Kia may possibly possess a trouble with its Soul subcompact hatchback-and it’s a fantastic trouble. Relocating on to a third era with the 2020 design year, Kia has carefully advanced the styling, daring to squeeze out any trace of its signature “tiger nose” grille, but thorough not to stray too significantly from the “tall box” condition of its forebears.
Why? People today know this matter if they see it, and they know who makes it. If automobiles experienced egos, most would give their left rear shock for that sort of brand recognition. Thus, Kia could have to tread diligently when it is time for technology four.
The X-Line design will get a beefier, more SUV-ish glance than other Souls, due to rugged-looking matte black system trim with silver accents, and silver roof trim. While our tester didn’t have it, two-tone paint is obtainable also.
But which is a worry for one more day. Right until then, Kia has built the Soul a bit much larger, altered 1 of its engines, rearranged and augmented the model lineup, ushered in new safety tech (at the least in increased trim degrees), and continue to stored costs in check.
Buyer Guide’s initially test of a new Soul came in the Gravity Grey X-Line. The X-Line, which commences at $22,485 with shipping, is really a new model that, like a variety of other small hatches and wagons, trades on an off-roader appear without the need of basically adding any true off-road capacity. It consists of distinctive lower-body cladding and overfenders, fog lights, roof rails, and unique 18-inch alloy wheels. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob inject a literal touch of luxurious in an in any other case plain inside. Lane-change help, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic warn give the X-Line a bare least with the forms of electronic basic safety minders that buyers have arrive at hope recently. (You have to move as many as the EX and GT-Line designs to obtain the Kia Push Intelligent suite of more-advanced active basic safety tech.)
The Kia Soul contains a pleasingly straightforward, easy manage format. On the other hand, the X-Line model is missing several of the usefulness and safety attributes of higher-line Soul trim ranges, and there won’t be any enhance choice offers accessible. The rear-seat space features sufficient legroom and exceptional headroom for grownup passengers.
Some (well, this tester at least) might locate the Soul X-Line refreshingly simple. As soon as settled upon a manually adjusted material seat, the motive force needs to insert an ignition crucial to get started on. An AM/FM/MP3 radio which is useless simple to application with a 7-inch touchscreen serves your listening satisfaction. (Really do not fear, it’s received Android Automobile and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration if you want to march to your unique drummer.) The climate program is guide, it is one zone, and it is amazing. Three dials-for temperature, supporter pace, and mode-let you switch appropriate to your general performance stage you need. Just four more on-off buttons allow you choose air con, rear defrost, and air recirculation or consumption at a single push of a button. You would like “fragrance launch?” Wear cologne. Within this firm, remote keyless entry, the tilt/telescoping steering column, and steering-wheel controls for audio and cruise handle look almost sybaritic.
Generous cargo volume inside of tiny exterior proportions is a Soul area of expertise considering the fact that working day just one; the redesigned 2020 design delivers 24.two cubic ft of cargo space guiding the rear seats, and sixty two.one cu. ft. with all the rear seats folded.
The bottom engine is what powers the X-Line. It is actually a two.0-liter 4-cylinder joined to a continually variable transmission (CVT). At 147 horsepower, the 2020 motor is less effective when compared to the prior Soul motor of your same displacement. Having said that, it however offers a pleasing, practical standard of electrical power (if potentially a little bit loud less than acceleration), with a very slight improve from picking the “Sport” driving method. The CVT is programmed to give from the truly feel of the stepped-gear transmission, which it does convincingly. EPA fuel-economy scores are 27 mpg in city driving, 33 mpg in freeway procedure, and 30 blended. This reviewer lined sixty per cent of his 192 check miles in town ailments, and noticed just 24.one mpg, but you’ll see that CG editors’ highway-weighted total mileage was quite a bit greater.
The Soul is really a minor a lot less subcompact than it was. The all-new platform has one.2 inches a lot more wheelbase and 2.2 inches extra overall length than its instant predecessor. Steering really feel is relatively bland however the ’20 Soul handles decently, with very good maneuverability for acquiring in and out of parking spaces. Suspension compliance will come off somewhat stiff, so journey can truly feel agency.
Padded and soft-to-the-touch inside surfaces are restricted, observed just over the X-Line’s armrests, sprint major, and console-box lid. So, too, are cabin-storage prospects. Indeed, the sole facilities for rear-seat riders are bottle holders during the doors. Up entrance you will discover door pockets (with bottle holders), a large glove box, less-large console box, twin cup holders, and an open up bin below the USB port. Fortunately, passenger home is far far more abundant. There’s great headroom and legroom in possibly row, and cozy support within the front seats. In back, a nearly flat flooring may well enable a third person-even a skinny adult-squeeze in to the center in the seat.
Kia states the brand new system proportions enhance greatest cargo capability by 5 cubic feet, which the rear liftgate opening is wider and lower. The handbook liftgate provides obtain to some modicum of usable, easy-loading cargo space while in the squarish, flat-floored cargo bay. (Not-too-delicate products may perhaps match underneath the floor during the place around the spare tire.) Rear 60/40 seats fold practically flat to develop cargo ability when necessary.
Keeping the Soul moving into one thing akin on the well-received package deal wherein it has wrapped by itself given that its debut is going to be an interesting difficulty for Kia to work out. Until then, we could visualize that a great deal of people will see strategies to get pleasure from this newest Soul.
There might be only a standard compact auto beneath the Kia Soul’s boxy hatchback exterior — it’s about a Kia Forte/Hyundai Elantra chassis, but who cares? These are excellent compact vehicles, along with the Soul turns them into a larger-feeling daily driver along with the inside area and cargo flexibility compact crossover purchasers crave.
The Soul also offers away the massive top secret in entry-level cars and trucks in recent times — they’re actually very good. Our X-Line Soul, such as the connected Elantra and Forte, arrives using a extensive 7-inch touch-screen infotainment program with Android Automobile and Apple CarPlay — higher trims receive a more substantial display and satellite radio with navigation, though the inexpensive X-Line provides you equivalent abilities as a result of your cellular phone. For customers thinking about a Soul for young motorists, Kia delivers significant safety equipment even with the finances S trim degree. Which means lane retain help, blind location warning, rear cross-traffic inform and driver interest warning are all existing even at this price point. Sure, the interior is usually difficult plastics around the dash and doorways, but style and design themes assist break it up and plenty of price-sensitive consumers would fortunately take the large standard of protection tech above some fake luxe trim — I do know I would if it were me (or my child) obtaining the Soul.
Soul driving dynamics aren’t anything at all to swoon in excess of, but it is a predictable, easy-to-pilot car or truck with fantastic visibility and adequate electricity to help keep you out of problems. It is apparent the brake and steering inputs have been created to appeal on the “vast middle,” offering neither sharp responses nor mushy delays. The Soul is beautifully suitable, which happens to be precisely what it ought to be.
Ten years ago, just before “subcompact crossover” entered the general public lexicon, a few unconventional imports defied regular classification. Ended up the Honda Aspect, Kia Soul, Nissan Cube, Scion xB hatchbacks, wagons or SUVs? It truly is nonetheless challenging to mention. But we do recognize that the Soul, which happens to be the only real car or truck in the batch however around, exhibits that Kia features a successful formula on its palms.
The 2020 Kia Soul, which can be absolutely redesigned this calendar year, provides a lot likely for it. Drivers in congested urban regions will delight in its nimble measurement, responsive engine and managed trip around bumpy pavement. Outside the house the city, the Soul shines with crisp handling and responsive steering. You’ll be able to up the Soul’s enjoyable issue all the more by equipping it using a punchy turbocharged motor as well as a sport-tuned suspension.
Regardless of exactly where you live, the Soul’s roomy cabin and valuable cargo space allow it to be a perfect day to day car or truck. We also like its competitive pricing, which undercuts most rivals without the need of sacrificing interior supplies high-quality or attribute material.
As with all budget-priced small car or truck, there are many negatives. All-wheel drive is not really out there, which could be considered a deal-breaker for buyers in locations that have icy or snowy road situations. And that sport-tuned Soul, the GT-Line Turbo, suffers from the clunky-shifting transmission and also a severe ride high quality. But overall we think the 2020 Kia Soul rises over other subcompact crossovers owing to its combination of practicality, affordability and emphasis on enjoyment.
By using a starting cost of $21,490, the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line can make an excellent selection for those who desire a basic Kia Soul with a little more character. It’s also a persuasive preference from the Toyota C-HR. They are about equal on overall performance, while Kia also builds the more impressive 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line also.
Yep, that’s the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line inside a snow storm. (Photo: TFLcar)
Neither auto presents any form of all-wheel push below during the United states, despite hunting like it. Overseas, the C-HR is obtainable with all-wheel travel. In the feeling, then, they are far more like lifted hatchbacks than out-and-out crossovers.
There’s extra towards the Toyota: Indisputably, the Toyota C-HR’s best aspect is its managing. It has a sport-tuned four-wheel impartial suspension set up which is downright enjoyable to exploit. Steering truly feel and steering body weight are outstanding to a lot of the Kia line as well as the only approach to out-pace the C-HR is while using the turbocharged 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line.
Both equally autos have CVTs that mimic the feel of the automatic transmission. Fundamentally, they pause a little bit supplying the feel of a automobile transforming gears. It works a tad better around the Soul, but both equally vehicles continue to drone a bit when accelerating. However, it is only noticeable once the driver’s a tiny bit intense.
During the late 2000s, there were several so-called “box” autos that came to market from the U.S. such as the Nissan Cube and also the Scion xB. Nonetheless, just one ever genuinely held any appeal for me individually and it’s now the one a person still left on sale here, the Kia Soul. Finally November’s Los angeles Vehicle Exhibit, Kia unveiled a completely new third-generation Soul that i just got to invest some time with to view if I even now like it.
The brand new Soul retains precisely the same primary profile it’s experienced for the earlier ten years which differs marginally through the other box automobiles in that the roof has slight downward slope towards the back. The Soul never ever had the greater upright windshield identified to the xB and Cube, all of which contributes to offering the Soul a slightly extra sporting stance. The good news is, those variations do not effect the sensible packaging rewards with the boxy configuration. Despite its compact footprint, the Soul presents incredibly sufficient room for travellers and cargo.
Though the essential form remains intact, Kia designers have managed to present the Soul a more present-day search, choosing up several on the at present trendy style and design cues. Up front, the previously unified headlamp cluster has split up as numerous many others such as the Hyundai Kona and Chevy Blazer have in recent times. A set of slim, horizontal strips provide the daytime running lamp performance when larger sized blocks down under flanking the grille consist of the headlamps.
Within the C-pillar, the black trim bordering the aspect windows flows again, bisecting the pillar and offering a little the floating roof search. With the back again, the curved, vertical taillamps that flanked tailgate about the previous generation now extend all the way throughout the leading and about one-quarter with the way in over the bottom, furnishing a ring of sunshine. All round, the Soul seems to be sharp and up to date in 2019, but I can not assistance but surprise if these at present fashionable cues may well search much more dated in a number of decades when the market has moved on.
The brand new Soul is once more out there in battery electric kind although it now has the bigger 64-kWh battery used in the Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV versions, greater than doubling vary to 243 miles. I have not pushed that variant yet but glimpse forward to it. On the interior combustion side, the one.6-liter by natural means aspirated four-cylinder which was beforehand obtainable within the foundation Soul has long been dropped in favor on the 2.0-liter 4. Nonetheless, this time it is a lower value port fuel injected variation fairly compared to the direct injected engine used final calendar year. Output is down a tiny bit to 147-hp and 132 lb-ft but fuel economy is up by 3 mpg to 30 mpg combined.
A six-speed handbook transmission is obtainable inside the foundation EX trim but all some others apart from the Turbo now make use of a continuously variable transmission. The GT-Line turbo retains the 1.6-liter immediate injected turbo and seven-speed twin clutch transmission combination discovered in numerous Hyundai and Kia overall performance designs. The two.0-liter CVT combination truly is effective very well inside the Soul, particularly along with the 100 pound fat reduction. The command with the CVT is tuned to generally be greatly similar to a regular phase ration transmission and it by no means displays any with the troublesome motorboating have an affect on persons generally dislike with these transmissions. Total the general performance is a lot more than satisfactory for the compact vehicle and many motorists are not likely to get any severe complaints. In my very own driving, I actually defeat the EPA estimate with a put together 32 mpg without the need of actually trying.
For this new technology, Kia has expanded the lineup from three trim ranges to seven such as the X-line correct from the center. On condition that buyers seem to be scurrying away from cars and trucks and toward utility vehicles as rapidly because they can, the X-Line gets a little bit of that fake crossover look that so many other small cars and trucks have nowadays. Meaning some silver coloured trim items underneath the front and rear fascias as well as the rocker panels that vaguely resembles skid plates, but plainly usually are not. Fortuitously, the greater “rugged” glimpse does not really detract in the overall style and design and that i could are living with it.
That rugged seem is certainly totally aesthetic without fundamental performance to help off-roading. The strut front suspension and twist beam rear axle are pretty standard fare for entry-level automobiles and provide shockingly first rate ride good quality and dealing with. The Soul stays comparatively flat experiencing corners and doesn’t supply substantially responses in the steering wheel but is sufficiently weighted and goes practically the place you position it. For operation off-pavement, you will need to stick with operating over rocks no bigger than normal gravel streets.
Every single trim such as the base LX that starts at just $18,500 such as shipping and delivery involves a 7-inch touchscreen audio system with Apple Carplay and Android Car aid at the same time as hill begin aid as well as the now required backup camera. The X-Line I drove also integrated blindspot checking with cross targeted visitors notify. At $22,500 it did not produce other driver assists like lane trying to keep or adaptive cruise command and starting up the car nevertheless demanded that tried and real system of truly inserting a crucial right into a slot.
As regular, Kia is delivering a fairly powerful price proposition together with the 2020 Soul. For the motor vehicle that could comfortably keep four older people and a bunch of stuff at the rear of the seats, supply respectable gasoline overall economy, a unique feeling of style and more than sufficient overall performance, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better auto within the U.S. industry at this moment for a commencing value less than $20,000.