Kia may well possess a difficulty with its Soul subcompact hatchback-and it’s a fantastic problem. Transferring on to your 3rd era with the 2020 model 12 months, Kia has diligently progressed the styling, daring to squeeze out any trace of its signature “tiger nose” grille, but watchful never to stray too significantly within the “tall box” shape of its forebears.
Why? Individuals know this matter if they see it, and so they know who makes it. If cars had egos, most would give their remaining rear shock for that sort of brand recognition. Thus, Kia could need to tread carefully when it’s time for era 4.
The X-Line design gets a beefier, much more SUV-ish glimpse than other Souls, because of rugged-looking matte black human body trim with silver accents, and silver roof trim. Although our tester didn’t have it, two-tone paint is out there as well.
But which is a fret for an additional day. Right until then, Kia has manufactured the Soul a bit much larger, adjusted 1 of its engines, rearranged and augmented the design lineup, ushered in new basic safety tech (at least in higher trim concentrations), and nonetheless kept charges in examine.
Customer Guide’s 1st test of the new Soul arrived in a very Gravity Grey X-Line. The X-Line, which starts at $22,485 with shipping, is actually a new design that, just like a number of other modest hatches and wagons, trades on an off-roader search with no actually incorporating any serious off-road capacity. It incorporates specific lower-body cladding and overfenders, fog lights, roof rails, and precise 18-inch alloy wheels. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob inject a literal contact of luxury in an or else plain inside. Lane-change assist, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic inform provide the X-Line a bare minimum in the sorts of digital safety minders that buyers have arrive at assume recently. (You might have to move as many as the EX and GT-Line models to find the Kia Drive Clever suite of more-advanced energetic basic safety tech.)
The Kia Soul features a pleasingly easy, straightforward command format. Even so, the X-Line design is lacking many of the advantage and protection characteristics of higher-line Soul trim amounts, and there won’t be any upgrade choice packages offered. The rear-seat place delivers sufficient legroom and superb headroom for adult passengers.
Some (nicely, this tester at the least) may find the Soul X-Line refreshingly uncomplicated. The moment settled upon a manually altered fabric seat, the driving force has to insert an ignition essential to get started on. An AM/FM/MP3 radio which is useless straightforward to plan on the 7-inch touchscreen serves your listening enjoyment. (Really don’t stress, it’s obtained Android Car and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration in order for you to march into a different drummer.) The local weather technique is manual, it is single zone, and it’s wonderful. 3 dials-for temperature, enthusiast speed, and mode-let you switch proper towards the effectiveness stage you need. Just 4 more on-off buttons enable you select air-con, rear defrost, and air recirculation or ingestion at a solitary press of the button. You’d like “fragrance launch?” Wear cologne. In this particular enterprise, distant keyless entry, the tilt/telescoping steering column, and steering-wheel controls for audio and cruise management appear to be nearly sybaritic.
Generous cargo volume inside modest exterior proportions has actually been a Soul strong point because working day a person; the redesigned 2020 product offers 24.two cubic toes of cargo house behind the rear seats, and sixty two.one cu. ft. with all the rear seats folded.
The base engine is what powers the X-Line. It is a two.0-liter 4-cylinder linked to a constantly variable transmission (CVT). At 147 horsepower, the 2020 motor is less highly effective as opposed to previous Soul motor in the same displacement. Having said that, it still provides a delightful, helpful level of power (if probably somewhat loud below acceleration), having a pretty slight improve from selecting the “Sport” driving manner. The CVT is programmed to give off the experience of a stepped-gear transmission, which it does convincingly. EPA fuel-economy rankings are 27 mpg in city driving, 33 mpg in freeway procedure, and thirty put together. This reviewer covered 60 per cent of his 192 examination miles in metropolis conditions, and saw just 24.1 mpg, but you’ll see that CG editors’ highway-weighted all round mileage was a great deal far better.
The Soul is a little considerably less subcompact than it was once. The all-new system has 1.2 inches more wheelbase and a couple of.two inches more full size than its instant predecessor. Steering feel is fairly bland although the ’20 Soul handles decently, with pretty good maneuverability for acquiring in and out of parking spaces. Suspension compliance arrives off a bit stiff, so ride can feel firm.
Padded and soft-to-the-touch interior surfaces are minimal, discovered just within the X-Line’s armrests, dash top rated, and console-box lid. So, also, are cabin-storage options. In fact, the one facilities for rear-seat riders are bottle holders while in the doorways. Up front there are actually doorway pockets (with bottle holders), a significant glove box, less-large console box, twin cup holders, and an open bin under the USB port. Luckily, passenger space is far far more ample. There is fantastic headroom and legroom in both row, and cozy support to the entrance seats. In back, a nearly flat flooring might assistance a third person-even a skinny adult-squeeze to the center of your seat.
Kia claims the brand new overall body proportions increase highest cargo capacity by five cubic ft, which the rear liftgate opening is broader and reduce. The manual liftgate offers accessibility into a modicum of usable, easy-loading cargo place during the squarish, flat-floored cargo bay. (Not-too-delicate merchandise may in shape below the ground during the room round the spare tire.) Rear 60/40 seats fold virtually flat to expand cargo potential when needed.
Keeping the Soul getting in anything akin to the well-received deal through which it has wrapped by itself because its debut might be a fascinating trouble for Kia to operate out. Right until then, we will envision that lots of men and women will discover ways to love this newest Soul.
There might be only a standard compact motor vehicle underneath the Kia Soul’s boxy hatchback exterior — it can be approximately a Kia Forte/Hyundai Elantra chassis, but who cares? All those are great compact vehicles, and the Soul turns them into a larger-feeling day by day driver along with the inside place and cargo adaptability little crossover shoppers crave.
The Soul also offers away the massive mystery in entry-level cars in recent times — they’re genuinely superior. Our X-Line Soul, just like the related Elantra and Forte, arrives with a in depth 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Android Automobile and Apple CarPlay — better trims get a more substantial screen and satellite radio with navigation, even so the inexpensive X-Line presents you similar abilities by way of your cellphone. For prospective buyers thinking of a Soul for youthful drivers, Kia delivers critical safety gear even with the funds S trim amount. Which means lane continue to keep aid, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic warn and driver awareness warning are all current even at this rate place. Yes, the inside is usually tough plastics to the sprint and doorways, but structure themes support break it up and several price-sensitive potential buyers would happily go ahead and take superior standard of safety tech about some fake luxe trim — I do know I’d if it were me (or my child) receiving the Soul.
Soul driving dynamics usually are not everything to swoon about, but it is a predictable, easy-to-pilot automobile with excellent visibility and ample power to help keep you out of issues. It really is apparent the brake and steering inputs ended up meant to enchantment towards the “vast center,” offering neither sharp responses nor mushy delays. The Soul is flawlessly sufficient, which is precisely what it ought to be.
Ten years back, just before “subcompact crossover” entered the general public lexicon, a handful of strange imports defied classic classification. Have been the Honda Ingredient, Kia Soul, Nissan Dice, Scion xB hatchbacks, wagons or SUVs? It is nevertheless challenging to state. But we do are aware that the Soul, and that is the only motor vehicle on the batch nevertheless all over, exhibits that Kia features a successful system on its arms.
The 2020 Kia Soul, which can be absolutely redesigned this yr, contains a ton heading for it. Motorists in congested city regions will love its nimble dimension, responsive engine and controlled trip about bumpy pavement. Outside the house the town, the Soul shines with crisp handling and responsive steering. You could up the Soul’s pleasurable element even more by equipping it having a punchy turbocharged motor and also a sport-tuned suspension.
Regardless of where you reside, the Soul’s roomy cabin and useful cargo room help it become a great every day car. We also like its aggressive pricing, which undercuts most rivals with out sacrificing interior materials quality or feature written content.
As with any budget-priced small car or truck, there are a few negatives. All-wheel drive is just not available, which might be considered a deal-breaker for potential buyers in places that have icy or snowy street circumstances. Which sport-tuned Soul, the GT-Line Turbo, suffers from a clunky-shifting transmission along with a harsh trip high-quality. But overall we think the 2020 Kia Soul rises over other subcompact crossovers because of its combination of practicality, affordability and emphasis on pleasurable.
Having a setting up cost of $21,490, the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line can make an incredible selection for those who want a primary Kia Soul that has a minor more character. It is also a persuasive alternative towards the Toyota C-HR. They are about equal on performance, although Kia also builds the greater impressive 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line at the same time.
Yep, that is the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line in the snow storm. (Image: TFLcar)
Neither automobile gives any form of all-wheel drive listed here during the U . s ., irrespective of on the lookout like it. Abroad, the C-HR is available with all-wheel push. In a very feeling, then, they’re extra like lifted hatchbacks than out-and-out crossovers.
There is more to your Toyota: Unquestionably, the Toyota C-HR’s most effective function is its managing. It has a sport-tuned four-wheel independent suspension setup that is downright entertaining to exploit. Steering come to feel and steering excess weight are outstanding to the vast majority of Kia line and also the only technique to out-pace the C-HR is with the turbocharged 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line.
Each automobiles have CVTs that mimic the feel of an automatic transmission. Essentially, they pause a little bit offering the texture of a car transforming gears. It works a little improved to the Soul, but equally cars even now drone somewhat when accelerating. However, it is only obvious once the driver’s a little intense.
From the late 2000s, there were quite a few so-called “box” cars and trucks that came to market place in the U.S. including the Nissan Cube and also the Scion xB. Even so, just one at any time really held any appeal for me individually and it’s now the sole one still left on sale listed here, the Kia Soul. At last November’s L. a. Vehicle Show, Kia unveiled a whole new third-generation Soul that i just got to spend some time with to find out if I nonetheless like it.
The brand new Soul retains the identical primary profile it’s got had with the earlier 10 years which differs a bit with the other box vehicles in which the roof has slight downward slope towards the back again. The Soul under no circumstances experienced the more upright windshield uncovered to the xB and Dice, all of which contributes to offering the Soul a slightly far more sporting stance. Thankfully, all those versions really do not influence the sensible packaging added benefits from the boxy configuration. Inspite of its compact footprint, the Soul presents remarkably sufficient room for travellers and cargo.
Whilst the essential variety continues to be intact, Kia designers have managed to present the Soul a far more contemporary look, selecting up a number of of the at this time stylish structure cues. Up entrance, the formerly unified headlamp cluster has split up as a lot of others much like the Hyundai Kona and Chevy Blazer have lately. A set of slim, horizontal strips supply the daytime working lamp performance while larger blocks down under flanking the grille incorporate the headlamps.
At the C-pillar, the black trim bordering the side home windows flows back again, bisecting the pillar and delivering some the floating roof appear. On the back, the curved, vertical taillamps that flanked tailgate about the former technology now increase many of the way around the top rated and about one-quarter in the way in to the bottom, offering a hoop of light. Over-all, the Soul appears sharp and up to date in 2019, but I simply cannot support but ponder if these at the moment stylish cues might search extra dated inside of a number of several years once the business has moved on.
The brand new Soul is yet again obtainable in battery electrical form even though it now has the much larger 64-kWh battery used in the Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV versions, in excess of doubling range to 243 miles. I haven’t driven that variant but but search forward to it. On the inside combustion aspect, the 1.6-liter in a natural way aspirated four-cylinder which was beforehand offered during the base Soul continues to be dropped in favor of the 2.0-liter four. Nevertheless, this time it is a decrease cost port gasoline injected variation fairly compared to immediate injected motor made use of last year. Output is down a tiny bit to 147-hp and 132 lb-ft but fuel economy is up by three mpg to thirty mpg mixed.
A six-speed handbook transmission is obtainable during the foundation EX trim but all other people aside from the Turbo now make use of a consistently variable transmission. The GT-Line turbo retains the one.6-liter immediate injected turbo and seven-speed dual clutch transmission mix identified in quite a few Hyundai and Kia overall performance types. The 2.0-liter CVT mix truly functions rather well while in the Soul, in particular with all the 100 pound pounds reduction. The manage with the CVT is tuned for being a great deal like a common step ration transmission and it under no circumstances reveals any from the aggravating motorboating have an impact on folks commonly loathe with these transmissions. Over-all the effectiveness is a lot more than ample for any compact car and many drivers are unlikely to obtain any severe grievances. In my own driving, I truly conquer the EPA estimate which has a merged 32 mpg without having actually making an attempt.
For this new era, Kia has expanded the lineup from 3 trim ranges to seven including the X-line correct within the middle. Provided that individuals appear to be scurrying away from cars and towards utility autos as fast because they can, the X-Line will get a certain amount of that faux crossover search that a great number of other smaller autos have nowadays. Which means some silver coloured trim pieces under the entrance and rear fascias as well as the rocker panels that vaguely resembles skid plates, but obviously are not. The good thing is, the greater “rugged” search does not really detract within the all round layout and i could reside with it.
That rugged search is naturally entirely aesthetic with no underlying features to aid off-roading. The strut entrance suspension and twist beam rear axle are pretty typical fare for entry-level cars and trucks and provide remarkably respectable trip quality and managing. The Soul stays relatively flat under-going corners and does not offer a great deal responses through the steering wheel but is sufficiently weighted and goes practically where by you issue it. For procedure off-pavement, you will want to keep on with jogging above rocks no more substantial than standard gravel roadways.
Just about every trim such as the base LX that commences at just $18,500 which includes shipping and delivery involves a 7-inch touchscreen audio system with Apple Carplay and Android Automobile aid too as hill commence help and the now necessary backup camera. The X-Line I drove also incorporated blindspot checking with cross website traffic inform. At $22,500 it did not have other driver assists like lane preserving or adaptive cruise management and beginning the vehicle nevertheless necessary that tried and genuine strategy of really inserting a essential right into a slot.
As standard, Kia is delivering a pretty robust value proposition with the 2020 Soul. For the automobile that may comfortably maintain four grownups and also a bunch of things guiding the seats, provide good gas financial system, a unique feeling of favor and a lot more than suitable general performance, you’d be hard-pressed to locate a better auto during the U.S. current market today for a beginning rate below $20,000.