Kia may have a challenge with its Soul subcompact hatchback-and it’s a very good dilemma. Moving on to the third technology for your 2020 model year, Kia has meticulously progressed the styling, daring to squeeze out any trace of its signature “tiger nose” grille, but watchful not to stray also significantly through the “tall box” shape of its forebears.
Why? Persons know this factor after they see it, they usually know who causes it to be. If autos had egos, most would give their still left rear shock for that sort of brand name recognition. Thus, Kia may need to tread diligently when it’s time for generation 4.
The X-Line model receives a beefier, additional SUV-ish look than other Souls, as a result of rugged-looking matte black human body trim with silver accents, and silver roof trim. Nevertheless our tester did not have it, two-tone paint is obtainable likewise.
But which is a be concerned for an additional day. Right up until then, Kia has manufactured the Soul a little much larger, improved 1 of its engines, rearranged and augmented the design lineup, ushered in new safety tech (no less than in increased trim concentrations), and even now saved selling prices in test.
Customer Guide’s very first take a look at of a new Soul arrived inside a Gravity Grey X-Line. The X-Line, which starts off at $22,485 with shipping, is often a new design that, like a variety of other little hatches and wagons, trades on an off-roader glimpse without having basically adding any real off-road ability. It includes 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 luxury within an usually basic interior. Lane-change aid, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert give the X-Line a bare minimum amount in the kinds of electronic safety minders that customers have come to assume recently. (You have got to maneuver as many as the EX and GT-Line designs to obtain the Kia Travel Wise suite of more-advanced lively basic safety tech.)
The Kia Soul includes a pleasingly simple, clear-cut handle layout. Having said that, the X-Line product is missing some of the advantage and safety attributes of higher-line Soul trim ranges, and there are no upgrade solution deals readily available. The rear-seat space provides enough legroom and great headroom for grownup passengers.
Some (properly, this tester at the very least) may possibly locate the Soul X-Line refreshingly basic. The moment settled on a manually altered material seat, the driving force has to insert an ignition critical to start out. An AM/FM/MP3 radio that is dead basic to system with a 7-inch touchscreen serves your listening enjoyment. (Never stress, it is bought Android Vehicle and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration if you need to march to a distinctive drummer.) The local climate process is guide, it is solitary zone, and it’s fantastic. Three dials-for temperature, admirer pace, and mode-let you turn correct towards the overall performance level you’d like. Just four supplemental on-off buttons allow you select air-con, rear defrost, and air recirculation or intake in a one push of a button. You need “fragrance release?” Use cologne. Within this enterprise, remote keyless entry, the tilt/telescoping steering column, and steering-wheel controls for audio and cruise command seem practically sybaritic.
Generous cargo quantity inside compact exterior dimensions continues to be a Soul distinctiveness since day just one; the redesigned 2020 product gives 24.2 cubic ft of cargo room behind the rear seats, and sixty two.one cu. ft. with all the rear seats folded.
The base engine is exactly what powers the X-Line. It can be a two.0-liter 4-cylinder linked to a continually variable transmission (CVT). At 147 horsepower, the 2020 motor is less potent when compared to the past Soul motor in the same displacement. Having said that, it continue to gives a delightful, handy amount of electricity (if maybe somewhat loud underneath acceleration), by using a pretty slight boost from picking the “Sport” driving manner. The CVT is programmed to offer off the really feel of the stepped-gear transmission, which it does convincingly. EPA fuel-economy ratings are 27 mpg in metropolis driving, 33 mpg in freeway operation, and thirty mixed. This reviewer lined sixty percent 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 improved.
The Soul is actually a small a lot less subcompact than it was. The all-new system has 1.two inches extra wheelbase and 2.2 inches more overall duration than its instant predecessor. Steering experience is rather bland however the ’20 Soul handles decently, with pretty good maneuverability for receiving in and out of parking areas. Suspension compliance comes off a little stiff, so ride can feel business.
Padded and soft-to-the-touch interior surfaces are minimal, identified just about the X-Line’s armrests, dash top rated, and console-box lid. So, much too, are cabin-storage chances. In truth, the sole amenities for rear-seat riders are bottle holders inside the doorways. Up front you’ll find door pockets (with bottle holders), a big glove box, less-large console box, twin cup holders, and an open up bin beneath the USB port. Thankfully, passenger area is way additional plentiful. There’s excellent headroom and legroom in either row, and comfy help around the front seats. In back, an almost flat flooring may possibly help a 3rd person-even a thin adult-squeeze in the center in the seat.
Kia claims the brand new overall body proportions increase most cargo potential by five cubic toes, which the rear liftgate opening is broader and lower. The manual liftgate offers access into a modicum of usable, easy-loading cargo area from the squarish, flat-floored cargo bay. (Not-too-delicate merchandise may possibly healthy under the floor from the space within the spare tire.) Rear 60/40 seats fold pretty much flat to broaden cargo capability when essential.
Keeping the Soul getting into some thing akin for the well-received deal in which it’s wrapped alone given that its debut will likely be a fascinating problem for Kia to operate out. Right up until then, we could imagine that a lot of individuals will find tips on how to get pleasure from this newest Soul.
There may be simply a primary compact car or truck underneath the Kia Soul’s boxy hatchback exterior — it’s around a Kia Forte/Hyundai Elantra chassis, but who cares? All those are superb modest autos, as well as Soul turns them right into a larger-feeling every day driver with all the interior place and cargo adaptability tiny crossover consumers crave.
The Soul also presents absent the massive key in entry-level cars as of late — they’re definitely excellent. Our X-Line Soul, such as associated Elantra and Forte, will come with a in depth 7-inch touch-screen infotainment procedure with Android Vehicle and Apple CarPlay — larger trims obtain a even larger display screen and satellite radio with navigation, although the very affordable X-Line gives you equivalent abilities via your cell phone. For prospective buyers thinking about a Soul for youthful drivers, Kia delivers significant safety equipment even in the spending budget S trim amount. Meaning lane keep guide, blind place warning, rear cross-traffic notify and driver awareness warning are all existing even at this selling price level. Certainly, the interior is mostly really hard plastics to the dash and doors, but structure themes help crack it up and a lot of price-sensitive prospective buyers would fortunately go ahead and take substantial standard of protection tech in excess of some faux luxe trim — I’m sure I might if it were me (or my kid) getting the Soul.
Soul driving dynamics are not everything to swoon over, but it is a predictable, easy-to-pilot vehicle with great visibility and adequate energy to maintain you outside of difficulties. It’s noticeable the brake and steering inputs ended up designed to enchantment to the “vast middle,” offering neither sharp responses nor mushy delays. The Soul is correctly satisfactory, which is what precisely it should be.
Ten years in the past, right before “subcompact crossover” entered the general public lexicon, a few unusual imports defied common classification. Ended up the Honda Element, Kia Soul, Nissan Cube, Scion xB hatchbacks, wagons or SUVs? It can be continue to hard to state. But we do realize that the Soul, that is the one vehicle on the batch still around, reveals that Kia has a productive formula on its fingers.
The 2020 Kia Soul, that is thoroughly redesigned this 12 months, has a whole lot likely for it. Drivers in congested urban regions will get pleasure from its nimble dimension, responsive engine and controlled ride above bumpy pavement. Outdoors town, the Soul shines with crisp dealing with and responsive steering. You’ll be able to up the Soul’s enjoyment aspect much more by equipping it having a punchy turbocharged motor plus a sport-tuned suspension.
Regardless of in which you live, the Soul’s roomy cabin and valuable cargo space help it become a perfect daily motor vehicle. We also like its competitive pricing, which undercuts most rivals without the need of sacrificing interior resources high quality or element content.
As with all budget-priced little auto, there are some negatives. All-wheel push just isn’t available, which might be described as a deal-breaker for prospective buyers in locations that experience icy or snowy street problems. Which sport-tuned Soul, the GT-Line Turbo, suffers from a clunky-shifting transmission in addition to a severe experience quality. But overall we expect the 2020 Kia Soul rises earlier mentioned other subcompact crossovers owing to its blend of practicality, affordability and emphasis on enjoyment.
By using a starting off cost of $21,490, the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line helps make an excellent choice for many who desire a basic Kia Soul that has a very little far more character. It is also a compelling decision against the Toyota C-HR. They are about equivalent on performance, though Kia also builds the more potent 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line likewise.
Yep, that is the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line in a snow storm. (Photo: TFLcar)
Neither car or truck provides any method of all-wheel generate here within the U . s ., inspite of seeking like it. Abroad, the C-HR is out there with all-wheel generate. Inside of a sense, then, they are far more like lifted hatchbacks than out-and-out crossovers.
There is more into the Toyota: Unquestionably, the Toyota C-HR’s ideal characteristic is its managing. It’s got a sport-tuned four-wheel independent suspension set up which is downright enjoyment to take advantage of. Steering feel and steering weight are remarkable to most of the Kia line and also the only technique to out-pace the C-HR is with all the turbocharged 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line.
Both of those cars have CVTs that mimic the feel of an automated transmission. Essentially, they pause a bit supplying the texture of the motor vehicle changing gears. It works a little bit better over the Soul, but the two cars still drone somewhat when accelerating. Even now, it’s only noticeable when the driver’s a little aggressive.
Inside the late 2000s, there have been several so-called “box” cars and trucks that arrived to sector inside the U.S. including the Nissan Dice plus the Scion xB. Having said that, only one at any time genuinely held any appeal for me individually and it is now the one just one remaining on sale listed here, the Kia Soul. Finally November’s Los angeles Automobile Show, Kia unveiled a whole new third-generation Soul that i just received to invest some time with to check out if I nonetheless like it.
The new Soul retains precisely the same simple profile it’s got had for the previous ten years which differs marginally in the other box cars and trucks in which the roof has slight downward slope toward the again. The Soul never experienced the more upright windshield located about the xB and Dice, all of which contributes to giving the Soul a rather additional sporting stance. Thankfully, individuals versions really do not influence the sensible packaging rewards on the boxy configuration. Even with its compact footprint, the Soul features astonishingly sufficient area for travellers and cargo.
While the essential sort stays intact, Kia designers have managed to present the Soul a more up to date appear, buying up numerous in the presently stylish style cues. Up entrance, the previously unified headlamp cluster has split up as a lot of other individuals similar to the Hyundai Kona and Chevy Blazer have lately. A set of narrow, horizontal strips deliver the daytime running lamp functionality although greater blocks down beneath flanking the grille incorporate the headlamps.
On the C-pillar, the black trim surrounding the side windows flows again, bisecting the pillar and providing a little the floating roof seem. Within the back again, the curved, vertical taillamps that flanked tailgate about the previous technology now lengthen all of the way within the top and about one-quarter of your way in about the base, giving a hoop of light. Overall, the Soul looks sharp and modern day in 2019, but I can’t help but marvel if these now trendy cues may well seem a lot more dated within a handful of yrs if the sector has moved on.
The brand new Soul is once again accessible in battery electrical type even though it now has the greater 64-kWh battery used in the Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV models, greater than doubling vary to 243 miles. I haven’t driven that variant but but seem forward to it. Over the interior combustion aspect, the 1.6-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder which was previously out there in the base Soul has been dropped in favor of your two.0-liter four. Nevertheless, this time it’s a lower value port gas injected model relatively than the immediate injected engine employed final calendar year. Output is down a little bit to 147-hp and 132 lb-ft but gasoline overall economy is up by 3 mpg to thirty mpg put together.
A six-speed handbook transmission is obtainable in the base EX trim but all many others except for the Turbo now make use of a constantly variable transmission. The GT-Line turbo retains the one.6-liter direct injected turbo and seven-speed twin clutch transmission mixture uncovered in various Hyundai and Kia performance versions. The two.0-liter CVT blend essentially functions very well in the Soul, particularly while using the one hundred pound excess weight reduction. The control in the CVT is tuned being a great deal like a common step ration transmission and it under no circumstances displays any in the troublesome motorboating have an impact on individuals generally hate using these transmissions. Total the efficiency is much more than suitable to get a compact motor vehicle and many motorists are unlikely to acquire any severe problems. In my very own driving, I truly conquer the EPA estimate with a merged 32 mpg with out truly trying.
For this new era, Kia has expanded the lineup from three trim concentrations to seven such as the X-line appropriate during the center. Provided that customers appear to be scurrying away from vehicles and toward utility automobiles as rapid because they can, the X-Line receives a little that fake crossover search that a great number of other little automobiles have lately. Meaning some silver coloured trim parts below the front and rear fascias as well as the rocker panels that vaguely resembles skid plates, but evidently usually are not. The good news is, the greater “rugged” search does not seriously detract with the all round structure and i could reside with it.
That rugged seem is naturally totally aesthetic without any fundamental performance to help off-roading. The strut entrance suspension and twist beam rear axle are really standard fare for entry-level autos and provide astonishingly first rate journey excellent and handling. The Soul stays reasonably flat under-going corners and doesn’t offer you a lot feedback through the steering wheel but is adequately weighted and goes virtually exactly where you level it. For operation off-pavement, you should follow functioning above rocks no more substantial than typical gravel streets.
Each trim such as the foundation LX that starts at just $18,500 which include supply involves a 7-inch touchscreen audio procedure with Apple Carplay and Android Vehicle assist in addition as hill begin aid and the now required backup digital camera. The X-Line I drove also involved blindspot monitoring with cross targeted visitors inform. At $22,500 it did not produce other driver assists like lane trying to keep or adaptive cruise command and starting the car continue to necessary that tried and correct approach of really inserting a key right into a slot.
As typical, Kia is furnishing a reasonably solid price proposition together with the 2020 Soul. For just a automobile that may easily hold four adults and also a bunch of stuff guiding the seats, provide first rate gasoline financial state, a unique feeling of style plus more than enough effectiveness, you’d be hard-pressed to find a far better automobile in the U.S. industry right now for just a setting up rate beneath $20,000.