Future Kia Models

Kia Borrego We heard it would be the Mesa, but the 2008 Kia Borrego is the name of the Korean automaker's new midsize SUV. It will be formally unveiled in January at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show and go on sale in late spring or early summer as a 2009 model. The Borrego shares its body-on-frame layout and major underpinnings with the Kia Sorento, but is expected to feature three rows of seats and accommodations for seven passengers. It will be the first Kia vehicle available in the U.S. with an optional V8 engine, which will provide exceptional towing capacity.

Kia Soul
Forget about the Smart Fortwo, because the real star of next year's microcar class could be the 2009 Kia Soul. First shown as a concept at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show, Kia announced production of the Soul earlier this year. Looking like a slightly taller and boxier Mini Cooper, the Kia Soul has a strangely appealing style for a budget-price hatchback. Although its roof is relatively flat, the Soul's steeply sloping window line gives it a reverse wedge shape that's a little more dynamic than most cars in this class. When it announced production, Kia also said that the Soul would get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive. A five-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift capability would be used as well. Assume there will be a manual transmission of some kind, too. The 2.0-liter engine used in the current-model Kia Spectra puts out just 138 horsepower, so hopefully the Soul will get a slight boost before it arrives next year. Interior shots of the prototypes reveal a dashboard arrangement similar to the concept. There's a large U-shaped center console that houses the climate controls and radio faceplate. The instrument panel is all-new, however, with three large binnacles for the gauges instead of Kia's typical flat panel. Below the main center console, our photographers were able to zoom in on what looks like a USB port, so the possibility of an optional hard drive looks good.

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