Kia may well possess a challenge with its Soul subcompact hatchback-and it’s a fantastic challenge. Moving on to your third generation with the 2020 design 12 months, Kia has thoroughly advanced the styling, daring to squeeze out any trace of its signature “tiger nose” grille, but careful not to stray much too significantly from the “tall box” condition of its forebears.
Why? People today know this issue whenever they see it, plus they know who causes it to be. If vehicles had egos, most would give their left rear shock for that kind of brand recognition. Therefore, Kia could really need to tread thoroughly when it is time for generation 4.
The X-Line product gets a beefier, extra SUV-ish glimpse than other Souls, due to rugged-looking matte black human body trim with silver accents, and silver roof trim. However our tester did not have it, two-tone paint is accessible at the same time.
But that’s a fret for another day. Until then, Kia has designed the Soul a bit bigger, altered a person of its engines, rearranged and augmented the design lineup, ushered in new protection tech (a minimum of in bigger trim concentrations), and however held prices in verify.
Customer Guide’s initially examination of a new Soul came in a very Gravity Gray X-Line. The X-Line, which begins at $22,485 with shipping, is actually a new product that, just like a range of other smaller hatches and wagons, trades on an off-roader search with no essentially adding any actual off-road functionality. It contains exclusive 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 luxurious in an usually simple interior. Lane-change guide, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic notify give the X-Line a bare minimum amount of the varieties of electronic basic safety minders that buyers have arrive at assume lately. (You’ve got to maneuver up to the EX and GT-Line products to find the Kia Push Sensible suite of more-advanced energetic protection tech.)
The Kia Soul contains a pleasingly easy, uncomplicated handle layout. Having said that, the X-Line design is missing a lot of the comfort and security features of higher-line Soul trim ranges, and there won’t be any up grade solution offers obtainable. The rear-seat space provides enough legroom and superb headroom for grownup passengers.
Some (effectively, this tester a minimum of) may find the Soul X-Line refreshingly very simple. When settled upon a manually modified fabric seat, the driver needs to insert an ignition essential to start. An AM/FM/MP3 radio which is lifeless very simple to system on the 7-inch touchscreen serves your listening pleasure. (Really don’t fear, it is received Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration in order for you to march to a distinctive drummer.) The local weather method is manual, it is solitary zone, and it’s magnificent. 3 dials-for temperature, admirer pace, and mode-let you turn appropriate towards the functionality level you desire. Just 4 more on-off buttons let you select air con, rear defrost, and air recirculation or ingestion at a one push of a button. You’d like “fragrance launch?” Wear cologne. With this organization, remote keyless entry, the tilt/telescoping steering column, and steering-wheel controls for audio and cruise regulate look nearly sybaritic.
Generous cargo quantity in compact exterior dimensions has been a Soul uniqueness considering that day 1; the redesigned 2020 product offers 24.2 cubic ft of cargo place guiding the rear seats, and 62.1 cu. ft. with all the rear seats folded.
The bottom engine is exactly what powers the X-Line. It really is a two.0-liter 4-cylinder joined to your continually variable transmission (CVT). At 147 horsepower, the 2020 motor is a lot less effective in comparison to the prior Soul engine from the similar displacement. That said, it nevertheless offers a satisfying, useful amount of energy (if maybe just a little loud underneath acceleration), with a quite slight strengthen from choosing the “Sport” driving method. The CVT is programmed to provide off the truly feel of a stepped-gear transmission, which it does convincingly. EPA fuel-economy scores are 27 mpg in town driving, 33 mpg in freeway procedure, and 30 put together. This reviewer lined 60 % of his 192 exam miles in metropolis problems, and saw just 24.one mpg, but you will see that CG editors’ highway-weighted over-all mileage was a great deal much better.
The Soul is usually a small a lot less subcompact than it was. The all-new platform has one.2 inches far more wheelbase and a pair of.two inches more total size than its speedy predecessor. Steering really feel is reasonably bland though the ’20 Soul handles decently, with pretty good maneuverability for getting in and out of parking areas. Suspension compliance will come off a bit rigid, so journey can truly feel firm.
Padded and soft-to-the-touch interior surfaces are constrained, identified just to the X-Line’s armrests, dash best, and console-box lid. So, as well, are cabin-storage options. In truth, the one facilities for rear-seat riders are bottle holders during the doors. Up front you will discover door pockets (with bottle holders), a sizable glove box, less-large console box, twin cup holders, and an open up bin below the USB port. Fortunately, passenger home is way a lot more considerable. There is fantastic headroom and legroom in both row, and cozy guidance within the front seats. In back again, a nearly flat ground may possibly enable a 3rd person-even a thin adult-squeeze to the center of your seat.
Kia claims the new overall body proportions enhance maximum cargo capability by 5 cubic ft, which the rear liftgate opening is broader and reduce. The handbook liftgate provides access to the modicum of usable, easy-loading cargo space in the squarish, flat-floored cargo bay. (Not-too-delicate objects may possibly in good shape below the floor from the space throughout the spare tire.) Rear 60/40 seats fold just about flat to grow cargo potential when wanted.
Trying to keep the Soul going in some thing akin towards the well-received offer where it has wrapped by itself because its debut will likely be a fascinating trouble for Kia to operate out. Until eventually then, we can consider that lots of people will see strategies to delight in this latest Soul.
There may be just a basic compact motor vehicle beneath the Kia Soul’s boxy hatchback exterior — it is about a Kia Forte/Hyundai Elantra chassis, but who cares? People are excellent compact autos, as well as Soul turns them right into a larger-feeling day-to-day driver together with the inside room and cargo flexibility modest crossover consumers crave.
The Soul also provides away the big solution in entry-level cars as of late — they’re actually fantastic. Our X-Line Soul, much like the connected Elantra and Forte, will come with a in depth 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Android Vehicle and Apple CarPlay — bigger trims receive a even larger display screen and satellite radio with navigation, even so the economical X-Line provides you very similar abilities as a result of your cellphone. For consumers thinking about a Soul for youthful drivers, Kia provides crucial security equipment even within the finances S trim stage. That means lane retain support, blind place warning, rear cross-traffic inform and driver interest warning are all present even at this cost position. Of course, the interior is usually tricky plastics on the dash and doorways, but structure themes enable crack it up and plenty of price-sensitive purchasers would fortunately go ahead and take large level of basic safety tech about some fake luxe trim — I realize I would if it were being me (or my child) obtaining the Soul.
Soul driving dynamics usually are not something to swoon about, but it is a predictable, easy-to-pilot motor vehicle with excellent visibility and ample power to help keep you outside of trouble. It is really clear the brake and steering inputs were built to charm for the “vast middle,” delivering neither sharp responses nor mushy delays. The Soul is completely enough, that is just what it should be.
Ten years ago, just before “subcompact crossover” entered the general public lexicon, a few unusual imports defied conventional classification. Have been the Honda Element, Kia Soul, Nissan Dice, Scion xB hatchbacks, wagons or SUVs? It can be nevertheless tricky to state. But we do realize that the Soul, which is the one car or truck with the batch continue to around, displays that Kia features a prosperous method on its palms.
The 2020 Kia Soul, which can be fully redesigned this yr, includes a good deal heading for it. Drivers in congested urban areas will love its nimble size, responsive engine and managed trip about bumpy pavement. Outdoors town, the Soul shines with crisp managing and responsive steering. You’ll be able to up the Soul’s fun variable much more by equipping it using a punchy turbocharged engine as well as a sport-tuned suspension.
Irrespective of where you reside, the Soul’s roomy cabin and helpful cargo room enable it to be an ideal day to day vehicle. We also like its aggressive pricing, which undercuts most rivals with no sacrificing interior supplies quality or function material.
As with all budget-priced modest automobile, here are a few drawbacks. All-wheel generate is not offered, which could be described as a deal-breaker for consumers in destinations that have icy or snowy road ailments. And that sport-tuned Soul, the GT-Line Turbo, suffers from the clunky-shifting transmission along with a severe journey top quality. But over-all we predict the 2020 Kia Soul rises over other subcompact crossovers due to its blend of practicality, affordability and emphasis on enjoyment.
Which has a starting price of $21,490, the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line tends to make an awesome selection for individuals who desire a simple Kia Soul having a small more character. It is also a compelling decision from the Toyota C-HR. They’re about equivalent on efficiency, even though Kia also builds the more powerful 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line at the same time.
Yep, which is the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line in the snow storm. (Picture: TFLcar)
Neither automobile features any kind of all-wheel generate listed here from the U . s ., in spite of looking like it. Abroad, the C-HR is on the market with all-wheel drive. In the feeling, then, they’re a lot more like lifted hatchbacks than out-and-out crossovers.
There’s additional for the Toyota: Definitely, the Toyota C-HR’s very best function is its dealing with. It has a sport-tuned four-wheel independent suspension set up that is downright fun to take advantage of. Steering really feel and steering bodyweight are excellent to the vast majority of Kia line and also the only solution to out-pace the C-HR is with all the turbocharged 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line.
The two motor vehicles have CVTs that mimic the feel of an computerized transmission. Basically, they pause a little providing the feel of the automobile transforming gears. It works a bit much better to the Soul, but both of those automobiles still drone somewhat when accelerating. However, it is only noticeable once the driver’s a little intense.
Within the late 2000s, there have been various so-called “box” cars that arrived to market in the U.S. including the Nissan Cube as well as Scion xB. Having said that, just one at any time actually held any enchantment for me individually and it’s now the only one left on sale right here, the Kia Soul. Eventually November’s La Vehicle Exhibit, Kia unveiled a new third-generation Soul which i just obtained to invest a while with to determine if I however like it.
The brand new Soul retains precisely the same simple profile it’s experienced with the earlier 10 years which differs a bit within the other box cars in that the roof has slight downward slope towards the again. The Soul hardly ever experienced the more upright windshield found about the xB and Dice, all of which contributes to offering the Soul a slightly far more sporting stance. Fortuitously, those people versions never affect the practical packaging added benefits from the boxy configuration. Irrespective of its compact footprint, the Soul delivers incredibly ample area for travellers and cargo.
When the basic variety remains intact, Kia designers have managed to give the Soul a far more contemporary search, finding up several from the at this time trendy layout cues. Up entrance, the beforehand unified headlamp cluster has break up up as a great number of other folks just like the Hyundai Kona and Chevy Blazer have lately. A pair of narrow, horizontal strips supply the daytime jogging lamp performance even though greater blocks down underneath flanking the grille contain the headlamps.
On the C-pillar, the black trim surrounding the side windows flows again, bisecting the pillar and offering some the floating roof search. For the back again, the curved, vertical taillamps that flanked tailgate to the past era now prolong all the way around the top and about one-quarter of the way in on the bottom, giving a ring of light. Total, the Soul looks sharp and contemporary in 2019, but I can’t assist but wonder if these at the moment stylish cues may glimpse extra dated in a very handful of years if the field has moved on.
The brand new Soul is once again readily available in battery electric variety although it now has the larger 64-kWh battery employed in the Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV designs, a lot more than doubling variety to 243 miles. I haven’t driven that variant however but search ahead to it. About the inside combustion facet, the 1.6-liter by natural means aspirated four-cylinder that was beforehand readily available inside the foundation Soul has actually been dropped in favor with the 2.0-liter four. Nonetheless, this time it’s a lower value port fuel injected edition fairly than the immediate injected motor utilized final year. Output is down a tad to 147-hp and 132 lb-ft but fuel financial system is up by three mpg to 30 mpg mixed.
A six-speed handbook transmission is obtainable in the foundation EX trim but all others aside from the Turbo now use a consistently variable transmission. The GT-Line turbo retains the one.6-liter direct injected turbo and seven-speed dual clutch transmission blend found in quite a few Hyundai and Kia effectiveness versions. The two.0-liter CVT combination essentially will work rather well in the Soul, particularly using the one hundred pound pounds reduction. The manage with the CVT is tuned to be a great deal like a standard action ration transmission and it by no means displays any of your irritating motorboating have an affect on people today normally detest using these transmissions. Total the effectiveness is much more than adequate for your compact car or truck and most motorists are unlikely to obtain any significant complaints. In my own driving, I really beat the EPA estimate with a blended 32 mpg without genuinely attempting.
For this new technology, Kia has expanded the lineup from a few trim degrees to seven including the X-line ideal inside the middle. Given that individuals appear to be scurrying absent from vehicles and toward utility motor vehicles as fast as they can, the X-Line will get some that faux crossover search that so many other modest automobiles have as of late. Meaning some silver coloured trim pieces less than the entrance and rear fascias as well as rocker panels that vaguely resembles skid plates, but plainly will not be. Fortunately, the greater “rugged” seem doesn’t truly detract through the over-all structure and i could are living with it.
That rugged seem is obviously fully aesthetic with no underlying functionality to guidance off-roading. The strut front suspension and twist beam rear axle are fairly typical fare for entry-level automobiles and provide amazingly respectable experience high-quality and dealing with. The Soul stays reasonably flat under-going corners and doesn’t present substantially opinions with the steering wheel but is sufficiently weighted and goes practically where by you stage it. For procedure off-pavement, you should stick with operating more than rocks no larger than typical gravel roadways.
Each trim including the base LX that begins at just $18,500 which include delivery consists of a 7-inch touchscreen audio system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto support too as hill commence aid plus the now obligatory backup digicam. The X-Line I drove also integrated blindspot checking with cross traffic warn. At $22,500 it didn’t produce other driver helps like lane keeping or adaptive cruise handle and starting off the vehicle even now necessary that tried and true approach of truly inserting a critical into a slot.
As standard, Kia is providing a pretty robust price proposition along with the 2020 Soul. For any motor vehicle that may easily keep four older people plus a bunch of things driving the seats, supply first rate fuel economy, a singular feeling of fashion and much more than enough effectiveness, you’d be hard-pressed to locate a much better motor vehicle inside the U.S. sector right this moment for just a starting up cost beneath $20,000.