Kia has enjoyed a jump in sales for its Soul compact MPV after Pope Francis chose the model for transportation during his recent tour of Korea. The pontiff arrived in Kia’s home country on Thursday 14 , and was picked up from the airport in a black example that appeared to be a standard factory fit. In the nine days since August 11, which overlapped with the Pope’s four-day trip, the daily average number of orders leapt by 62.5 percent to 32.5 units. According to Kia officials, average orders for July were 20 cars per day.
This latest display of frugality from the current Pope is in contrast to his predecessors, who typically chose expensive luxury models with poor economy and high running costs during their international tours.
The Soul was no doubt selected for its green performance and high cabin comfort, with excellent leg and headroom found inside its small dimensions. The exact engine fitted to the Pope’s chosen Soul is unknown, but it would be one of a variety of 1.6-litre GDi and CRDi units. The cleanest is the 126bhp CRDi, which emits just 132g/km. The powertrain is also the most economical, giving up to 56.5mpg with conservative motoring.
Strong sales for the Soul are expected to continue through the year following Pope Francis’ endorsement, and you can discover the vehicle yourself with Lookers Kia in Sheffield and Stockport.