"It's fun, it's distinctive and if you don't 'get it', you're too old" said Steve Chalmers, editor of Fast Car magazine, about the new Soul Burner when it was chosen as 'Best New Model' for 2009 in the annual Fast Car magazine Awards.
First shown as a concept at the Detroit motor show in 2006, the Kia Soul emerged as a trio of concepts at Geneva in March 2008 and finally in full production-ready guise at Paris in September 2008 before going on sale in the UK at the start of March this year.
Readers of Fast Car magazine define trends and help to set the style for the modified car culture.
Steve Chalmers added; "Kia has taken a concept car, kept the best attributes and put it on the road. We couldn't believe that Kia had followed through from an awesome concept to production with the 18-inch wheels, dragon decal and distinctive red detailing. We're looking forward to seeing more Kia motors in the pages of Fast Car in the future."
The UK model range has taken it's inspiration from the Geneva trio, adopting a five model line-up - entry-level Soul 1, volume model Soul 2 and the 'Soul Originals', made up of three unique characters. The Soul Samba, Shaker and Burner take on individual styles and looks. Samba, only available in Tornado Red, features 18-inch five spoke alloy wheels, privacy glass and an eight-speaker stereo system with sub-woofer and separate amplifier.
Shaker wears Vanilla Shake paintwork, houses a vivid houndstooth interior and clever reversing camera with a display in the rear view mirror whilst Burner takes it to the extreme - black paintwork, black wheels, bright red front grille and matching red wing mirrors. The whole car is emblazoned with a silhouette of a dragon in contrasting dark grey.
Paul Philpott, Managing Director, Kia Motors UK Ltd., said "Fast Car knows what it's readers like and there's no hiding from their straight talking opinions. Kia may not have been the first choice brand for the Fast Car treatment in the past, but this award shows that Kia is moving in the right direction, offering new and unique products appealing to much a wider audience".
The Kia Soul is available from all Kia dealers now with prices starting at under £10,500.Published 12 March 2009