The new second-generation Kia Soul is on sale now, with prices starting from £12,600.

Based on the same platform as the Kia Cee’d, the new Soul is longer, wider and lower than its predecessor, and its new dimensions allow for greater cabin space.

Cargo space has seen a boost, too, with 354 litres rising to 1,367 litres with the rear seats folded, and access is improved through the use of a wider tailgate opening.

Two engines are available initially, starting with a 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol unit with 130bhp and 161Nm of torque.  It accelerates from 0-62mph in 10.6 seconds, has a 115mph top speed, and achieves fuel economy ranging from 38.7 to 41.5 mpg depending on model.  CO2 emissions range from 158 to 170 g/km.

The diesel option is likely to be the most popular, and this arrives in the form of a 1.6-litre unit with 126bhp and 260Nm of torque, enough for a 10.8 second 0-62mph time and a 112 mph top speed.  Economy varies from 56.5 mpg for manual models to 47.1 mpg for auto versions, with CO2 emissions of 132 and 158 g/km respectively.

An electric version – the Soul EV – will arrive towards the end of 2014.

Five trim levels will be offered, with the base Start grade including DAB digital radio, tyre pressure monitoring, keyless entry, air conditioning and all-round electric windows.

Connect models add improved trim, 17-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, heated door mirrors, cruise control, Bluetooth, and a reversing camera.

Connect Plus models go on to add an Infinity sound system and satellite navigation.

The Mixx grade features 18-inch alloy wheels, contrasting roof and door mirrors, gloss black bumpers, chrome door handles, LED rear lights, privacy glass, heated front seats, and a chilled glovebox.

The range-topping Soul Maxx adds leather seats, TFT display, panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors and an engine start/stop button.

Prices start at £12,600 for the Soul Start petrol, with the cheapest diesel unit – the Connect 1.6 CRDi – coming in at £16,400.  The Soul Mixx starts from £18,150 with the range-topping Soul Maxx diesel priced at £21,550.

Pricing, Economy & EmissionsMPG (Comb.)CO2VEDIns. GroupOTR
Start 1.6 GDi 130bhp 6-speed manual41.5158G9£12,600
Connect 1.6 GDi 130bhp 6-speed manual41.5158G10£14,800
Connect 1.6 CRDi 126bhp 6-speed manual56.5132E9£16,400
Connect 1.6 CRDi 126bhp 6-speed auto47.1158G9£17,900
Connect Plus 1.6 GDi 130bhp 6-speed manual41.5158G10£15,900
Connect Plus 1.6 CRDi 126bhp 6-speed manual56.5132E10£17,500
Connect Plus 1.6 CRDi 126bhp 6-speed auto47.1158G10£19,000
Mixx 1.6 GDi 130bhp 6-speed manual38.7170H11£18,150
Mixx 1.6 CRDi 126bhp 6-speed manual56.5132E10£19,750
Mixx 1.6 CRDi 126bhp 6-speed auto47.1158G10£21,250
Maxx 1.6 GDi 130bhp 6-speed manual38.7170H11£19,950
Maxx 1.6 CRDi 126bhp 6-speed manual56.5132E11£21,550