} ;

LA 2018: Kia launches third-gen Soul

29 November 2018 | by Karl Smith

 A decade ago box cars such as the Scion xB and the Nissan Cube were all the rage. Now a late entry into the box car class has emerged as the last one standing.

The KIA Soul launched its third generation of box car sweetness with a redesign that moves it closer to its CUV competition, while still maintaining its iconic shape.

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A pure-EV version also debuted with a partially-blanked grille

But gone is the cuteness of the original Hamster machine, which had a sort of squared-off Volkswagen Beetle vibe to it. The new nose and skinny eyes are in line with current angry face design trends, but the cheeky fun seems to be lost. 

The side window graphics have changed a bit, as has the bulges around the wheels. The tail lights are a bit more sculptural and now wrap around the hatch instead of merely flanking it.

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The refresh is mostly cosmetic, not a fundamental rethinking of the car. But still, there is a sense that something has been lost, even though in all measurable ways the Soul is a better car. But time marches on, and we should be grateful the Soul still exists. We just wish it had a little more "Hamster" in it.

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Tags:
LA 2018 Kia