Kia may perhaps use a trouble with its Soul subcompact hatchback-and it’s a superb issue. Shifting on to a 3rd era for the 2020 model 12 months, Kia has diligently advanced the styling, daring to squeeze out any hint of its signature “tiger nose” grille, but careful never to stray much too considerably with the “tall box” shape of its forebears.
Why? Individuals know this thing if they see it, plus they know who makes it. If vehicles had egos, most would give their left rear shock for that sort of name recognition. Therefore, Kia may well really need to tread diligently when it’s time for generation four.
The X-Line design will get a beefier, a lot more SUV-ish seem than other Souls, as a result of rugged-looking matte black physique trim with silver accents, and silver roof trim. Even though our tester didn’t have it, two-tone paint is available at the same time.
But that is a stress for an additional day. Right until then, Kia has manufactured the Soul a bit greater, altered 1 of its engines, rearranged and augmented the product lineup, ushered in new protection tech (at least in increased trim concentrations), and however held selling prices in check out.
Buyer Guide’s first take a look at of the new Soul came inside of a Gravity Gray X-Line. The X-Line, which commences at $22,485 with shipping and delivery, can be a new design that, just like a variety of other compact hatches and wagons, trades on an off-roader glance without the need of actually adding any serious off-road capacity. It consists of unique 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 within an in any other case simple inside. Lane-change support, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic inform give the X-Line a bare minimum amount from the varieties of digital basic safety minders that consumers have come to hope in recent years. (You’ve got to maneuver nearly the EX and GT-Line products to get the Kia Push Sensible suite of more-advanced active security tech.)
The Kia Soul has a pleasingly uncomplicated, uncomplicated control layout. Nevertheless, the X-Line model is lacking a lot of the advantage and protection characteristics of higher-line Soul trim degrees, and there won’t be any update choice offers available. The rear-seat place delivers sufficient legroom and fantastic headroom for grownup travellers.
Some (well, this tester at the very least) might discover the Soul X-Line refreshingly very simple. At the time settled on a manually modified fabric seat, the driving force needs to insert an ignition critical to get started on. An AM/FM/MP3 radio that’s useless easy to software with a 7-inch touchscreen serves your listening satisfaction. (Don’t fear, it’s obtained Android Vehicle and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration if you want to march to a unique drummer.) The weather process is manual, it’s solitary zone, and it is amazing. A few dials-for temperature, enthusiast pace, and mode-let you switch ideal towards the effectiveness level you’d like. Just 4 extra on-off buttons enable you choose air con, rear defrost, and air recirculation or consumption at a one press of a button. You desire “fragrance release?” Put on cologne. In this enterprise, distant keyless entry, the tilt/telescoping steering column, and steering-wheel controls for audio and cruise command seem to be pretty much sybaritic.
Generous cargo quantity within tiny exterior dimensions has become a Soul area of expertise since working day 1; the redesigned 2020 product gives 24.two cubic ft of cargo place powering the rear seats, and sixty two.1 cu. ft. with the rear seats folded.
The base motor is exactly what powers the X-Line. It’s a two.0-liter 4-cylinder connected into a repeatedly variable transmission (CVT). At 147 horsepower, the 2020 engine is a lot less effective when compared to the prior Soul engine of your very same displacement. That said, it however provides a satisfying, useful amount of energy (if most likely a little bit loud below acceleration), having a very slight improve from picking out the “Sport” driving mode. The CVT is programmed to offer off the really feel of a stepped-gear transmission, which it does convincingly. EPA fuel-economy scores are 27 mpg in city driving, 33 mpg in freeway operation, and thirty merged. This reviewer included 60 per cent of his 192 test miles in city disorders, and observed just 24.1 mpg, but you’ll see that CG editors’ highway-weighted over-all mileage was a great deal greater.
The Soul is a minimal significantly less subcompact than it was once. The all-new system has one.two inches more wheelbase and a pair of.2 inches extra whole duration than its immediate predecessor. Steering really feel is fairly bland nevertheless the ’20 Soul handles decently, with pretty good maneuverability for obtaining out and in of parking areas. Suspension compliance comes off a little bit stiff, so ride can experience organization.
Padded and soft-to-the-touch inside surfaces are limited, uncovered just on the X-Line’s armrests, dash best, and console-box lid. So, too, are cabin-storage alternatives. Without a doubt, the only services for rear-seat riders are bottle holders inside the doorways. Up entrance you’ll find door pockets (with bottle holders), a considerable glove box, less-large console box, twin cup holders, and an open bin less than the USB port. Fortunately, passenger area is far far more ample. There’s fantastic headroom and legroom in both row, and comfortable help within the front seats. In back again, a nearly flat floor could possibly help a 3rd person-even a skinny adult-squeeze in the middle on the seat.
Kia says the brand new human body proportions improve most cargo capacity by five cubic toes, and that the rear liftgate opening is broader and lower. The guide liftgate gives entry to your modicum of usable, easy-loading cargo area inside the squarish, flat-floored cargo bay. (Not-too-delicate items may suit below the ground inside the room across the spare tire.) Rear 60/40 seats fold practically flat to extend cargo capability when necessary.
Retaining the Soul entering into anything akin on the well-received offer wherein it has wrapped itself due to the fact its debut will probably be a fascinating trouble for Kia to work out. Right up until then, we will imagine that lots of folks will discover solutions to get pleasure from this newest Soul.
There might be just a essential compact car or truck less than the Kia Soul’s boxy hatchback exterior — it’s roughly a Kia Forte/Hyundai Elantra chassis, but who cares? Those people are outstanding compact vehicles, and the Soul turns them into a larger-feeling everyday driver together with the inside house and cargo adaptability tiny crossover shoppers crave.
The Soul also presents away the large mystery in entry-level cars and trucks today — they are actually excellent. Our X-Line Soul, just like the related Elantra and Forte, arrives which has a detailed 7-inch touch-screen infotainment program with Android Vehicle and Apple CarPlay — greater trims obtain a more substantial display and satellite radio with navigation, however the economical X-Line presents you comparable capabilities via your cellular phone. For potential buyers contemplating a Soul for youthful motorists, Kia provides significant basic safety gear even in the funds S trim degree. Meaning lane continue to keep assist, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic notify and driver consideration warning are all existing even at this value place. Of course, the inside is generally tricky plastics within the dash and doors, but style themes assist break it up and lots of price-sensitive purchasers would fortunately go ahead and take large level of basic safety tech above some fake luxe trim — I understand I might if it ended up me (or my kid) obtaining the Soul.
Soul driving dynamics aren’t nearly anything to swoon around, but it is a predictable, easy-to-pilot vehicle with exceptional visibility and ample electricity to keep you away from difficulties. It’s apparent the brake and steering inputs were being designed to charm towards the “vast middle,” providing neither sharp responses nor mushy delays. The Soul is beautifully satisfactory, that is exactly what it ought to be.
A decade ago, in advance of “subcompact crossover” entered the general public lexicon, a few abnormal imports defied common classification. Have been the Honda Element, Kia Soul, Nissan Dice, Scion xB hatchbacks, wagons or SUVs? It can be however tricky to state. But we do understand that the Soul, which is the only motor vehicle with the batch however about, demonstrates that Kia incorporates a effective system on its fingers.
The 2020 Kia Soul, and that is fully redesigned this year, has a lot going for it. Drivers in congested city locations will enjoy its nimble dimensions, responsive engine and managed trip above bumpy pavement. Exterior the town, the Soul shines with crisp dealing with and responsive steering. You can up the Soul’s enjoyable factor far more by equipping it with a punchy turbocharged engine in addition to a sport-tuned suspension.
Despite where by you reside, the Soul’s roomy cabin and practical cargo house make it a perfect day-to-day auto. We also like its competitive pricing, which undercuts most rivals without the need of sacrificing inside elements excellent or characteristic information.
As with any budget-priced little car, here are a few negatives. All-wheel push just isn’t readily available, which might certainly be a deal-breaker for purchasers in areas that experience icy or snowy road ailments. Which sport-tuned Soul, the GT-Line Turbo, suffers from a clunky-shifting transmission along with a severe journey high-quality. But over-all we predict the 2020 Kia Soul rises previously mentioned other subcompact crossovers owing to its blend of practicality, affordability and emphasis on fun.
By using a beginning price of $21,490, the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line would make an incredible decision for those who want a primary Kia Soul that has a small far more character. It’s also a powerful selection versus the Toyota C-HR. They’re about equal on overall performance, whilst Kia also builds the greater potent 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line as well.
Yep, that is the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line within a snow storm. (Photo: TFLcar)
Neither car or truck gives any kind of all-wheel drive in this article in the United states, even with searching like it. Abroad, the C-HR is accessible with all-wheel travel. In a very sense, then, they are additional like lifted hatchbacks than out-and-out crossovers.
There’s a lot more into the Toyota: Undoubtedly, the Toyota C-HR’s ideal characteristic is its handling. It has a sport-tuned four-wheel independent suspension setup which is downright fun to exploit. Steering feel and steering excess weight are remarkable to most of the Kia line as well as the only method to out-pace the C-HR is with all the turbocharged 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line.
Equally motor vehicles have CVTs that mimic the feel of an automatic transmission. In essence, they pause a tiny bit providing the texture of the vehicle switching gears. It really works a tad better on the Soul, but the two automobiles still drone a little when accelerating. However, it’s only recognizable in the event the driver’s somewhat intense.
In the late 2000s, there have been various so-called “box” cars and trucks that came to current market while in the U.S. including the Nissan Dice and also the Scion xB. However, just one at any time seriously held any attractiveness for me personally and it’s now the only real just one remaining on sale right here, the Kia Soul. At last November’s La Automobile Exhibit, Kia unveiled a new third-generation Soul that i just acquired to spend a while with to view if I nonetheless like it.
The brand new Soul retains the identical simple profile it’s got had for that past ten years which differs a little bit from your other box vehicles in the roof has slight downward slope toward the back. The Soul never experienced the more upright windshield located within the xB and Dice, all of which contributes to providing the Soul a slightly much more sporting stance. Fortunately, these variants never impact the practical packaging rewards from the boxy configuration. Regardless of its compact footprint, the Soul provides surprisingly enough space for passengers and cargo.
Although the essential variety continues to be intact, Kia designers have managed to offer the Soul a more modern day appear, finding up quite a few from the presently fashionable design cues. Up front, the earlier unified headlamp cluster has split up as countless some others like the Hyundai Kona and Chevy Blazer have recently. A pair of slender, horizontal strips provide the daytime functioning lamp operation even though bigger blocks down under flanking the grille contain the headlamps.
On the C-pillar, the black trim bordering the facet home windows flows back again, bisecting the pillar and delivering a little the floating roof glance. On the back again, the curved, vertical taillamps that flanked tailgate within the prior generation now prolong each of the way within the best and about one-quarter with the way in to the bottom, furnishing a ring of light. Total, the Soul appears to be like sharp and contemporary in 2019, but I can not aid but surprise if these currently stylish cues might seem much more dated in the couple of a long time in the event the sector has moved on.
The new Soul is all over again available in battery electric form although it now has the much larger 64-kWh battery employed in the Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV types, over doubling vary to 243 miles. I haven’t driven that variant nonetheless but look ahead to it. Within the inner combustion aspect, the 1.6-liter obviously aspirated four-cylinder which was beforehand available inside the base Soul has been dropped in favor of your 2.0-liter four. However, this time it is a reduce cost port gas injected version instead compared to immediate injected engine used past yr. Output is down a little to 147-hp and 132 lb-ft but gasoline financial system is up by three mpg to thirty mpg combined.
A six-speed manual transmission is on the market in the foundation EX trim but all other folks aside from the Turbo now utilize a continually variable transmission. The GT-Line turbo retains the one.6-liter direct injected turbo and seven-speed twin clutch transmission mix found in quite a few Hyundai and Kia efficiency versions. The two.0-liter CVT combination in fact functions very well within the Soul, especially along with the 100 pound excess weight reduction. The regulate on the CVT is tuned for being a great deal similar to a common step ration transmission and it never reveals any of your troublesome motorboating impact persons usually despise using these transmissions. General the overall performance is much more than satisfactory for any compact auto and most motorists are not likely to get any major complaints. In my very own driving, I actually beat the EPA estimate which has a blended 32 mpg without having seriously seeking.
For this new technology, Kia has expanded the lineup from a few trim stages to seven including the X-line correct in the center. Provided that people seem to be scurrying away from automobiles and toward utility vehicles as rapid as they can, the X-Line receives some that faux crossover look that a lot of other compact autos have nowadays. Which means some silver colored trim items below the entrance and rear fascias plus the rocker panels that vaguely resembles skid plates, but clearly are usually not. Luckily, the more “rugged” glance does not actually detract from the in general structure and that i could reside with it.
That rugged appear is not surprisingly totally aesthetic with no underlying functionality to guidance off-roading. The strut entrance suspension and twist beam rear axle are quite normal fare for entry-level vehicles and provide shockingly decent trip good quality and handling. The Soul stays comparatively flat dealing with corners and doesn’t supply much responses in the steering wheel but is satisfactorily weighted and goes practically the place you point it. For procedure off-pavement, you will need to stay with running about rocks no much larger than standard gravel streets.
Every single trim including the foundation LX that starts at just $18,500 such as delivery consists of a 7-inch touchscreen audio process with Apple Carplay and Android Vehicle assistance also as hill get started support and also the now mandatory backup digital camera. The X-Line I drove also integrated blindspot checking with cross targeted visitors inform. At $22,500 it didn’t have other driver assists like lane retaining or adaptive cruise control and starting up the car still demanded that tried and accurate approach of really inserting a essential right into a slot.
As typical, Kia is offering a reasonably powerful benefit proposition while using the 2020 Soul. For a car which can easily hold 4 grown ups and also a bunch of stuff behind the seats, provide good gas financial state, a singular feeling of style and much more than sufficient effectiveness, you’d be hard-pressed to find a improved automobile in the U.S. current market at the moment for a starting up rate beneath $20,000.