New 2012 Kia Soul revealed

The boxy, quirky small SUV crossover has been refreshed three years after its launch to include better fuel economy, more power and some subtle changes to the design.

These include a revamp for the front end, including new LED running lights incorporated into the headlamps and a redesigned front bumper and bonnet.

At the back of the car, the rear lights have been tweaked as well and the overall box-like shape of the car has been diluted to give it a more streamlined appearance than the current model.

The five-door layout remains and Kia promises to retain the ‘fun’ of the previous version – possibly hinting at more special editions such as the limited edition Soul ranges released last year.

However, it keeps its high ride height and raised roof to offer practicality in head room for rear passengers.

Under the bonnet, a new 1.6-litre petrol engine matched to a six-speed manual transmission improves power over the previous version by 11 per cent.

Delivering 138bhp, the engine also improves fuel economy by around 3mpg to 34mpg.

"We have given the new Soul significant improvements in power, style and fuel economy, making this iconic vehicle the perfect package for consumers looking for something a little outside the box," said Michael Sprague, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Kia.

Unveiled at the New York International Auto Show, the 2012 Kia Soul also comes with a new infotainment system in the US, although it is not confirmed if this new addition will make it onto UK versions of the car.

Prices for the new 2012 Kia Soul will be announced closer to a launch date in autumn this year.