Kia may possibly have a challenge with its Soul subcompact hatchback-and it is a very good difficulty. Going on into a 3rd technology to the 2020 design calendar year, Kia has very carefully developed the styling, daring to squeeze out any trace of its signature “tiger nose” grille, but watchful to not stray way too significantly from the “tall box” shape of its forebears.
Why? Folks know this factor whenever they see it, and they know who causes it to be. If cars and trucks experienced egos, most would give their left rear shock for that kind of brand name recognition. Hence, Kia may perhaps really need to tread cautiously when it’s time for generation four.
The X-Line model will get a beefier, additional SUV-ish seem than other Souls, due to rugged-looking matte black body trim with silver accents, and silver roof trim. While our tester didn’t have it, two-tone paint is accessible likewise.
But which is a stress for an additional working day. Right up until then, Kia has made the Soul a little bit more substantial, modified just one of its engines, rearranged and augmented the model lineup, ushered in new security tech (a minimum of in increased trim stages), and even now retained selling prices in test.
Consumer Guide’s 1st test of the new Soul arrived inside of a Gravity Grey X-Line. The X-Line, which starts off at $22,485 with shipping, is a new product that, just like a variety of other tiny hatches and wagons, trades on an off-roader appear with no actually introducing any real off-road capacity. It consists of specific 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 in an normally simple interior. Lane-change assist, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic inform give the X-Line a bare minimum amount of your kinds of electronic safety minders that customers have arrive at anticipate in recent times. (You’ve to move up to the EX and GT-Line designs to get the Kia Drive Intelligent suite of more-advanced active protection tech.)
The Kia Soul provides a pleasingly easy, uncomplicated management structure. Nonetheless, the X-Line model is missing many of the advantage and protection characteristics of higher-line Soul trim stages, and there isn’t any upgrade possibility offers offered. The rear-seat place features adequate legroom and outstanding headroom for grownup travellers.
Some (perfectly, this tester not less than) could find the Soul X-Line refreshingly simple. The moment settled on a manually adjusted material seat, the motive force really should insert an ignition important to begin. An AM/FM/MP3 radio that is lifeless simple to program with a 7-inch touchscreen serves your listening pleasure. (Do not fret, it is received Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration if you prefer to march to a distinctive drummer.) The climate technique is manual, it’s one zone, and it is incredible. 3 dials-for temperature, supporter velocity, and mode-let you switch suitable to the functionality stage you desire. Just four supplemental on-off buttons let you select air-con, rear defrost, and air recirculation or ingestion at a solitary push of a button. You want “fragrance launch?” Have on cologne. In this company, remote keyless entry, the tilt/telescoping steering column, and steering-wheel controls for audio and cruise manage appear practically sybaritic.
Generous cargo quantity in just small exterior dimensions has actually been a Soul distinctiveness considering that day one particular; the redesigned 2020 design presents 24.two cubic feet of cargo house behind the rear seats, and 62.one cu. ft. with all the rear seats folded.
The base motor is exactly what powers the X-Line. It truly is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder joined to the repeatedly variable transmission (CVT). At 147 horsepower, the 2020 motor is less effective when compared to the preceding Soul engine from the same displacement. That said, it still supplies a satisfying, handy degree of energy (if potentially a little loud less than acceleration), which has a really slight increase from deciding on the “Sport” driving manner. The CVT is programmed to give from the come to feel of the stepped-gear transmission, which it does convincingly. EPA fuel-economy scores are 27 mpg in town driving, 33 mpg in highway procedure, and thirty combined. This reviewer coated 60 p.c of his 192 test miles in town situations, and observed just 24.1 mpg, but you will see that CG editors’ highway-weighted all round mileage was a great deal much better.
The Soul is usually a very little much less subcompact than it was. The all-new system has 1.two inches more wheelbase and 2.2 inches extra full size than its quick predecessor. Steering sense is quite bland though the ’20 Soul handles decently, with very good maneuverability for obtaining out and in of parking areas. Suspension compliance arrives off a tad stiff, so journey can experience company.
Padded and soft-to-the-touch inside surfaces are constrained, found just around the X-Line’s armrests, sprint major, and console-box lid. So, much too, are cabin-storage prospects. Without a doubt, the one facilities for rear-seat riders are bottle holders from the doorways. Up entrance you can find doorway pockets (with bottle holders), a substantial glove box, less-large console box, twin cup holders, and an open bin less than the USB port. Thankfully, passenger space is much more plentiful. There’s fantastic headroom and legroom in either row, and comfy assistance about the entrance seats. In back, a nearly flat flooring may well aid a 3rd person-even a thin adult-squeeze in to the center with the seat.
Kia claims the new human body proportions improve highest cargo capacity by 5 cubic toes, and that the rear liftgate opening is broader and decreased. The guide liftgate offers entry to the modicum of usable, easy-loading cargo place during the squarish, flat-floored cargo bay. (Not-too-delicate goods may fit under the ground inside the house throughout the spare tire.) Rear 60/40 seats fold practically flat to develop cargo potential when wanted.
Trying to keep the Soul getting in some thing akin to the well-received deal wherein it’s wrapped itself considering that its debut are going to be a fascinating problem for Kia to work out. Right up until then, we are able to visualize that lots of individuals will see approaches to enjoy this most recent Soul.
There might be only a simple compact automobile beneath the Kia Soul’s boxy hatchback exterior — it truly is about a Kia Forte/Hyundai Elantra chassis, but who cares? All those are great compact automobiles, as well as the Soul turns them right into a larger-feeling everyday driver with the interior house and cargo versatility smaller crossover buyers crave.
The Soul also gives absent the massive secret in entry-level cars these days — they are truly good. Our X-Line Soul, such as the relevant Elantra and Forte, will come using a complete 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Android Vehicle and Apple CarPlay — larger trims receive a bigger monitor and satellite radio with navigation, but the very affordable X-Line gives you equivalent capabilities as a result of your cellphone. For buyers considering a Soul for more youthful motorists, Kia provides essential safety gear even at the finances S trim amount. Which means lane hold guide, blind location warning, rear cross-traffic notify and driver consideration warning are all present even at this cost place. Indeed, the inside is generally challenging plastics about the dash and doorways, but style themes help break it up and plenty of price-sensitive customers would happily take the superior volume of basic safety tech above some faux luxe trim — I am aware I’d personally if it were being me (or my kid) getting the Soul.
Soul driving dynamics are not everything to swoon about, but it’s a predictable, easy-to-pilot car or truck with excellent visibility and plenty of electricity to keep you outside of hassle. It’s apparent the brake and steering inputs had been made to enchantment on the “vast center,” delivering neither sharp responses nor mushy delays. The Soul is correctly suitable, which can be just what it should be.
A decade ago, just before “subcompact crossover” entered the public lexicon, a few unconventional imports defied classic classification. Ended up the Honda Aspect, Kia Soul, Nissan Cube, Scion xB hatchbacks, wagons or SUVs? It can be still hard to say. But we do realize that the Soul, that’s the only real car on the batch even now around, reveals that Kia provides a successful system on its hands.
The 2020 Kia Soul, which happens to be thoroughly redesigned this yr, includes a good deal heading for it. Drivers in congested city parts will appreciate its nimble measurement, responsive motor and managed journey above bumpy pavement. Outdoors the town, the Soul shines with crisp managing and responsive steering. It is possible to up the Soul’s fun component much more by equipping it which has a punchy turbocharged engine and a sport-tuned suspension.
Despite exactly where you live, the Soul’s roomy cabin and beneficial cargo place make it a perfect day-to-day car or truck. We also like its aggressive pricing, which undercuts most rivals without sacrificing interior components good quality or function content.
As with all budget-priced small vehicle, there are several drawbacks. All-wheel travel just isn’t offered, which could be a deal-breaker for buyers in sites that have icy or snowy road circumstances. And that sport-tuned Soul, the GT-Line Turbo, suffers from a clunky-shifting transmission in addition to a harsh trip high quality. But overall we expect the 2020 Kia Soul rises higher than other subcompact crossovers owing to its mixture of practicality, affordability and emphasis on pleasurable.
Which has a starting up price of $21,490, the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line would make a fantastic decision for many who need a fundamental Kia Soul by using a very little far more character. It is also a persuasive option in opposition to the Toyota C-HR. They are about equivalent on functionality, even though Kia also builds the more potent 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line at the same time.
Yep, which is the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line inside of a snow storm. (Image: TFLcar)
Neither automobile delivers any sort of all-wheel push here while in the Usa, irrespective of wanting like it. Abroad, the C-HR is out there with all-wheel push. Within a feeling, then, they are much more like lifted hatchbacks than out-and-out crossovers.
There’s far more on the Toyota: Without a doubt, the Toyota C-HR’s very best function is its dealing with. It’s a sport-tuned four-wheel impartial suspension set up that is downright pleasurable to take advantage of. Steering feel and steering excess weight are outstanding to a lot of the Kia line and also the only method to out-pace the C-HR is together with the turbocharged 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line.
Both of those motor vehicles have CVTs that mimic the feel of the automated transmission. Basically, they pause somewhat giving the feel of the automobile changing gears. It works a bit much better over the Soul, but each cars however drone a little bit when accelerating. Even now, it is only obvious when the driver’s a tiny bit intense.
Within the late 2000s, there have been several so-called “box” autos that came to industry during the U.S. such as the Nissan Dice along with the Scion xB. Having said that, just one at any time genuinely held any enchantment for me personally and it’s now the one a person left on sale below, the Kia Soul. Ultimately November’s Los angeles Automobile Exhibit, Kia unveiled a fresh third-generation Soul which i just bought to spend some time with to determine if I even now like it.
The brand new Soul retains exactly the same essential profile it’s had to the previous ten years which differs somewhat through the other box vehicles in the roof has slight downward slope toward the back again. The Soul in no way had the more upright windshield observed about the xB and Cube, all of which contributes to supplying the Soul a slightly a lot more sporting stance. Fortuitously, people variants really do not effect the sensible packaging advantages of the boxy configuration. Irrespective of its compact footprint, the Soul gives remarkably ample home for travellers and cargo.
When the essential kind remains intact, Kia designers have managed to present the Soul a more present-day search, finding up many of the presently stylish design cues. Up front, the earlier unified headlamp cluster has split up as a great number of many others much like the Hyundai Kona and Chevy Blazer have lately. A pair of narrow, horizontal strips give the daytime operating lamp functionality even though larger sized blocks down under flanking the grille consist of the headlamps.
For the C-pillar, the black trim encompassing the aspect windows flows back, bisecting the pillar and supplying a bit of the floating roof glance. With the back again, the curved, vertical taillamps that flanked tailgate to the prior generation now prolong the many way across the top and about one-quarter of the way in on the bottom, delivering a ring of sunshine. Overall, the Soul seems sharp and up to date in 2019, but I can’t help but marvel if these at present fashionable cues may search extra dated within a couple yrs in the event the marketplace has moved on.
The new Soul is yet again out there in battery electric sort even though it now has the bigger 64-kWh battery employed in the Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV versions, more than doubling vary to 243 miles. I haven’t pushed that variant however but seem forward to it. Over the inside combustion side, the 1.6-liter obviously aspirated four-cylinder that was beforehand accessible in the base Soul has actually been dropped in favor of your two.0-liter 4. On the other hand, this time it is a reduce value port fuel injected edition rather compared to direct injected motor utilized last calendar year. Output is down a tiny bit to 147-hp and 132 lb-ft but fuel economic system is up by three mpg to thirty mpg mixed.
A six-speed manual transmission is available in the foundation EX trim but all other individuals apart from the Turbo now utilize a continually variable transmission. The GT-Line turbo retains the 1.6-liter direct injected turbo and seven-speed dual clutch transmission blend uncovered in several Hyundai and Kia functionality products. The 2.0-liter CVT mixture essentially is effective very well within the Soul, in particular with all the 100 pound pounds reduction. The command of your CVT is tuned for being a great deal similar to a standard phase ration transmission and it in no way displays any in the annoying motorboating influence persons normally dislike using these transmissions. Total the effectiveness is much more than satisfactory for the compact auto and most drivers are not likely to obtain any significant problems. In my very own driving, I basically beat the EPA estimate by using a combined 32 mpg without the need of definitely making an attempt.
For this new technology, Kia has expanded the lineup from a few trim levels to 7 including the X-line ideal inside the middle. Given that consumers appear to be scurrying absent from cars and toward utility autos as fast as they can, the X-Line will get some that faux crossover glance that lots of other modest automobiles have as of late. Which means some silver colored trim pieces beneath the entrance and rear fascias and the rocker panels that vaguely resembles skid plates, but evidently are usually not. Fortunately, the more “rugged” appear does not definitely detract within the general style and that i could reside with it.
That rugged appear is naturally absolutely aesthetic with no fundamental functionality to assistance off-roading. The strut entrance suspension and twist beam rear axle are rather common fare for entry-level autos and provide incredibly respectable experience high-quality and dealing with. The Soul stays fairly flat under-going corners and doesn’t present a lot feed-back with the steering wheel but is adequately weighted and goes just about in which you position it. For operation off-pavement, you’ll want to persist with managing above rocks no much larger than normal gravel streets.
Each and every trim including the base LX that commences at just $18,five hundred including shipping consists of a 7-inch touchscreen audio process with Apple Carplay and Android Car guidance as well as hill start support plus the now mandatory backup digital camera. The X-Line I drove also integrated blindspot checking with cross targeted traffic alert. At $22,five hundred it did not produce other driver helps like lane maintaining or adaptive cruise management and beginning the vehicle still required that attempted and correct process of truly inserting a vital right into a slot.
As usual, Kia is offering a pretty strong price proposition along with the 2020 Soul. For a auto that may comfortably keep 4 grownups as well as a bunch of stuff at the rear of the seats, provide first rate gasoline economic system, a unique perception of favor and a lot more than sufficient general performance, you’d be hard-pressed to find a superior vehicle within the U.S. sector at the moment to get a beginning price tag below $20,000.