entry, air conditioning, all-round electric windows, electrically adjustable door mirrors, steering wheel-mounted controls, tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment, a luggage area cover, hooks and light, a trip computer and the refreshed Urban Styling Pack with roof rails.

Grade 2 adds navigation with a 7-inch screen linked to Kia Connected Services with TomTom and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, 17-inch instead of 16-inch alloy wheels, heated door mirrors with high-gloss black casings, automatic light control, high-gloss black interior trim details and satin chrome interior door handles, a leather-covered steering wheel and gearshifter, cruise control with a speed limiter, privacy glass on the rear side windows and tailgate, projection headlamps, rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and automatic air conditioning.

Grade 3 supplements this with 18-inch alloys, chrome exterior door handles, front and rear parking sensors, a cooled glovebox, leather seats (front two heated), a luggage underfloor tray and boot power outlet, a portable LED luggage light, a TFT supervision cluster, an engine start/stop button, aeroblade windscreen wipers, mood lighting around the front door speakers, the JBL eight-speaker audio system, an 8-inch navigation screen and rain-sensing front wipers.

For mainstream models, there are 1.6-litre GDi petrol and CRDi turbodiesel engines. The CRDi diesel is made at Kia’s s manufacturing facility at Žilina, in Slovakia. It develops 134 bhp and 192 of ft lb of torque, and 221 ft lb with the optional 7-DCT transmission. Acceleration from 0-60mph is achieved in 10.8 seconds with the six-speed manual gearbox, while the top speed is 112mph. The respective figures with the 7-DCT gearbox are 10.7 seconds and 113mph.

Manual versions have combined fuel consumption of 58.8mpg with CO2 emissions lowered to 127g/km, while the figures for the DCT have been improved to 56.5mpg and 130g/km.

new-carensThe Carens is Kia’s five-door, seven-seat, front-wheel-drive compact MPV. There are trim grades 1, 2, 3 and 4.

The upgraded 2017 model features new front and rear bumpers, new front grilles, new front fog lights on all but the entry-level version and new rear combination lamps. Front and rear skid plates embellish all models from grade 2 upwards, giving the Carens something of a crossover appearance. The trademark Kia ‘tiger-nose’ main grille is now wider and has a new black or high-gloss black mesh, with a chrome surround. The mesh patterns are repeated in the lower front grilles. There are new 16-inch or 17-inch alloy wheels on all grades.

The 2017 Carens is fully connected through Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom. This is standard from grade 2. The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Kia Connected Services delivers additional, live information to that on the 3D navigation display through TMC (Traffic Messaging Channel). Drivers can be kept up to date about traffic jams, speed camera locations, weather reports and local points of interest information once the system has been paired with a compatible smartphone. When this has been done, the driver can make phone calls, send and receive messages and call up music apps and audio books using Google Now or Siri voice commands to minimise distraction while driving.

The 2017 Carens features new seat materials on models with cloth upholstery. There is a stylish black knit for the entry-level grade 1 and a smart woven pattern in either black or beige for grade 2. The leather upholstery for grades 3 and 4, again in black or beige, is unchanged. Beige upholstery is available only with the new Mysterious Blue metallic paint option.

The centre fascia has been redesigned to accommodate the new 7-inch or 8-inch touchscreen for the navigation, infotainment and connectivity system. This has made space for a neater arrangement for some of the minor controls and information displays: the centre door lock has been moved from the fascia to the door panel, and the air conditioning display is now incorporated within the centre screen rather than on the panel lower in the dash, which now shows airbag and seat-belt reminder details and incorporates the hazard warning light button.

Carens is available with a choice of three direct-injection engines – one petrol and two turbodiesels.

The European-designed 1.7-litre CRDi turbodiesel engines develop either 114bhp with 192 ft lb of torque or 134bhp and 251 ft lb. Those torque figures are maintained over a wide rev range. The standard version now emits only 109g/km of CO2 (previously 117g/km) while fuel consumption improves by a 7.1mpg to 67.2mpg. The corresponding figures for more powerful option are 118g/km and 62.8mpg. The more powerful engine is also available with a seven-speed double-clutch (7-DCT) automatic gearbox, with highly impressive economy and emissions figures of 58.9mpg and 127g/km.

Kia’s Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG) engine stop-start system is standard on all models. This ensures no fuel is used and no CO2 is emitted when the car is stationary in traffic.

The Carens is available with four trim and equipment packages, badged 1, 2, 3 and 4. Standard features include projection headlights with cornering lamps, LED daytime running lamps, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, driver’s seat height adjustment and tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter, a centre console armrest, air conditioning, rear air ventilation, steering wheel-mounted controls, front and rear power windows, cruise control with a speed limiter, remote central locking and Bluetooth with voice recognition and music streaming. Trim grades 1 to 3 also have a rear conversation mirror, which is replaced by the controls for the panoramic sunroof on trim grade 4. The audio equipment in grade 1 is a six-speaker RDS radio/CD player with MP3 compatibility and USB and AUX ports. This model features 16-inch alloy wheels.

Mid-range 2 models now have a 7-inch touchscreen navigation system with Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a rear-view camera, a DAB radio, privacy glass on the rear windows and tailgate, chrome window trim, front fog lights, roof rails, automatic headlight control, rain-sensing front wipers, electrically folding door mirrors with LED indicators and kerbside lamps, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, a luggage net, a portable LED luggage light, rear parking sensors and a reversing camera integrated into the centre fascia screen.

The 3 version is distinguished by 17-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, 10-way electric driver’s seat adjustment, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, aeroblade-type front wipers with a de-icing system, second-row sun blinds.

The 4 versions have the same level of equipment as the 3 with the addition of an 8-inch touchscreen, LED reading lights, a panoramic sunroof, a premium vision instrument cluster, an engine start/stop button, Parallel Park Assist System (PPAS) with Front and Rear Parking Sensors and the eight-speaker JBL audio system including an eight-channel external amplifier and a subwoofer.

All versions are of the Soul and Carens are protected by a seven-year, 100,000-mile transferable warranty. Kia’s Care-3 and Care-3 Plus inflation-proof three- and five-year servicing packages are available.

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