2012 Soul Gains 1,6L GDI Engine, 6-speed Automatic Transmission


Kia introduces refreshed Soul facelift 2012 at the 2011 New York Auto Show.

Kia Soul crossover, a vehicle that began the Korean carmaker’s design-led transformation two years ago, comes back to New York with updated styling and upgraded powertrain technology.

For the 2012 model year, the popular Soul crossover received a significant number of technology enhancements to deliver more power and improved fuel efficiency, says Kia Motors America.

The all-new Kia Soul amplifies the fun-to-drive factor with significant horsepower increases, new six-speed transmissions and the ability to deliver up to 34 miles per gallon on the highway.

Under the hood, the Kia Soul 2012 – model year features the carmaker’s new 1.6L GDI Gamma engine, which generates 135 horsepower (11 percent increase from previous engine).

The more potent 2.0L four-cylinder unit is also available with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.

The 2.0L engine in the Kia Soul 2012 generates 160 horsepower – a 13 percent increase over the previous 2.0L engine.

The 1,6L engine is 10 percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor and has a rating of 28/34 mpg city/highway, while the more potent 2.0L unit achieves 27/33 mpg city/highway.

“After just two model years, we have given the 2012 Soul crossover significant improvements in style, power and fuel economy, making this iconic vehicle the perfect package for consumers looking for something a little outside the box. The Soul crossover vehicle has always stood out from the crowd and was responsible for bringing new customers to the Kia brand and positioning the company for a series of record-breaking successes. With gas prices on the rise, this refresh adds even more style and fun-to-drive performance, while also improving fuel economy by 10 percent,” said Michael Sprague, vice president of Marketing & Communications at Kia Motors America.

Kia Soul 2012 Model Year image gallery:


  1. QUÉBEC 231 says:

    Good morning
    from Québec city, Canada

    I am the owner of a KIA SOUL 2U 2010, with automatic transmission.

    You write :
    – « A new 1.6-litre GDI engine produces 135HP (100kW), an 11 percent increase from the previous engine). For buyers looking for a greater boost in power, a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is available with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission – advanced technology that is rare in this segment »

    1 – What means « GDI » ?

    2 – Is « GDI » will be integrated on the 2.0-litre ?

    3 – How many powers will have the 2.0-litre ?

    4 – When will it be offer in Canada ?

    Thanks for your attention .
    ( Merci beaucoup pour votre attention )

  2. Marc says:


    1) GDI means Gasoline Direct Injection
    2) don’t know
    3) 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine will produce 160HP and 143 lb-ft (194Nm) of peak torque, up from 142HP and 115 lb-ft of the Soul you have now
    4) Probably late August, early September

    Merci, Salut la visite.

  3. RAFAEL MATERA says:


    Do you know when the “new” version (2012) will be offered in Brazil?
    Best Regards…

    Rafael Matera (Rio de Janeiro/Brazil)

  4. biff says:

    Almost crapped my pants GDI comment for minute was thinking new 2012 comming diesel option. Kia would take over USA with inexpensive turbo diesels 1.6 oil burners

  5. In what place will KIA offer this Kia Soul 2012?

  6. Reptile Soul says:

    Wow maybe its the colour of the car, but I am hating it. The only thing that looks better to me is that they improved the grill. I really dont like the tail lights. Guess i will have to wait to see more pics.

  7. Jason says:

    This “refresh” is great! I will have to decide between if I should get the refreshed Soul or the 2012 Rio 5 now…

    Biff I totally agree. Don’t let the Germans rule the diesel market. HKAG needs to step up and fill that void. One engine could be used in multiple models.

  8. phil says:

    the newe soul is a better looker,nothin wrong with the old one,but i think they call this evolution. glad to see more power/torque-that eng combined with 6spd vs 4spd is gonna be a deffinite improvement, plus increased mileage. so what elso do you want. a turbo diesel awd. that’s what. or how bout a turbo gas awd to out juke the juke? make it about 210-225hp awd and that would make me”happier than a pig in slop”. have a good day everyone.

  9. Amy says:

    As always, great Kia shares! As a communicator for project Advanced Technology and Design, I shared this with our audience on the Facebook fan page (www.facebook.com/advancedtechKOR) and twitter (www.twitter.com/advancedtechkr). Come browse the blog for lots of Hyundai and auto related content when you can as well!! (www.advancedtechnologykorea.com). Have a good one and have a happy Friday from Korea!

  10. Bryan says:

    Amy…Kia Motors is basically second ta no one in the world right now. And that includes big brother Hyundai. Ya want a great car with an unbeatable Warranty? Buy a Kia!

  11. Kassandra says:

    They finally put a navigation system in it!!! When is the release date of the 2012 Kia soul because I want it???

  12. Joe says:

    Kassandra, the back up camera is standard in UVO “your voice” equipped Souls. Not a 100% sure, but I dont think the Navigation system is available. the UVo radio does have a big screen like a nav system.

  13. Geri says:

    When will 2012 Kai Soul be available in Hstn?

  14. Sue Robinson says:

    I drove a Kia Soul last week and really love it. I have never felt more comfortable in a car. The vision factor was great and I really loved it. I am planning to buy a 2012 canyon color with matching leather seats. I can hardly wait to get it.

  15. Ben Meyer says:

    Will purchase as soon as 2012 are available.

  16. Charles Payne says:

    Can’t wait to purchase a 2012 soul sport model. Drove a 2011, and loved it. 2012 will be better

  17. Kia Soul is the most spacious wagon in its class. The rivals like xD, Versa and SX4 are kind of more cramped than this one. The styling of course appeals the most.

  18. DRJJ says:

    I don’t like the tail lights either-too big!

  19. Zach says:

    When will the Kia Soul 2012 be available to be purchased in Israel
    Please e-mail me your esponse Thanks

  20. Runnin Okie says:

    Kia Soul Diesel coming to America? We need this car, it would be very timely. VW has the TDI, Mazda is bringing a new SKYACTIV Diesel to the US for 2012 in the Mazda 6. KIA… How about a 2.0 CRDI with higher hp and torque ratings….as well as 1.6 CRDI with lower hp and torque with great MPG??? Be sure to keep your great 100,000 mile warranty. I really believe it would have a very broad market appeal–even with our high diesel fuel prices. How about it KIA???

  21. Runnin Okie says:

    Kia, i forgot to mention 1 thing. When are you going to give us the SOUL AWD??? with DIESEL??? Thank you. phil

  22. Runnin Okie says:

    To “DRJJ” tail-lights perform much more function than just style and looks. I’m a former trucker. It’s very helpful to follow someone with v ery bright LED tail-lights in fog-snow-rain and inclement weather. the height and location of these lights, plus the brightness are a big plus in the safety factor—keep you from being rear-ended when going slow, or if parked on shoulder. Just a little safety TIP, when parking on shoulder always use 4-way flashers–when merging back into traffic always use turn signals. Have a good everyone. phil

  23. Kieran says:

    Hi, i was wondering does anyone know when the 2012 Soul will be available in Ireland, thanks in advance for the reply

  24. pjhay oppus says:

    Hi, i was wondering too, does anyone know when the 2012 Soul will be available in Philippines? thank you.

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