If you were wondering why Kia didn’t have a booth at the recent Philippine International Motor Show last month, this is because the Korean brand is in between owners right now. Kia’s majority ownership is in the process of being transferred from Columbian Autocar Corporation to the Ayala Group’s automotive arm. According to industry sources, Kia’s activities are on hold while the transition is taking place.
When Kia is relaunched, the perfect model to reintroduce it to the Philippine market will be the third-generation Soul. The Soul has always represented the fun side of the carmaker, while still showcasing the build quality and solid design it has become known for.
The all-new crossover will be fully unveiled at the LA Auto Show next week, and Kia has released teaser images to hype the arrival. Details are scarce at the moment, but Kia says its quirky model will have advanced driver-assistance systems, improved cargo room, and a more rugged variant called the X-Line.
As with the current Soul, there will be an EV version, but good luck bringing that here given our market’s slow adoption to electric vehicles. Bringing an EV Soul will make a strong statement for the Ayala Group, however, so we hope it’s progressive enough to make a bold product decision.
What we’ll most likely get is either a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine or a 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline mill. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is mentioned as a possible gearbox for the powertrains.
We’ve thoroughly enjoyed driving Kia’s modern lineup, thanks to the generosity of Columbian Autocar Corporation in lending out test units. It’s still one of the most underrated brands in the market, and something we always recommend to people looking for an alternative to the plethora of Japanese badges on the road. If these teasers are any indication, we look forward to getting reacquainted with Kia in the near future.