The Auto Expo 2018 in Delhi is exciting for a lot of reasons. There is the slew of electric cars and concepts coming in, indicating that the Indian automotive industry may be seeing a big shift soon. And there is the arrival of a big new player into the market: South Korea-based Kia. Hyundai’s more premium brand has come to the expo with a very impressive global lineup, and one of them is the Kia Soul, a mainstay and popular compact SUV in international markets for quite a while now. (LIVE updates on Auto Expo 2018)
The Kia Soul is, in all likelihood, coming to India as part of Kia’s debut in the country. The automaker is already well into setting up operations, and will be looking to bring its A-game to the highly competitive industry. Plus, the Soul has already been seen testing in India, according to some sources. The Kia Soul is also a legitimate best-seller for the automaker in several international markets. A test mule has already been spotted in West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh is the site for Kia’s plant, with an expected production capacity of 300,000 cars every year.
Kia plans to bring its cars into the Indian market in 2019, with the Soul expected to come sometime in the middle or at the later end of the year. With the compact SUV market on the rise, Kia would be keen in bringing its Soul soon. When it does launch, it will take on the likes of the Ford EcoSport and the current leader of the segment: the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. The Soul should be priced at around INR 7.5 lakhs to 12 lakhs, on road.
Look under the hood, and you will find a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and an 1.4-litre diesel engine. Both engines will come mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, with an automatic transmission option for the petrol variant. This is important, because the only other compact SUV with an automatic gearbox variant is the Ford EcoSport at the moment. The engines and the specifications are the same as that on the Hyundai Carlino, by the way. In fact, you’ll find plenty of parts being shared between Kia and Hyundai cars.