Kia might use a problem with its Soul subcompact hatchback-and it’s a very good problem. Shifting on to some 3rd technology for your 2020 product calendar year, Kia has carefully developed the styling, daring to squeeze out any trace of its signature “tiger nose” grille, but cautious not to stray far too considerably from the “tall box” form of its forebears.
Why? Men and women know this point every time they see it, and they know who causes it to be. If autos had egos, most would give their still left rear shock for that kind of brand name recognition. Therefore, Kia may possibly should tread diligently when it is time for era four.
The X-Line model will get a beefier, a lot more SUV-ish glance than other Souls, due to rugged-looking matte black body trim with silver accents, and silver roof trim. However our tester didn’t have it, two-tone paint is out there also.
But that’s a be concerned for one more day. Till then, Kia has made the Soul a little bit bigger, changed one particular of its engines, rearranged and augmented the model lineup, ushered in new security tech (at the very least in better trim amounts), and however stored rates in examine.
Purchaser Guide’s 1st examination of a new Soul came in the Gravity Grey X-Line. The X-Line, which commences at $22,485 with shipping and delivery, is often a new design that, similar to a number of other tiny hatches and wagons, trades on an off-roader seem devoid of in fact introducing any genuine off-road capability. It involves special 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 luxurious in an if not basic interior. Lane-change help, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic warn provide the X-Line a bare minimum amount in the varieties of electronic protection minders that buyers have arrive at assume lately. (You may have to move nearly the EX and GT-Line models to have the Kia Drive Wise suite of more-advanced lively basic safety tech.)
The Kia Soul incorporates a pleasingly very simple, straightforward handle format. Even so, the X-Line design is missing a number of the benefit and safety characteristics of higher-line Soul trim amounts, and there are no update option packages offered. The rear-seat region delivers ample legroom and superb headroom for grownup travellers.
Some (perfectly, this tester no less than) may possibly find the Soul X-Line refreshingly easy. The moment settled on a manually altered fabric seat, the driving force really should insert an ignition vital to begin. An AM/FM/MP3 radio that’s lifeless uncomplicated to plan over a 7-inch touchscreen serves your listening pleasure. (Really don’t worry, it’s obtained Android Car and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration if you want to march into a various drummer.) The climate program is manual, it is solitary zone, and it’s wonderful. Three dials-for temperature, enthusiast pace, and mode-let you switch proper into the performance amount you need. Just 4 extra on-off buttons let you select air con, rear defrost, and air recirculation or ingestion at a solitary press of the button. You’d like “fragrance release?” Have on cologne. In this firm, distant keyless entry, the tilt/telescoping steering column, and steering-wheel controls for audio and cruise control look pretty much sybaritic.
Generous cargo quantity in just compact exterior proportions has become a Soul forte due to the fact day a single; the redesigned 2020 model presents 24.2 cubic ft of cargo place behind the rear seats, and sixty two.one cu. ft. using the rear seats folded.
The base motor is what powers the X-Line. It’s a two.0-liter 4-cylinder joined to your continually variable transmission (CVT). At 147 horsepower, the 2020 engine is less strong in comparison to the past Soul engine on the very same displacement. That said, it even now gives a pleasing, valuable standard of energy (if probably a little bit loud below acceleration), that has a incredibly slight boost from choosing the “Sport” driving manner. The CVT is programmed to give from the feel of a stepped-gear transmission, which it does convincingly. EPA fuel-economy ratings are 27 mpg in metropolis driving, 33 mpg in freeway procedure, and 30 put together. This reviewer covered 60 p.c of his 192 check miles in metropolis conditions, and saw just 24.1 mpg, but you’ll see that CG editors’ highway-weighted general mileage was quite a bit superior.
The Soul is usually a minimal much less subcompact than it was once. The all-new platform has one.2 inches a lot more wheelbase and a couple of.two inches extra whole duration than its fast predecessor. Steering experience is relatively bland but the ’20 Soul handles decently, with very good maneuverability for acquiring in and out of parking spaces. Suspension compliance arrives off a tiny bit stiff, so journey can feel business.
Padded and soft-to-the-touch interior surfaces are constrained, uncovered just over the X-Line’s armrests, dash best, and console-box lid. So, much too, are cabin-storage chances. Indeed, the only real facilities for rear-seat riders are bottle holders inside the doors. Up entrance you will find doorway pockets (with bottle holders), a significant glove box, less-large console box, twin cup holders, and an open up bin underneath the USB port. Fortunately, passenger room is way additional considerable. There’s good headroom and legroom in possibly row, and comfy assist around the entrance seats. In back, an almost flat floor may possibly enable a 3rd person-even a thin adult-squeeze into the middle in the seat.
Kia claims the brand new entire body proportions maximize maximum cargo potential by five cubic ft, and that the rear liftgate opening is wider and decrease. The handbook liftgate presents obtain to a modicum of usable, easy-loading cargo place while in the squarish, flat-floored cargo bay. (Not-too-delicate items may in good shape below the ground within the area throughout the spare tire.) Rear 60/40 seats fold just about flat to increase cargo capability when needed.
Preserving the Soul entering into a thing akin for the well-received deal where it has wrapped alone since its debut is going to be a fascinating dilemma for Kia to work out. Right up until then, we will consider that a whole lot of men and women will find strategies to enjoy this most recent Soul.
There may be just a fundamental compact car less than the Kia Soul’s boxy hatchback exterior — it can be around a Kia Forte/Hyundai Elantra chassis, but who cares? People are superb modest cars and trucks, and the Soul turns them right into a larger-feeling day-to-day driver while using the inside place and cargo versatility modest crossover buyers crave.
The Soul also gives away the big key in entry-level automobiles nowadays — they are genuinely good. Our X-Line Soul, much like the connected Elantra and Forte, comes using a complete 7-inch touch-screen infotainment method with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay — bigger trims receive a greater screen and satellite radio with navigation, although the very affordable X-Line presents you very similar capabilities by means of your cellphone. For prospective buyers considering a Soul for younger drivers, Kia provides crucial safety gear even within the funds S trim level. Which means lane continue to keep help, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and driver focus warning are all present even at this value level. Certainly, the interior is generally challenging plastics to the dash and doors, but design and style themes help break it up and lots of price-sensitive buyers would fortunately take the superior level of security tech about some fake luxe trim — I am aware I’d if it ended up me (or my child) obtaining the Soul.
Soul driving dynamics aren’t something to swoon over, but it’s a predictable, easy-to-pilot vehicle with excellent visibility and sufficient ability to help keep you outside of trouble. It’s noticeable the brake and steering inputs were intended to attractiveness to the “vast center,” providing neither sharp responses nor mushy delays. The Soul is beautifully sufficient, that is precisely what it ought to be.
A decade in the past, in advance of “subcompact crossover” entered the public lexicon, a handful of strange imports defied standard classification. Were the Honda Aspect, Kia Soul, Nissan Cube, Scion xB hatchbacks, wagons or SUVs? It truly is nonetheless tough to mention. But we do are aware that the Soul, which can be the one car with the batch nevertheless around, reveals that Kia has a thriving formulation on its arms.
The 2020 Kia Soul, which can be entirely redesigned this year, has a great deal heading for it. Motorists in congested urban parts will enjoy its nimble sizing, responsive motor and managed journey above bumpy pavement. Outside the house the town, the Soul shines with crisp handling and responsive steering. You may up the Soul’s entertaining element much more by equipping it by using a punchy turbocharged motor plus a sport-tuned suspension.
It does not matter wherever you live, the Soul’s roomy cabin and beneficial cargo room ensure it is a perfect everyday car. We also like its competitive pricing, which undercuts most rivals with out sacrificing interior resources excellent or feature material.
As with any budget-priced little vehicle, here are a few negatives. All-wheel generate just isn’t out there, which could be described as a deal-breaker for consumers in destinations that experience icy or snowy highway circumstances. And that sport-tuned Soul, the GT-Line Turbo, suffers from the clunky-shifting transmission plus a severe journey good quality. But general we think the 2020 Kia Soul rises above other subcompact crossovers due to its combination of practicality, affordability and emphasis on enjoyment.
Using a starting cost of $21,490, the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line will make an awesome selection for those who want a standard Kia Soul by using a small much more character. It is also a persuasive alternative in opposition to the Toyota C-HR. They’re about equivalent on performance, despite the fact that Kia also builds the more strong 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line in addition.
Yep, that’s the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line inside a snow storm. (Photo: TFLcar)
Neither auto presents any form of all-wheel push right here during the U . s ., in spite of searching like it. Overseas, the C-HR is accessible with all-wheel push. In the feeling, then, they’re much more like lifted hatchbacks than out-and-out crossovers.
There’s extra for the Toyota: Indisputably, the Toyota C-HR’s greatest function is its dealing with. It has a sport-tuned four-wheel unbiased suspension setup that’s downright pleasurable to take advantage of. Steering really feel and steering body weight are remarkable to a lot of the Kia line and also the only way to out-pace the C-HR is along with the turbocharged 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line.
Equally motor vehicles have CVTs that mimic the texture of the automated transmission. Generally, they pause somewhat providing the feel of a car or truck changing gears. It works a little bit much better to the Soul, but both cars even now drone a tad when accelerating. Still, it is only apparent when the driver’s a little bit aggressive.
In the late 2000s, there have been many so-called “box” automobiles that came to marketplace during the U.S. such as the Nissan Cube plus the Scion xB. On the other hand, only one at any time really held any attraction for me individually and it is now the only one remaining on sale in this article, the Kia Soul. At last November’s Los angeles Auto Show, Kia unveiled a new third-generation Soul which i just acquired to invest some time with to discover if I continue to like it.
The brand new Soul retains a similar fundamental profile it has had with the earlier decade which differs a little bit with the other box vehicles in the roof has slight downward slope toward the back. The Soul under no circumstances had the greater upright windshield found about the xB and Cube, all of which contributes to giving the Soul a rather a lot more sporting stance. The good news is, individuals variations never impact the sensible packaging gains of the boxy configuration. Irrespective of its compact footprint, the Soul presents surprisingly sufficient place for passengers and cargo.
When the essential sort remains intact, Kia designers have managed to provide the Soul a far more present-day appear, finding up quite a few in the at present trendy style cues. Up entrance, the formerly unified headlamp cluster has split up as a lot of other individuals much like the Hyundai Kona and Chevy Blazer have in recent years. A pair of slim, horizontal strips supply the daytime functioning lamp operation even though much larger blocks down underneath flanking the grille consist of the headlamps.
With the C-pillar, the black trim surrounding the facet home windows flows back, bisecting the pillar and supplying a bit of the floating roof glimpse. With the back again, the curved, vertical taillamps that flanked tailgate over the prior technology now prolong all the way across the prime and about one-quarter of your way in within the base, supplying a hoop of light. In general, the Soul seems to be sharp and present-day in 2019, but I can not support but surprise if these at this time trendy cues may well glimpse much more dated within a couple years if the field has moved on.
The brand new Soul is all over again obtainable in battery electrical kind even though it now has the larger sized 64-kWh battery utilized in the Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV types, over doubling variety to 243 miles. I haven’t pushed that variant nevertheless but glance forward to it. On the interior combustion facet, the one.6-liter in a natural way aspirated four-cylinder which was beforehand readily available from the foundation Soul has been dropped in favor in the 2.0-liter 4. Having said that, this time it is a reduce price port gasoline injected variation rather compared to the direct injected motor applied past yr. Output is down a bit to 147-hp and 132 lb-ft but fuel economy is up by 3 mpg to thirty mpg put together.
A six-speed guide transmission is available from the foundation EX trim but all some others except for the Turbo now make use of a constantly variable transmission. The GT-Line turbo retains the 1.6-liter direct injected turbo and seven-speed dual clutch transmission blend found in a lot of Hyundai and Kia general performance products. The 2.0-liter CVT mix truly is effective really well in the Soul, primarily with the a hundred pound pounds reduction. The regulate of your CVT is tuned to generally be a great deal just like a conventional step ration transmission and it never ever exhibits any with the troublesome motorboating influence people today typically loathe using these transmissions. Over-all the functionality is a lot more than suitable for the compact automobile and many drivers are unlikely to have any major issues. In my own driving, I actually beat the EPA estimate by using a merged 32 mpg with out truly seeking.
For this new generation, Kia has expanded the lineup from 3 trim levels to seven including the X-line correct within the middle. Provided that shoppers manage to be scurrying away from automobiles and towards utility autos as quick as they can, the X-Line receives a certain amount of that faux crossover appear that a great number of other tiny automobiles have these days. Meaning some silver coloured trim pieces less than the front and rear fascias along with the rocker panels that vaguely resembles skid plates, but evidently are usually not. The good news is, the greater “rugged” appear does not truly detract through the in general structure and that i could live with it.
That rugged glance is not surprisingly entirely aesthetic without any underlying features to support off-roading. The strut entrance suspension and twist beam rear axle are really normal fare for entry-level vehicles and provide astonishingly first rate experience high quality and managing. The Soul stays relatively flat experiencing corners and doesn’t give significantly opinions with the steering wheel but is satisfactorily weighted and goes just about wherever you stage it. For operation off-pavement, you will need to stay with jogging more than rocks no larger than normal gravel streets.
Every single trim such as the foundation LX that commences at just $18,five hundred together with supply includes a 7-inch touchscreen audio system with Apple Carplay and Android Car assistance at the same time as hill start guide as well as now required backup digicam. The X-Line I drove also incorporated blindspot checking with cross site visitors alert. At $22,500 it did not have other driver helps like lane maintaining or adaptive cruise control and starting up the car still necessary that attempted and real process of really inserting a crucial right into a slot.
As usual, Kia is providing a reasonably robust worth proposition using the 2020 Soul. For your motor vehicle that may comfortably hold four adults plus a bunch of things guiding the seats, deliver good fuel economic climate, a singular feeling of favor and even more than satisfactory performance, you’d be hard-pressed to locate a much better motor vehicle while in the U.S. current market at this time for any beginning price under $20,000.