Kia may possibly have got a challenge with its Soul subcompact hatchback-and it is a very good dilemma. Moving on to a third technology for that 2020 design calendar year, Kia has meticulously advanced the styling, daring to squeeze out any hint of its signature “tiger nose” grille, but thorough not to stray much too significantly from the “tall box” condition of its forebears.
The X-Line model receives a beefier, extra SUV-ish glance than other Souls, as a result of rugged-looking matte black body trim with silver accents, and silver roof trim. Even though our tester didn’t have it, two-tone paint is offered at the same time.
But which is a stress for one more working day. Until eventually then, Kia has made the Soul just a little larger sized, transformed one particular of its engines, rearranged and augmented the design lineup, ushered in new basic safety tech (not less than in increased trim ranges), and still saved costs in test.
Customer Guide’s first take a look at of a new Soul came in a very Gravity Grey X-Line. The X-Line, which commences at $22,485 with delivery, is often a new product that, just like a quantity of other smaller hatches and wagons, trades on an off-roader glimpse with no in fact including any true off-road capacity. It consists of unique 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 contact of luxurious within an in any other case basic interior. Lane-change aid, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic inform provide the X-Line a bare minimum from the varieties of digital protection minders that buyers have come to anticipate in recent years. (You have got to maneuver as much as the EX and GT-Line models to obtain the Kia Generate Wise suite of more-advanced energetic safety tech.)
The Kia Soul includes a pleasingly uncomplicated, clear-cut manage structure. Even so, the X-Line product is lacking many of the usefulness and basic safety functions of higher-line Soul trim amounts, and there aren’t any improve option deals out there. The rear-seat space presents adequate legroom and outstanding headroom for adult passengers.
Generous cargo quantity inside little exterior dimensions has become a Soul strong point given that working day one particular; the redesigned 2020 model provides 24.two cubic toes of cargo place powering the rear seats, and sixty two.one cu. ft. with the rear seats folded.
The bottom motor is what powers the X-Line. It truly is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder connected into a constantly variable transmission (CVT). At 147 horsepower, the 2020 motor is significantly less potent as opposed to former Soul engine with the similar displacement. Having said that, it nonetheless provides a satisfying, useful amount of energy (if probably somewhat loud beneath acceleration), which has a extremely slight raise from choosing the “Sport” driving method. The CVT is programmed to give off the really feel of a stepped-gear transmission, which it does convincingly. EPA fuel-economy rankings are 27 mpg in city driving, 33 mpg in freeway procedure, and thirty blended. This reviewer lined 60 percent of his 192 exam miles in city ailments, and noticed just 24.one mpg, but you will see that CG editors’ highway-weighted general mileage was a great deal improved.
The Soul can be a minimal less subcompact than it used to be. The all-new system has 1.two inches a lot more wheelbase and a couple of.2 inches a lot more overall size than its quick predecessor. Steering truly feel is quite bland though the ’20 Soul handles decently, with pretty good maneuverability for having in and out of parking spaces. Suspension compliance arrives off a tad rigid, so trip can sense business.
Padded and soft-to-the-touch interior surfaces are minimal, uncovered just about the X-Line’s armrests, dash best, and console-box lid. So, too, are cabin-storage prospects. Without a doubt, the only facilities for rear-seat riders are bottle holders within the doors. Up entrance you will discover doorway pockets (with bottle holders), a sizable glove box, less-large console box, twin cup holders, and an open bin beneath the USB port. Luckily, passenger home is way much more ample. There is great headroom and legroom in both row, and comfortable assistance within the entrance seats. In back, a nearly flat ground may enable a third person-even a skinny adult-squeeze into your middle on the seat.
Kia states the brand new body dimensions enhance highest cargo ability by 5 cubic feet, which the rear liftgate opening is broader and decrease. The handbook liftgate offers obtain to your modicum of usable, easy-loading cargo room while in the squarish, flat-floored cargo bay. (Not-too-delicate merchandise may possibly suit beneath the ground during the place throughout the spare tire.) Rear 60/40 seats fold almost flat to broaden cargo capacity when essential.
Maintaining the Soul getting into a thing akin to the well-received package deal during which it’s wrapped by itself considering the fact that its debut might be a fascinating problem for Kia to operate out. Until eventually then, we will imagine that a whole lot of individuals will find ways to enjoy this latest Soul.
There may be just a fundamental compact vehicle below the Kia Soul’s boxy hatchback exterior — it’s approximately a Kia Forte/Hyundai Elantra chassis, but who cares? These are fantastic modest vehicles, and also the Soul turns them right into a larger-feeling day by day driver together with the interior area and cargo adaptability tiny crossover shoppers crave.
The Soul also provides away the large key in entry-level cars and trucks nowadays — they are actually good. Our X-Line Soul, much like the connected Elantra and Forte, will come by using a extensive 7-inch touch-screen infotainment technique with Android Automobile and Apple CarPlay — larger trims obtain a even bigger display and satellite radio with navigation, although the cost-effective X-Line presents you equivalent abilities by means of your phone. For buyers considering a Soul for younger motorists, Kia delivers vital protection equipment even with the spending plan S trim stage. Which means lane preserve support, blind place warning, rear cross-traffic notify and driver notice warning are all existing even at this cost level. Yes, the interior is generally really hard plastics about the sprint and doors, but style themes aid crack it up and lots of price-sensitive prospective buyers would happily take the large standard of protection tech about some fake luxe trim — I do know I would if it ended up me (or my kid) getting the Soul.
A decade in the past, just before “subcompact crossover” entered the general public lexicon, a few strange imports defied regular classification. Were being the Honda Factor, Kia Soul, Nissan Dice, Scion xB hatchbacks, wagons or SUVs? It is nevertheless tricky to say. But we do realize that the Soul, which happens to be the one automobile of your batch still all around, reveals that Kia includes a profitable system on its hands.
The 2020 Kia Soul, and that is thoroughly redesigned this calendar year, includes a good deal heading for it. Motorists in congested urban spots will delight in its nimble dimensions, responsive motor and managed experience more than bumpy pavement. Outside the town, the Soul shines with crisp managing and responsive steering. It is possible to up the Soul’s enjoyable issue a lot more by equipping it using a punchy turbocharged motor plus a sport-tuned suspension.
No matter the place you live, the Soul’s roomy cabin and handy cargo place help it become a great everyday automobile. We also like its competitive pricing, which undercuts most rivals with out sacrificing inside resources good quality or feature written content.
As with every budget-priced tiny auto, there are several drawbacks. All-wheel push will not be offered, which might be described as a deal-breaker for customers in spots that have icy or snowy street problems. And that sport-tuned Soul, the GT-Line Turbo, suffers from the clunky-shifting transmission and a harsh ride high-quality. But total we predict the 2020 Kia Soul rises over other subcompact crossovers thanks to its blend of practicality, affordability and emphasis on fun.
Having a commencing cost of $21,490, the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line helps make a fantastic alternative for people who want a standard Kia Soul which has a little more character. It’s also a powerful selection towards the Toyota C-HR. They are about equivalent on functionality, though Kia also builds the more impressive 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line as well.
Yep, that’s the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line inside a snow storm. (Photo: TFLcar)
Neither vehicle offers any sort of all-wheel generate right here within the United states of america, regardless of searching like it. Overseas, the C-HR is available with all-wheel generate. Inside of a perception, then, they’re more like lifted hatchbacks than out-and-out crossovers.
There is far more to your Toyota: Definitely, the Toyota C-HR’s finest element is its dealing with. It has a sport-tuned four-wheel unbiased suspension setup which is downright fun to use. Steering come to feel and steering pounds are exceptional to almost all of the Kia line and also the only technique to out-pace the C-HR is using the turbocharged 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line.
Equally vehicles have CVTs that mimic the feel of the automated transmission. Mainly, they pause a little bit giving the texture of a motor vehicle transforming gears. It works a little greater on the Soul, but equally vehicles continue to drone a tiny bit when accelerating. Nevertheless, it’s only visible once the driver’s somewhat aggressive.
During the late 2000s, there were several so-called “box” cars and trucks that arrived to market place from the U.S. including the Nissan Cube and also the Scion xB. However, only one at any time actually held any charm for me individually and it’s now the only one particular left on sale in this article, the Kia Soul. Ultimately November’s L. a. Automobile Exhibit, Kia unveiled a different third-generation Soul which i just got to invest some time with to determine if I nonetheless like it.
The brand new Soul retains exactly the same essential profile it’s got had to the earlier 10 years which differs a bit from the other box vehicles in the roof has slight downward slope toward the again. The Soul by no means experienced the more upright windshield observed on the xB and Dice, all of which contributes to supplying the Soul a slightly far more sporting stance. The good news is, these variations don’t impression the sensible packaging gains in the boxy configuration. Despite its compact footprint, the Soul gives shockingly sufficient room for travellers and cargo.
Whilst the basic kind stays intact, Kia designers have managed to give the Soul a far more modern day glimpse, selecting up various of your at this time fashionable design cues. Up front, the beforehand unified headlamp cluster has break up up as countless other people such as Hyundai Kona and Chevy Blazer have recently. A pair of slender, horizontal strips supply the daytime operating lamp operation although bigger blocks down beneath flanking the grille contain the headlamps.
For the C-pillar, the black trim surrounding the facet windows flows back again, bisecting the pillar and providing a bit of the floating roof look. With the again, the curved, vertical taillamps that flanked tailgate within the past technology now lengthen each of the way within the top rated and about one-quarter on the way in on the base, offering a ring of sunshine. All round, the Soul seems to be sharp and up to date in 2019, but I cannot enable but wonder if these currently trendy cues may possibly glimpse extra dated within a handful of yrs once the market has moved on.
The brand new Soul is yet again accessible in battery electrical kind although it now has the more substantial 64-kWh battery used in the Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV products, over doubling range to 243 miles. I haven’t driven that variant nevertheless but search forward to it. Within the inner combustion facet, the 1.6-liter obviously aspirated four-cylinder that was earlier accessible in the base Soul has become dropped in favor of your 2.0-liter four. Having said that, this time it is a decrease value port gas injected model rather in comparison to the immediate injected motor utilized past year. Output is down somewhat to 147-hp and 132 lb-ft but fuel overall economy is up by three mpg to thirty mpg blended.
For this new era, Kia has expanded the lineup from 3 trim ranges to seven including the X-line appropriate during the middle. Provided that customers appear to be scurrying absent from automobiles and toward utility cars as fast since they can, the X-Line gets some that faux crossover glimpse that a great number of other smaller cars have lately. Which means some silver coloured trim items underneath the front and rear fascias as well as rocker panels that vaguely resembles skid plates, but plainly are not. Fortuitously, the more “rugged” look does not seriously detract from your total structure and i could dwell with it.
That rugged look is of course wholly aesthetic without underlying functionality to guidance off-roading. The strut front suspension and twist beam rear axle are rather normal fare for entry-level vehicles and provide surprisingly respectable trip high quality and handling. The Soul stays fairly flat experiencing corners and does not present a lot opinions with the steering wheel but is sufficiently weighted and goes virtually where by you place it. For procedure off-pavement, you will need to stick with jogging more than rocks no greater than typical gravel roadways.
Each individual trim including the foundation LX that starts at just $18,five hundred which includes supply contains a 7-inch touchscreen audio process with Apple Carplay and Android Vehicle assist at the same time as hill commence guide along with the now necessary backup camera. The X-Line I drove also involved blindspot checking with cross visitors alert. At $22,500 it didn’t have other driver helps like lane holding or adaptive cruise command and starting the vehicle still needed that tried and true system of actually inserting a vital right into a slot.