Kia could possess a problem with its Soul subcompact hatchback-and it is a fantastic difficulty. Relocating on to the 3rd generation for the 2020 model 12 months, Kia has very carefully progressed the styling, daring to squeeze out any hint of its signature “tiger nose” grille, but careful to not stray as well considerably within the “tall box” form of its forebears.
Why? People today know this detail when they see it, and they know who makes it. If vehicles experienced egos, most would give their still left rear shock for that sort of brand name recognition. As a result, Kia might need to tread diligently when it’s time for technology 4.
The X-Line product receives a beefier, extra SUV-ish glimpse than other Souls, owing to rugged-looking matte black human body trim with silver accents, and silver roof trim. While our tester didn’t have it, two-tone paint is obtainable in addition.
But that’s a fret for an additional working day. Until eventually then, Kia has created the Soul a bit larger, altered a single of its engines, rearranged and augmented the model lineup, ushered in new security tech (at the very least in bigger trim concentrations), and nonetheless saved charges in look at.
Shopper Guide’s to start with examination of a new Soul came in a very Gravity Gray X-Line. The X-Line, which starts at $22,485 with shipping, is often a new design that, just like a range of other modest hatches and wagons, trades on an off-roader appear without in fact introducing any genuine off-road capability. It incorporates distinctive lower-body cladding and overfenders, fog lights, roof rails, and particular 18-inch alloy wheels. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob inject a literal touch of luxury within an normally simple interior. Lane-change guide, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic warn provide the X-Line a bare bare minimum of your varieties of electronic basic safety minders that consumers have come to expect in recent years. (You have got to maneuver up to the EX and GT-Line types to find the Kia Travel Clever suite of more-advanced lively security tech.)
The Kia Soul provides a pleasingly easy, uncomplicated regulate structure. Nevertheless, the X-Line model is missing a few of the advantage and safety attributes of higher-line Soul trim concentrations, and there isn’t any up grade possibility offers accessible. The rear-seat region presents adequate legroom and excellent headroom for grownup travellers.
Some (properly, this tester at the very least) may possibly discover the Soul X-Line refreshingly easy. Once settled on a manually altered fabric seat, the driver ought to insert an ignition crucial to start out. An AM/FM/MP3 radio which is useless uncomplicated to plan over a 7-inch touchscreen serves your listening satisfaction. (Really don’t get worried, it is obtained Android Vehicle and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration if you want to march into a distinct drummer.) The local climate process is handbook, it’s single zone, and it is fantastic. 3 dials-for temperature, lover speed, and mode-let you switch correct towards the general performance stage you desire. Just 4 additional on-off buttons permit you select air conditioning, rear defrost, and air recirculation or intake at a one press of the button. You wish “fragrance release?” Don cologne. On this firm, remote keyless entry, the tilt/telescoping steering column, and steering-wheel controls for audio and cruise manage seem to be nearly sybaritic.
Generous cargo volume in just smaller exterior proportions has long been a Soul strong point considering the fact that working day one particular; the redesigned 2020 model presents 24.two cubic feet of cargo space at the rear of the rear seats, and sixty two.one cu. ft. using the rear seats folded.
The bottom motor is what powers the X-Line. It really is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder joined into a constantly variable transmission (CVT). At 147 horsepower, the 2020 motor is a lot less powerful in comparison to the past Soul engine from the same displacement. Having said that, it even now gives a satisfying, beneficial standard of ability (if potentially somewhat loud underneath acceleration), having a really slight boost from choosing the “Sport” driving manner. The CVT is programmed to present from the experience of the stepped-gear transmission, which it does convincingly. EPA fuel-economy ratings are 27 mpg in town driving, 33 mpg in freeway operation, and thirty put together. This reviewer lined sixty p.c of his 192 check miles in city situations, and saw just 24.1 mpg, but you will see that CG editors’ highway-weighted over-all mileage was quite a bit superior.
The Soul can be a small considerably less subcompact than it was once. The all-new system has one.2 inches a lot more wheelbase and a couple of.2 inches much more whole duration than its instant predecessor. Steering experience is pretty bland even so the ’20 Soul handles decently, with pretty good maneuverability for finding out and in of parking spaces. Suspension compliance arrives off a little stiff, so experience can truly feel agency.
Padded and soft-to-the-touch inside surfaces are minimal, found just about the X-Line’s armrests, sprint prime, and console-box lid. So, as well, are cabin-storage prospects. In truth, the one services for rear-seat riders are bottle holders while in the doors. Up entrance there are actually door pockets (with bottle holders), a substantial glove box, less-large console box, twin cup holders, and an open up bin less than the USB port. Thankfully, passenger area is far far more considerable. There’s excellent headroom and legroom in possibly row, and cozy assist to the front seats. In back again, a virtually flat floor could support a 3rd person-even a thin adult-squeeze to the center of the seat.
Kia states the brand new human body proportions boost greatest cargo ability by five cubic feet, and that the rear liftgate opening is wider and reduce. The manual liftgate presents accessibility to some modicum of usable, easy-loading cargo room inside the squarish, flat-floored cargo bay. (Not-too-delicate items may well healthy below the floor from the place across the spare tire.) Rear 60/40 seats fold nearly flat to broaden cargo capability when required.
Trying to keep the Soul entering into a thing akin towards the well-received package deal by which it’s got wrapped itself since its debut will be an interesting trouble for Kia to work out. Until then, we can easily envision that a lot of individuals will find solutions to get pleasure from this newest Soul.
There may be merely a fundamental compact car or truck less than the Kia Soul’s boxy hatchback exterior — it’s about a Kia Forte/Hyundai Elantra chassis, but who cares? Those people are fantastic modest vehicles, as well as the Soul turns them into a larger-feeling every day driver using the inside place and cargo versatility modest crossover purchasers crave.
The Soul also presents absent the large key in entry-level cars today — they’re definitely good. Our X-Line Soul, like the similar Elantra and Forte, will come with a complete 7-inch touch-screen infotainment procedure with Android Vehicle and Apple CarPlay — higher trims get a more substantial screen and satellite radio with navigation, however the reasonably priced X-Line presents you equivalent capabilities through your cellphone. For prospective buyers looking at a Soul for young drivers, Kia delivers significant protection gear even at the spending budget S trim degree. That means lane hold support, blind location warning, rear cross-traffic inform and driver interest warning are all current even at this cost place. Yes, the inside is usually difficult plastics on the sprint and doorways, but layout themes enable crack it up and lots of price-sensitive purchasers would fortunately take the large standard of basic safety tech around some fake luxe trim — I understand I might if it had been me (or my kid) receiving the Soul.
Soul driving dynamics aren’t anything to swoon about, but it is a predictable, easy-to-pilot automobile with exceptional visibility and plenty of energy to keep you outside of trouble. It is obvious the brake and steering inputs were being made to enchantment to your “vast middle,” providing neither sharp responses nor mushy delays. The Soul is beautifully adequate, which can be just what it ought to be.
A decade back, just before “subcompact crossover” entered the public lexicon, a few unconventional imports defied standard classification. Were the Honda Element, Kia Soul, Nissan Dice, Scion xB hatchbacks, wagons or SUVs? It is really still difficult to state. But we do recognize that the Soul, which can be the one car of your batch nevertheless close to, displays that Kia features a prosperous formulation on its palms.
The 2020 Kia Soul, which can be fully redesigned this calendar year, incorporates a great deal likely for it. Motorists in congested urban areas will love its nimble dimension, responsive motor and controlled trip more than bumpy pavement. Outdoors the town, the Soul shines with crisp handling and responsive steering. You could up the Soul’s entertaining element even more by equipping it with a punchy turbocharged engine along with a sport-tuned suspension.
Irrespective of exactly where you live, the Soul’s roomy cabin and helpful cargo area make it a wonderful day to day vehicle. We also like its competitive pricing, which undercuts most rivals without the need of sacrificing interior resources high quality or characteristic articles.
As with every budget-priced tiny auto, there are some drawbacks. All-wheel push is just not readily available, which could become a deal-breaker for potential buyers in sites that experience icy or snowy highway ailments. Which sport-tuned Soul, the GT-Line Turbo, suffers from the clunky-shifting transmission plus a severe journey high quality. But overall we expect the 2020 Kia Soul rises previously mentioned other subcompact crossovers because of its combination of practicality, affordability and emphasis on enjoyable.
Having a beginning cost of $21,490, the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line makes an incredible choice for people who need a standard Kia Soul using a little extra character. It is also a powerful selection versus the Toyota C-HR. They’re about equal on efficiency, though Kia also builds the more powerful 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line likewise.
Yep, which is the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line within a snow storm. (Image: TFLcar)
Neither car presents any form of all-wheel generate below inside the U.s., irrespective of on the lookout like it. Overseas, the C-HR is accessible with all-wheel push. Within a feeling, then, they’re additional like lifted hatchbacks than out-and-out crossovers.
There is more to the Toyota: Without a doubt, the Toyota C-HR’s very best element is its handling. It’s got a sport-tuned four-wheel unbiased suspension set up that’s downright exciting to exploit. Steering come to feel and steering pounds are exceptional to many of the Kia line as well as only method to out-pace the C-HR is using the turbocharged 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line.
Each motor vehicles have CVTs that mimic the feel of an computerized transmission. Mainly, they pause somewhat giving the texture of a auto modifying gears. It really works a little superior on the Soul, but equally vehicles nevertheless drone a bit when accelerating. Still, it’s only noticeable in the event the driver’s a bit intense.
While in the late 2000s, there were many so-called “box” automobiles that came to market inside the U.S. including the Nissan Dice and the Scion xB. Nevertheless, only one ever definitely held any charm for me individually and it is now the only 1 remaining on sale below, the Kia Soul. At last November’s Los angeles Vehicle Display, Kia unveiled a whole new third-generation Soul which i just acquired to spend some time with to discover if I continue to like it.
The brand new Soul retains precisely the same simple profile it has experienced to the earlier 10 years which differs a little bit with the other box automobiles in that the roof has slight downward slope towards the again. The Soul under no circumstances had the more upright windshield observed within the xB and Cube, all of which contributes to providing the Soul a slightly much more sporting stance. Thankfully, these variants don’t impact the practical packaging gains in the boxy configuration. Irrespective of its compact footprint, the Soul presents shockingly ample space for travellers and cargo.
While the fundamental variety remains intact, Kia designers have managed to provide the Soul a far more present-day search, buying up several in the at the moment fashionable design and style cues. Up entrance, the earlier unified headlamp cluster has split up as countless some others like the Hyundai Kona and Chevy Blazer have in recent years. A set of slender, horizontal strips present the daytime managing lamp features while larger sized blocks down beneath flanking the grille include the headlamps.
With the C-pillar, the black trim encompassing the facet windows flows back again, bisecting the pillar and providing a certain amount of the floating roof seem. Within the back again, the curved, vertical taillamps that flanked tailgate within the preceding era now increase many of the way throughout the prime and about one-quarter from the way in over the base, delivering a hoop of light. Total, the Soul appears to be like sharp and present-day in 2019, but I just cannot aid but ponder if these now fashionable cues may well search far more dated in a very couple of many years once the market has moved on.
The brand new Soul is all over again out there in battery electric sort although it now has the larger sized 64-kWh battery employed in the Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV versions, much more than doubling variety to 243 miles. I haven’t driven that variant yet but appear ahead to it. To the internal combustion aspect, the 1.6-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder which was previously out there in the base Soul has actually been dropped in favor from the 2.0-liter four. Even so, this time it is a decrease charge port fuel injected model somewhat than the immediate injected motor made use of last 12 months. Output is down a tad to 147-hp and 132 lb-ft but gas overall economy is up by 3 mpg to 30 mpg merged.
A six-speed handbook transmission is out there within the foundation EX trim but all some others except for the Turbo now utilize a continually variable transmission. The GT-Line turbo retains the one.6-liter direct injected turbo and seven-speed dual clutch transmission blend uncovered in many Hyundai and Kia effectiveness designs. The two.0-liter CVT mix in fact functions really well in the Soul, specially with all the one hundred pound pounds reduction. The handle with the CVT is tuned to be very much like a standard phase ration transmission and it never ever displays any with the annoying motorboating have an impact on individuals usually detest with these transmissions. In general the general performance is much more than ample for your compact vehicle and many drivers are unlikely to acquire any really serious grievances. In my very own driving, I in fact defeat the EPA estimate which has a merged 32 mpg without the need of seriously hoping.
For this new era, Kia has expanded the lineup from a few trim ranges to seven such as the X-line proper during the center. Provided that individuals seem to be scurrying absent from autos and towards utility cars as rapidly since they can, the X-Line will get a little that fake crossover seem that numerous other small automobiles have lately. Which means some silver coloured trim items below the entrance and rear fascias and also the rocker panels that vaguely resembles skid plates, but obviously are usually not. Fortunately, the more “rugged” appear doesn’t really detract within the in general layout and i could live with it.
That rugged appear is obviously wholly aesthetic without any underlying performance to aid off-roading. The strut entrance suspension and twist beam rear axle are fairly regular fare for entry-level cars and supply remarkably first rate journey excellent and managing. The Soul stays somewhat flat going through corners and doesn’t offer significantly feedback throughout the steering wheel but is adequately weighted and goes pretty much where you issue it. For procedure off-pavement, you should stay with operating above rocks no larger than standard gravel roads.
Each individual trim such as the foundation LX that starts off at just $18,five hundred such as delivery involves a 7-inch touchscreen audio technique with Apple Carplay and Android Auto help in addition as hill begin help and also the now required backup digicam. The X-Line I drove also provided blindspot checking with cross visitors notify. At $22,five hundred it did not have other driver helps like lane retaining or adaptive cruise manage and beginning the car nevertheless demanded that attempted and correct technique of truly inserting a critical into a slot.
As normal, Kia is supplying a reasonably solid worth proposition using the 2020 Soul. For a motor vehicle which will comfortably maintain four adults as well as a bunch of stuff behind the seats, deliver decent gasoline financial system, a unique sense of fashion and a lot more than satisfactory overall performance, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better auto inside the U.S. current market at the moment to get a setting up selling price under $20,000.