The 2010 Kia Soul first entered my purview back in April of this year when I finally got to experience one in the flesh—err sheet metal—on the 2009 Green Car Convoy being put on as part of the lead-in to 2009 Denver Auto Show. The Soul certainly made an impression, even though I did ask what was up with all the “boxy” vehicle debuts for 2009. Now that is has been eight months or so, I was looking back at some of the information on the 2010 Kia Soul and something interesting stuck out; the something was the lack of availability of the would-be base 1.6-liter engine.

Engine - 2010 Kia Soul 5dr Wagon Auto +

Engine - 2010 Kia Soul 5dr Wagon Auto +

If you are saying to yourself that you didn’t know there even was a 1.6-liter engine available, that is really done by design. This may go back to the theory that American’s want bigger engines, but either way Kia expects that only five percent of the Soul models produced a year will have the 1.6-liter motor. Just to recap, the 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is supposed to produce 122 horsepower and only be equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission. The 1.6-liter engine produces only 20 horsepower less than the more common 2.0-liter four-cylinder that the majority of customers will see.

Why? That is a bit of a conundrum, but my theory is that since the 2.0-liter will make it 0-60 mph in the eight second range, the folks over at Kia probably don’t see a market for the 1.6-liter engine given the “need for speed” that the American consumer has the compulsion to experience. Given that there is virtually no test data on the 1.6-liter because Kia didn’t make them available to the press, we can’t even tell you what you are missing. However, if you have your heart set on the smaller engine with the idea that less is more, then prepare to do some searching. You might just find your needle in the haystack.

Read the full review of the 2010 Kia Soul over at our partner site TheCarConnection.com.