Kia may have a very challenge with its Soul subcompact hatchback-and it is a very good problem. Relocating on into a third technology for that 2020 design yr, Kia has cautiously progressed the styling, daring to squeeze out any trace of its signature “tiger nose” grille, but mindful not to stray too much with the “tall box” shape of its forebears.
Why? Persons know this detail when they see it, they usually know who causes it to be. If autos experienced egos, most would give their remaining rear shock for that sort of brand name recognition. Thus, Kia might really have to tread cautiously when it is time for technology 4.
The X-Line design gets a beefier, additional SUV-ish search than other Souls, thanks to rugged-looking matte black entire body trim with silver accents, and silver roof trim. Though our tester did not have it, two-tone paint is offered likewise.
But that’s a stress for another working day. Right until then, Kia has created the Soul a little bit more substantial, transformed 1 of its engines, rearranged and augmented the design lineup, ushered in new safety tech (not less than in greater trim degrees), and nonetheless retained rates in verify.
Customer Guide’s initial test of the new Soul arrived in the Gravity Gray X-Line. The X-Line, which begins at $22,485 with supply, is actually a new product that, just like a variety of other little hatches and wagons, trades on an off-roader look with no truly introducing any actual off-road ability. It features unique lower-body cladding and overfenders, fog lights, roof rails, and specific 18-inch alloy wheels. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob inject a literal contact of luxurious in an if not simple inside. Lane-change assist, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic notify provide the X-Line a bare bare minimum from the kinds of digital protection minders that consumers have come to be expecting in recent years. (You have to move around the EX and GT-Line types to find the Kia Push Wise suite of more-advanced active safety tech.)
The Kia Soul features a pleasingly simple, uncomplicated manage layout. Nevertheless, the X-Line model is missing several of the ease and protection characteristics of higher-line Soul trim ranges, and there aren’t any update selection packages obtainable. The rear-seat region provides enough legroom and excellent headroom for adult passengers.
Some (very well, this tester at the very least) may well locate the Soul X-Line refreshingly simple. The moment settled on a manually altered fabric seat, the driving force should insert an ignition key to start out. An AM/FM/MP3 radio that is lifeless simple to program with a 7-inch touchscreen serves your listening pleasure. (Do not get worried, it’s obtained Android Vehicle and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration if you’d like to march into a distinct drummer.) The weather program is handbook, it’s solitary zone, and it’s magnificent. 3 dials-for temperature, lover velocity, and mode-let you switch ideal into the overall performance amount you need. Just four additional on-off buttons enable you choose air conditioning, rear defrost, and air recirculation or consumption in a single push of the button. You wish “fragrance release?” Put on cologne. In this particular firm, distant keyless entry, the tilt/telescoping steering column, and steering-wheel controls for audio and cruise command look nearly sybaritic.
Generous cargo volume in just modest exterior proportions continues to be a Soul forte due to the fact working day 1; the redesigned 2020 design features 24.2 cubic toes of cargo area behind the rear seats, and sixty two.one cu. ft. with the rear seats folded.
The bottom motor is exactly what powers the X-Line. It really is a two.0-liter 4-cylinder joined to the continually variable transmission (CVT). At 147 horsepower, the 2020 motor is a lot less highly effective when compared to the preceding Soul engine from the same displacement. Having said that, it still provides a delightful, beneficial volume of electric power (if perhaps just a little loud beneath acceleration), that has a incredibly slight strengthen from selecting the “Sport” driving mode. The CVT is programmed to provide off the truly feel of the stepped-gear transmission, which it does convincingly. EPA fuel-economy rankings are 27 mpg in city driving, 33 mpg in highway operation, and 30 put together. This reviewer included sixty per cent of his 192 test miles in metropolis conditions, and noticed just 24.1 mpg, but you will see that CG editors’ highway-weighted all round mileage was a great deal greater.
The Soul can be a minimal significantly less subcompact than it used to be. The all-new system has 1.two inches much more wheelbase and 2.two inches much more complete size than its speedy predecessor. Steering come to feel is pretty bland although the ’20 Soul handles decently, with very good maneuverability for obtaining out and in of parking areas. Suspension compliance arrives off a tiny bit rigid, so experience can sense firm.
Padded and soft-to-the-touch inside surfaces are minimal, located just on the X-Line’s armrests, dash top, and console-box lid. So, too, are cabin-storage opportunities. In truth, the sole amenities for rear-seat riders are bottle holders during the doorways. Up entrance you can find door pockets (with bottle holders), a substantial glove box, less-large console box, twin cup holders, and an open up bin underneath the USB port. Thankfully, passenger space is much extra abundant. There’s terrific headroom and legroom in both row, and cozy aid over the front seats. In again, an almost flat floor could support a third person-even a thin adult-squeeze to the middle with the seat.
Kia states the brand new human body proportions raise highest cargo potential by five cubic feet, which the rear liftgate opening is wider and lower. The guide liftgate gives access to a modicum of usable, easy-loading cargo room within the squarish, flat-floored cargo bay. (Not-too-delicate objects may well suit less than the floor from the room within the spare tire.) Rear 60/40 seats fold practically flat to broaden cargo ability when needed.
Trying to keep the Soul getting into something akin on the well-received deal by which it’s wrapped by itself given that its debut is going to be an interesting difficulty for Kia to work out. Until eventually then, we could imagine that a great deal of men and women will see strategies to delight in this latest Soul.
There might be just a primary compact car or truck underneath the Kia Soul’s boxy hatchback exterior — it can be approximately a Kia Forte/Hyundai Elantra chassis, but who cares? These are fantastic tiny cars, as well as the Soul turns them right into a larger-feeling daily driver together with the interior room and cargo flexibility modest crossover consumers crave.
The Soul also provides absent the large key in entry-level vehicles today — they’re actually very good. Our X-Line Soul, such as the relevant Elantra and Forte, will come by using a detailed 7-inch touch-screen infotainment program with Android Car and Apple CarPlay — greater trims obtain a larger screen and satellite radio with navigation, but the economical X-Line provides you identical abilities through your phone. For customers considering a Soul for youthful drivers, Kia delivers essential protection gear even for the spending budget S trim stage. That means lane maintain aid, blind place warning, rear cross-traffic alert and driver focus warning are all current even at this selling price stage. Indeed, the interior is generally difficult plastics on the sprint and doorways, but structure themes assist split it up and a lot of price-sensitive buyers would happily take the significant amount of basic safety tech in excess of some fake luxe trim — I’m sure I would if it were me (or my child) obtaining the Soul.
Soul driving dynamics aren’t anything to swoon around, but it is a predictable, easy-to-pilot car or truck with superb visibility and sufficient electricity to help keep you from hassle. It really is obvious the brake and steering inputs have been created to enchantment for the “vast middle,” delivering neither sharp responses nor mushy delays. The Soul is perfectly suitable, which can be what precisely it should be.
Ten years ago, right before “subcompact crossover” entered the public lexicon, a few strange imports defied conventional classification. Were being the Honda Element, Kia Soul, Nissan Cube, Scion xB hatchbacks, wagons or SUVs? It is nonetheless difficult to say. But we do are aware that the Soul, which happens to be the sole car on the batch still all-around, displays that Kia includes a productive method on its palms.
The 2020 Kia Soul, which is entirely redesigned this 12 months, contains a large amount going for it. Drivers in congested city regions will delight in its nimble measurement, responsive engine and controlled trip more than bumpy pavement. Exterior the town, the Soul shines with crisp dealing with and responsive steering. You could up the Soul’s enjoyment issue far more by equipping it by using a punchy turbocharged engine in addition to a sport-tuned suspension.
It does not matter in which you reside, the Soul’s roomy cabin and valuable cargo space make it an excellent day-to-day car or truck. We also like its competitive pricing, which undercuts most rivals with out sacrificing interior supplies excellent or function information.
As with any budget-priced smaller automobile, there are many negatives. All-wheel push is just not offered, which might certainly be a deal-breaker for customers in places that experience icy or snowy road situations. And that sport-tuned Soul, the GT-Line Turbo, suffers from a clunky-shifting transmission and a severe trip good quality. But all round we expect the 2020 Kia Soul rises over other subcompact crossovers due to its mixture of practicality, affordability and emphasis on exciting.
Having a starting up cost of $21,490, the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line tends to make a terrific preference for many who need a simple Kia Soul having a little much more character. It is also a powerful selection towards the Toyota C-HR. They’re about equivalent on overall performance, despite the fact that Kia also builds the greater impressive 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line as well.
Yep, which is the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line in a snow storm. (Photo: TFLcar)
Neither motor vehicle presents any form of all-wheel generate in this article while in the America, inspite of on the lookout like it. Abroad, the C-HR is offered with all-wheel push. In the sense, then, they’re additional like lifted hatchbacks than out-and-out crossovers.
There is far more towards the Toyota: Indisputably, the Toyota C-HR’s best attribute is its dealing with. It’s got a sport-tuned four-wheel impartial suspension setup which is downright pleasurable to use. Steering come to feel and steering pounds are remarkable to a lot of the Kia line as well as the only technique to out-pace the C-HR is with all the turbocharged 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line.
Both of those autos have CVTs that mimic the feel of the computerized transmission. Basically, they pause a bit giving the texture of a car transforming gears. It works somewhat much better to the Soul, but both equally automobiles nonetheless drone a bit when accelerating. Nevertheless, it’s only apparent if the driver’s somewhat aggressive.
While in the late 2000s, there have been many so-called “box” autos that arrived to marketplace within the U.S. such as the Nissan Cube plus the Scion xB. Nonetheless, just one at any time really held any attraction for me personally and it’s now the only real just one still left on sale here, the Kia Soul. Eventually November’s L. a. Vehicle Clearly show, Kia unveiled a whole new third-generation Soul which i just received to invest some time with to check out if I nevertheless like it.
The new Soul retains the same essential profile it’s got experienced for your earlier decade which differs a little from your other box cars in that the roof has slight downward slope towards the back again. The Soul hardly ever had the more upright windshield uncovered over the xB and Dice, all of which contributes to providing the Soul a slightly much more sporting stance. Luckily, individuals variants never affect the practical packaging positive aspects of your boxy configuration. Inspite of its compact footprint, the Soul presents astonishingly enough room for passengers and cargo.
Even though the fundamental variety continues to be intact, Kia designers have managed to offer the Soul a far more contemporary search, finding up quite a few of your now stylish structure cues. Up entrance, the previously unified headlamp cluster has split up as lots of other people such as Hyundai Kona and Chevy Blazer have in recent times. A pair of slender, horizontal strips offer the daytime jogging lamp operation when greater blocks down down below flanking the grille consist of the headlamps.
For the C-pillar, the black trim bordering the side windows flows back, bisecting the pillar and providing some the floating roof appear. Within the back, the curved, vertical taillamps that flanked tailgate over the previous technology now increase all the way throughout the major and about one-quarter of the way in within the bottom, offering a ring of light. In general, the Soul appears sharp and modern in 2019, but I can’t assist but speculate if these at this time trendy cues may glimpse additional dated inside a handful of several years once the industry has moved on.
The new Soul is all over again accessible in battery electric powered type even though it now has the greater 64-kWh battery used in the Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV styles, greater than doubling range to 243 miles. I haven’t pushed that variant yet but glance ahead to it. Around the interior combustion aspect, the one.6-liter by natural means aspirated four-cylinder that was earlier accessible in the foundation Soul has become dropped in favor of your 2.0-liter four. On the other hand, this time it’s a decreased price port gasoline injected variation rather compared to the immediate injected engine made use of final 12 months. Output is down somewhat to 147-hp and 132 lb-ft but fuel financial system is up by 3 mpg to thirty mpg merged.
A six-speed guide transmission is accessible within the base EX trim but all other folks except for the Turbo now make use of a constantly variable transmission. The GT-Line turbo retains the 1.6-liter immediate injected turbo and seven-speed dual clutch transmission blend observed in many Hyundai and Kia functionality types. The 2.0-liter CVT combination in fact functions very well from the Soul, primarily together with the a hundred pound bodyweight reduction. The regulate with the CVT is tuned to generally be very much just like a typical move ration transmission and it in no way displays any on the frustrating motorboating impact individuals generally loathe using these transmissions. Over-all the efficiency is much more than sufficient for your compact car and many drivers are unlikely to get any significant complaints. In my own driving, I actually beat the EPA estimate which has a combined 32 mpg with no actually hoping.
For this new generation, Kia has expanded the lineup from a few trim levels to seven including the X-line right during the middle. Provided that individuals appear to be scurrying away from cars and toward utility motor vehicles as fast as they can, the X-Line receives some that fake crossover glimpse that a great number of other smaller automobiles have nowadays. Meaning some silver colored trim pieces beneath the entrance and rear fascias as well as rocker panels that vaguely resembles skid plates, but clearly are not. The good news is, the greater “rugged” glance does not actually detract with the all round design and style and that i could dwell with it.
That rugged glance is obviously totally aesthetic without having fundamental features to aid off-roading. The strut front suspension and twist beam rear axle are really regular fare for entry-level automobiles and supply remarkably decent ride high-quality and dealing with. The Soul stays comparatively flat going through corners and doesn’t offer you much suggestions through the steering wheel but is sufficiently weighted and goes pretty much where by you issue it. For procedure off-pavement, you should keep on with jogging around rocks no larger than regular gravel roadways.
Each individual trim such as the base LX that starts at just $18,500 which include shipping includes a 7-inch touchscreen audio technique with Apple Carplay and Android Car assistance likewise as hill begin guide and also the now necessary backup digital camera. The X-Line I drove also involved blindspot checking with cross site visitors notify. At $22,500 it did not produce other driver helps like lane trying to keep or adaptive cruise control and commencing the vehicle even now required that tried and correct method of really inserting a important into a slot.
As typical, Kia is offering a pretty powerful worth proposition along with the 2020 Soul. For any vehicle that will easily keep four adults as well as a bunch of stuff guiding the seats, deliver first rate gasoline financial system, a singular perception of style and more than satisfactory functionality, you’d be hard-pressed to find a far better car or truck during the U.S. current market at this moment to get a beginning selling price less than $20,000.