Kia might have a problem with its Soul subcompact hatchback-and it’s a great problem. Relocating on to your third generation for that 2020 model calendar year, Kia has very carefully advanced the styling, daring to squeeze out any hint of its signature “tiger nose” grille, but thorough not to stray as well considerably from the “tall box” form of its forebears.
Why? People today know this issue after they see it, and they know who can make it. If cars and trucks experienced egos, most would give their remaining rear shock for that kind of name recognition. Thus, Kia may perhaps need to tread carefully when it’s time for era 4.
The X-Line product gets a beefier, extra SUV-ish seem than other Souls, owing to rugged-looking matte black overall body trim with silver accents, and silver roof trim. Even though our tester did not have it, two-tone paint is out there too.
But which is a fear for another day. Till then, Kia has created the Soul a little more substantial, improved a single of its engines, rearranged and augmented the design lineup, ushered in new safety tech (at the least in larger trim concentrations), and continue to retained price ranges in check out.
Consumer Guide’s 1st check of a new Soul arrived in a very Gravity Grey X-Line. The X-Line, which starts at $22,485 with shipping and delivery, is really a new model that, similar to a amount of other tiny hatches and wagons, trades on an off-roader search without having actually including any authentic off-road ability. It contains exclusive 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 touch of luxury within an or else basic inside. Lane-change help, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic warn give the X-Line a bare least from the varieties of electronic safety minders that consumers have come to expect in recent times. (You may have to move as many as the EX and GT-Line versions to get the Kia Travel Clever suite of more-advanced lively basic safety tech.)
The Kia Soul has a pleasingly basic, uncomplicated handle layout. Having said that, the X-Line model is lacking a lot of the comfort and safety options of higher-line Soul trim stages, and there won’t be any enhance solution deals available. The rear-seat spot presents ample legroom and outstanding headroom for grownup passengers.
Some (well, this tester not less than) may possibly find the Soul X-Line refreshingly easy. Once settled upon a manually adjusted fabric seat, the driving force ought to insert an ignition important to start out. An AM/FM/MP3 radio which is useless straightforward to software with a 7-inch touchscreen serves your listening enjoyment. (Do not fret, it’s bought Android Car and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration if you’d like to march to the diverse drummer.) The climate program is handbook, it is solitary zone, and it is incredible. A few dials-for temperature, supporter velocity, and mode-let you turn ideal to your functionality stage you desire. Just four additional on-off buttons enable you choose air conditioning, rear defrost, and air recirculation or consumption at a single push of the button. You would like “fragrance launch?” Dress in cologne. On this organization, remote keyless entry, the tilt/telescoping steering column, and steering-wheel controls for audio and cruise control feel just about sybaritic.
Generous cargo volume inside of tiny exterior dimensions has become a Soul forte considering that working day 1; the redesigned 2020 model offers 24.two cubic feet of cargo place powering the rear seats, and 62.1 cu. ft. while using the rear seats folded.
The base motor is exactly what powers the X-Line. It is a two.0-liter 4-cylinder connected to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). At 147 horsepower, the 2020 engine is considerably less impressive compared to the prior Soul motor of your exact displacement. That said, it nevertheless provides a pleasing, valuable level of power (if maybe slightly loud underneath acceleration), having a extremely slight improve from picking the “Sport” driving mode. The CVT is programmed to offer from the come to feel of a stepped-gear transmission, which it does convincingly. EPA fuel-economy rankings are 27 mpg in city driving, 33 mpg in highway procedure, and thirty put together. This reviewer included sixty % of his 192 check miles in metropolis disorders, and noticed just 24.1 mpg, but you are going to see that CG editors’ highway-weighted in general mileage was a great deal much better.
The Soul is often a minimal considerably less subcompact than it used to be. The all-new platform has one.2 inches far more wheelbase and a pair of.two inches a lot more full size than its instant predecessor. Steering really feel is fairly bland but the ’20 Soul handles decently, with very good maneuverability for obtaining out and in of parking areas. Suspension compliance arrives off a little rigid, so ride can experience organization.
Padded and soft-to-the-touch inside surfaces are confined, uncovered just to the X-Line’s armrests, dash best, and console-box lid. So, much too, are cabin-storage chances. Indeed, the one amenities for rear-seat riders are bottle holders from the doors. Up entrance you will find door pockets (with bottle holders), a considerable glove box, less-large console box, twin cup holders, and an open up bin less than the USB port. Luckily, passenger room is much far more ample. There’s excellent headroom and legroom in either row, and comfy assistance over the entrance seats. In back, a virtually flat floor could possibly assist a third person-even a skinny adult-squeeze into the middle of the seat.
Kia states the new system dimensions improve highest cargo potential by five cubic ft, which the rear liftgate opening is broader and decrease. The guide liftgate gives access to some modicum of usable, easy-loading cargo area in the squarish, flat-floored cargo bay. (Not-too-delicate goods could in good shape under the ground inside the space throughout the spare tire.) Rear 60/40 seats fold practically flat to increase cargo capability when desired.
Preserving the Soul stepping into one thing akin for the well-received deal wherein it’s got wrapped alone considering the fact that its debut will probably be a fascinating dilemma for Kia to operate out. Until eventually then, we can easily picture that quite a bit of individuals will see tips on how to enjoy this latest Soul.
There might be only a simple compact auto below the Kia Soul’s boxy hatchback exterior — it is really about a Kia Forte/Hyundai Elantra chassis, but who cares? Those are exceptional modest automobiles, as well as the Soul turns them right into a larger-feeling daily driver along with the interior space and cargo flexibility small crossover shoppers crave.
The Soul also gives absent the large secret in entry-level autos nowadays — they are actually fantastic. Our X-Line Soul, such as the related Elantra and Forte, comes by using a in depth 7-inch touch-screen infotainment procedure with Android Vehicle and Apple CarPlay — larger trims obtain a more substantial display screen and satellite radio with navigation, though the cost-effective X-Line presents you identical abilities as a result of your mobile phone. For prospective buyers thinking about a Soul for youthful motorists, Kia delivers important protection equipment even for the price range S trim stage. Which means lane hold aid, blind place warning, rear cross-traffic notify and driver attention warning are all existing even at this cost point. Indeed, the inside is usually difficult plastics within the sprint and doorways, but layout themes support crack it up and a lot of price-sensitive consumers would fortunately take the significant standard of safety tech in excess of some fake luxe trim — I realize I’d personally if it have been me (or my child) receiving the Soul.
Soul driving dynamics aren’t anything to swoon around, but it’s a predictable, easy-to-pilot car or truck with exceptional visibility and sufficient energy to keep you outside of problems. It truly is evident the brake and steering inputs were created to charm to the “vast middle,” delivering neither sharp responses nor mushy delays. The Soul is correctly adequate, which is just what it should be.
A decade back, ahead of “subcompact crossover” entered the general public lexicon, a handful of uncommon imports defied common classification. Were being the Honda Aspect, Kia Soul, Nissan Dice, Scion xB hatchbacks, wagons or SUVs? It is nonetheless difficult to convey. But we do know that the Soul, that’s the only real vehicle of the batch however all around, shows that Kia provides a effective system on its arms.
The 2020 Kia Soul, which happens to be entirely redesigned this year, includes a large amount likely for it. Drivers in congested city regions will delight in its nimble dimensions, responsive engine and controlled experience around bumpy pavement. Outside the town, the Soul shines with crisp dealing with and responsive steering. You’ll be able to up the Soul’s fun issue far more by equipping it by using a punchy turbocharged engine in addition to a sport-tuned suspension.
It doesn’t matter wherever you reside, the Soul’s roomy cabin and helpful cargo place ensure it is a wonderful each day car. We also like its competitive pricing, which undercuts most rivals without sacrificing inside materials quality or aspect information.
As with every budget-priced smaller auto, there are some downsides. All-wheel generate is not really offered, which could be a deal-breaker for prospective buyers in spots that experience icy or snowy highway disorders. Which sport-tuned Soul, the GT-Line Turbo, suffers from the clunky-shifting transmission and a harsh experience excellent. But total we predict the 2020 Kia Soul rises over other subcompact crossovers due to its mixture of practicality, affordability and emphasis on fun.
Which has a starting up cost of $21,490, the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line will make a terrific selection for many who want a basic Kia Soul having a tiny more character. It is also a powerful decision in opposition to the Toyota C-HR. They are about equal on overall performance, although Kia also builds the more potent 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line at the same time.
Yep, which is the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line in a very snow storm. (Photograph: TFLcar)
Neither vehicle provides any type of all-wheel travel here within the U . s ., inspite of looking like it. Overseas, the C-HR is accessible with all-wheel generate. Inside of a perception, then, they’re much more like lifted hatchbacks than out-and-out crossovers.
There is additional towards the Toyota: Certainly, the Toyota C-HR’s ideal aspect is its managing. It has a sport-tuned four-wheel unbiased suspension set up that’s downright exciting to use. Steering feel and steering fat are remarkable to most of the Kia line plus the only way to out-pace the C-HR is with the turbocharged 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line.
The two cars have CVTs that mimic the texture of an automated transmission. In essence, they pause a little providing the texture of a vehicle altering gears. It really works a tad superior to the Soul, but each motor vehicles still drone a tiny bit when accelerating. Still, it’s only apparent if the driver’s somewhat aggressive.
During the late 2000s, there have been numerous so-called “box” cars and trucks that came to industry from the U.S. including the Nissan Cube along with the Scion xB. Having said that, just one at any time really held any enchantment for me personally and it is now the only 1 remaining on sale right here, the Kia Soul. At last November’s Los angeles Auto Show, Kia unveiled a different third-generation Soul that i just bought to invest a while with to see if I nonetheless like it.
The new Soul retains the exact same standard profile it’s had for your past ten years which differs a bit from your other box autos in that the roof has slight downward slope towards the back. The Soul never ever experienced the more upright windshield found around the xB and Dice, all of which contributes to providing the Soul a rather far more sporting stance. The good news is, those people variations really do not affect the sensible packaging advantages on the boxy configuration. Inspite of its compact footprint, the Soul features amazingly sufficient room for travellers and cargo.
Though the fundamental type stays intact, Kia designers have managed to present the Soul a far more contemporary look, buying up numerous from the currently modern structure cues. Up front, the previously unified headlamp cluster has break up up as numerous other individuals similar to the Hyundai Kona and Chevy Blazer have recently. A pair of slender, horizontal strips deliver the daytime working lamp performance although bigger blocks down under flanking the grille include the headlamps.
On the C-pillar, the black trim surrounding the facet windows flows again, bisecting the pillar and offering a little the floating roof appear. For the back again, the curved, vertical taillamps that flanked tailgate to the former technology now extend all of the way around the major and about one-quarter of your way in to the bottom, providing a ring of light. In general, the Soul appears sharp and modern in 2019, but I just can’t assistance but marvel if these now fashionable cues could glimpse additional dated within a couple of yrs if the field has moved on.
The new Soul is once more obtainable in battery electric powered kind even though it now has the bigger 64-kWh battery employed in the Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV styles, a lot more than doubling variety to 243 miles. I haven’t driven that variant yet but glance ahead to it. About the internal combustion side, the one.6-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder that was formerly offered while in the base Soul has long been dropped in favor of your two.0-liter four. However, this time it is a reduce price port fuel injected version fairly as opposed to direct injected engine applied past calendar year. Output is down a tiny bit to 147-hp and 132 lb-ft but gasoline overall economy is up by three mpg to thirty mpg blended.
A six-speed handbook transmission is accessible within the base EX trim but all others apart from the Turbo now utilize a repeatedly variable transmission. The GT-Line turbo retains the 1.6-liter direct injected turbo and seven-speed twin clutch transmission combination identified in several Hyundai and Kia general performance designs. The two.0-liter CVT combination truly operates rather well within the Soul, particularly with all the a hundred pound pounds reduction. The regulate in the CVT is tuned to generally be a great deal similar to a regular phase ration transmission and it never reveals any of the annoying motorboating impact individuals ordinarily hate with these transmissions. General the effectiveness is a lot more than sufficient for your compact automobile and most drivers are not likely to obtain any critical issues. In my very own driving, I truly conquer the EPA estimate which has a combined 32 mpg with out definitely hoping.
For this new era, Kia has expanded the lineup from 3 trim stages to seven such as the X-line appropriate during the middle. Provided that buyers manage to be scurrying absent from cars and toward utility autos as speedy as they can, the X-Line receives a little that faux crossover look that so many other modest automobiles have in recent times. Meaning some silver colored trim pieces underneath the entrance and rear fascias and also the rocker panels that vaguely resembles skid plates, but evidently aren’t. Luckily, the more “rugged” look doesn’t really detract in the all round style and that i could stay with it.
That rugged glance is obviously entirely aesthetic with no fundamental features to help off-roading. The strut entrance suspension and twist beam rear axle are really common fare for entry-level autos and supply remarkably first rate ride good quality and dealing with. The Soul stays comparatively flat under-going corners and doesn’t offer you much suggestions from the steering wheel but is adequately weighted and goes practically the place you position it. For procedure off-pavement, you should stick with running over rocks no larger sized than regular gravel streets.
Each individual trim including the base LX that commences at just $18,500 including shipping includes a 7-inch touchscreen audio system with Apple Carplay and Android Car support at the same time as hill start out help as well as the now obligatory backup digital camera. The X-Line I drove also involved blindspot checking with cross traffic notify. At $22,500 it did not have other driver assists like lane preserving or adaptive cruise management and starting the car continue to demanded that attempted and genuine system of really inserting a important right into a slot.
As standard, Kia is delivering a fairly powerful worth proposition with the 2020 Soul. For any car that could comfortably hold four adults plus a bunch of stuff at the rear of the seats, produce first rate fuel economic system, a singular feeling of favor and a lot more than adequate functionality, you’d be hard-pressed to locate a greater motor vehicle within the U.S. industry at this time to get a starting off value less than $20,000.