Kia may perhaps have got a dilemma with its Soul subcompact hatchback-and it is a fantastic challenge. Going on to a 3rd generation for your 2020 product 12 months, Kia has diligently progressed the styling, daring to squeeze out any trace of its signature “tiger nose” grille, but mindful not to stray as well far from your “tall box” shape of its forebears.
Why? Folks know this detail once they see it, and so they know who causes it to be. If vehicles had egos, most would give their still left rear shock for that kind of name recognition. As a result, Kia may well really have to tread diligently when it is time for era four.
The X-Line model receives a beefier, more SUV-ish seem than other Souls, as a result of rugged-looking matte black overall body trim with silver accents, and silver roof trim. While our tester did not have it, two-tone paint is out there likewise.
But which is a worry for an additional working day. Till then, Kia has made the Soul a little bit bigger, transformed one of its engines, rearranged and augmented the design lineup, ushered in new safety tech (no less than in increased trim levels), and however retained costs in check.
Customer Guide’s initial exam of the new Soul came in a Gravity Gray X-Line. The X-Line, which begins at $22,485 with shipping and delivery, is really a new design that, just like a variety of other little hatches and wagons, trades on an off-roader seem without having actually incorporating any true off-road capability. It includes special lower-body cladding and overfenders, fog lights, roof rails, and certain 18-inch alloy wheels. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob inject a literal contact of luxury in an usually basic interior. Lane-change assist, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic notify provide the X-Line a bare bare minimum of the types of electronic protection minders that consumers have come to expect lately. (You’ve got to maneuver as much as the EX and GT-Line designs to get the Kia Push Sensible suite of more-advanced lively basic safety tech.)
The Kia Soul provides a pleasingly easy, uncomplicated handle structure. However, the X-Line design is missing a number of the advantage and protection options of higher-line Soul trim degrees, and there are no improve option packages readily available. The rear-seat place provides enough legroom and exceptional headroom for grownup travellers.
Some (properly, this tester no less than) may possibly discover the Soul X-Line refreshingly basic. At the time settled on a manually modified fabric seat, the motive force should insert an ignition vital to get started on. An AM/FM/MP3 radio which is dead very simple to software over a 7-inch touchscreen serves your listening satisfaction. (Never worry, it’s received Android Automobile and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration if you need to march to the distinctive drummer.) The local weather program is manual, it’s single zone, and it is amazing. 3 dials-for temperature, fan velocity, and mode-let you switch correct on the efficiency level you need. Just four more on-off buttons allow you select air con, rear defrost, and air recirculation or intake at a one press of the button. You desire “fragrance release?” Use cologne. In this corporation, distant keyless entry, the tilt/telescoping steering column, and steering-wheel controls for audio and cruise manage appear to be nearly sybaritic.
Generous cargo quantity within smaller exterior dimensions has become a Soul uniqueness due to the fact day a single; the redesigned 2020 product presents 24.2 cubic ft of cargo place at the rear of the rear seats, and 62.one cu. ft. together with the rear seats folded.
The base motor is what powers the X-Line. It can be a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder connected to the repeatedly variable transmission (CVT). At 147 horsepower, the 2020 engine is less impressive compared to former Soul engine in the similar displacement. Having said that, it nevertheless gives a delightful, practical volume of energy (if perhaps a little loud below acceleration), which has a really slight strengthen from deciding on the “Sport” driving method. The CVT is programmed to give off the feel of a stepped-gear transmission, which it does convincingly. EPA fuel-economy ratings are 27 mpg in metropolis driving, 33 mpg in highway operation, and thirty merged. This reviewer coated 60 % of his 192 exam miles in metropolis problems, and saw just 24.one mpg, but you are going to see that CG editors’ highway-weighted overall mileage was quite a bit superior.
The Soul is a minimal a lot less subcompact than it was once. The all-new platform has one.two inches much more wheelbase and a pair of.2 inches much more full size than its fast predecessor. Steering come to feel is quite bland however the ’20 Soul handles decently, with very good maneuverability for finding out and in of parking spaces. Suspension compliance will come off a little rigid, so trip can really feel company.
Padded and soft-to-the-touch interior surfaces are limited, uncovered just within the X-Line’s armrests, sprint leading, and console-box lid. So, way too, are cabin-storage prospects. In truth, the only real amenities for rear-seat riders are bottle holders during the doors. Up front you’ll find doorway pockets (with bottle holders), a large glove box, less-large console box, twin cup holders, and an open bin beneath the USB port. Luckily, passenger room is far more ample. There is excellent headroom and legroom in either row, and cozy support within the front seats. In again, a nearly flat floor could possibly assist a 3rd person-even a skinny adult-squeeze in to the middle of your seat.
Kia says the new entire body dimensions improve greatest cargo potential by 5 cubic ft, and that the rear liftgate opening is broader and lower. The manual liftgate presents accessibility to a modicum of usable, easy-loading cargo place within the squarish, flat-floored cargo bay. (Not-too-delicate items might in good shape below the floor inside the area throughout the spare tire.) Rear 60/40 seats fold practically flat to broaden cargo capability when necessary.
Holding the Soul getting into some thing akin to your well-received deal wherein it’s got wrapped alone because its debut will probably be a fascinating problem for Kia to work out. Until finally then, we could envision that a good deal of individuals will find methods to enjoy this latest Soul.
There might be merely a basic compact car or truck below the Kia Soul’s boxy hatchback exterior — it is really roughly a Kia Forte/Hyundai Elantra chassis, but who cares? Individuals are great compact autos, plus the Soul turns them right into a larger-feeling day by day driver along with the inside area and cargo versatility little crossover consumers crave.
The Soul also gives absent the large secret in entry-level vehicles today — they are genuinely great. Our X-Line Soul, just like the related Elantra and Forte, arrives using a extensive 7-inch touch-screen infotainment program with Android Automobile and Apple CarPlay — higher trims obtain a even bigger screen and satellite radio with navigation, although the inexpensive X-Line provides you identical capabilities as a result of your mobile phone. For buyers contemplating a Soul for younger drivers, Kia provides critical protection gear even for the funds S trim stage. Meaning lane continue to keep help, blind place warning, rear cross-traffic alert and driver awareness warning are all existing even at this price tag point. Sure, the inside is usually difficult plastics around the sprint and doors, but structure themes assistance crack it up and plenty of price-sensitive customers would happily go ahead and take higher volume of protection tech over some fake luxe trim — I know I would if it had been me (or my child) getting the Soul.
Soul driving dynamics aren’t something to swoon about, but it’s a predictable, easy-to-pilot vehicle with superb visibility and more than enough electricity to maintain you out of difficulties. It really is obvious the brake and steering inputs ended up designed to attractiveness to the “vast middle,” delivering neither sharp responses nor mushy delays. The Soul is flawlessly ample, that’s just what it ought to be.
A decade back, just before “subcompact crossover” entered the general public lexicon, a few uncommon imports defied regular classification. Ended up the Honda Component, Kia Soul, Nissan Dice, Scion xB hatchbacks, wagons or SUVs? It is continue to challenging to say. But we do realize that the Soul, that is the only car or truck of the batch even now around, displays that Kia contains a effective formula on its arms.
The 2020 Kia Soul, that is entirely redesigned this year, has a great deal likely for it. Motorists in congested city areas will love its nimble dimensions, responsive motor and managed trip above bumpy pavement. Outside the house the city, the Soul shines with crisp managing and responsive steering. It is possible to up the Soul’s enjoyment aspect a lot more by equipping it having a punchy turbocharged motor and also a sport-tuned suspension.
It does not matter in which you reside, the Soul’s roomy cabin and helpful cargo space ensure it is a great every day vehicle. We also like its competitive pricing, which undercuts most rivals with out sacrificing inside elements good quality or characteristic articles.
As with all budget-priced smaller vehicle, here are a few downsides. All-wheel travel will not be available, which might certainly be a deal-breaker for potential buyers in destinations that experience icy or snowy road disorders. And that sport-tuned Soul, the GT-Line Turbo, suffers from the clunky-shifting transmission and also a harsh trip high quality. But in general we think the 2020 Kia Soul rises above other subcompact crossovers thanks to its mixture of practicality, affordability and emphasis on enjoyable.
That has a beginning price of $21,490, the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line can make a fantastic selection for those who want a primary Kia Soul by using a very little more character. It’s also a persuasive alternative from the Toyota C-HR. They are about equal on performance, though Kia also builds the greater impressive 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line also.
Yep, which is the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line in a snow storm. (Photograph: TFLcar)
Neither auto gives any method of all-wheel travel below within the America, even with hunting like it. Overseas, the C-HR is on the market with all-wheel travel. In the perception, then, they’re additional like lifted hatchbacks than out-and-out crossovers.
There is extra for the Toyota: Undoubtedly, the Toyota C-HR’s finest feature is its dealing with. It’s got a sport-tuned four-wheel independent suspension set up which is downright enjoyment to use. Steering truly feel and steering pounds are outstanding to many of the Kia line as well as only way to out-pace the C-HR is together with the turbocharged 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line.
The two vehicles have CVTs that mimic the texture of the automated transmission. Fundamentally, they pause a tiny bit offering the feel of a motor vehicle shifting gears. It works a little far better to the Soul, but the two automobiles even now drone a little when accelerating. Still, it’s only noticeable in the event the driver’s somewhat aggressive.
While in the late 2000s, there were a number of so-called “box” cars and trucks that came to market place inside the U.S. including the Nissan Dice as well as Scion xB. However, only one ever seriously held any attraction for me individually and it’s now the only real a person remaining on sale right here, the Kia Soul. At last November’s La Vehicle Clearly show, Kia unveiled a brand new third-generation Soul that i just received to spend some time with to check out if I continue to like it.
The brand new Soul retains precisely the same basic profile it has experienced for the past 10 years which differs a bit through the other box autos in the roof has slight downward slope toward the again. The Soul never ever experienced the more upright windshield identified about the xB and Dice, all of which contributes to offering the Soul a rather much more sporting stance. The good news is, all those variants really do not impression the practical packaging advantages in the boxy configuration. Irrespective of its compact footprint, the Soul gives amazingly ample place for travellers and cargo.
Whilst the essential form stays intact, Kia designers have managed to offer the Soul a more modern day seem, selecting up quite a few of your at the moment fashionable style cues. Up entrance, the formerly unified headlamp cluster has break up up as a lot of other folks much like the Hyundai Kona and Chevy Blazer have in recent times. A pair of narrow, horizontal strips deliver the daytime working lamp features while greater blocks down underneath flanking the grille contain the headlamps.
Within the C-pillar, the black trim encompassing the side windows flows back again, bisecting the pillar and offering a bit of the floating roof glance. In the back, the curved, vertical taillamps that flanked tailgate over the past generation now lengthen all of the way around the top and about one-quarter on the way in about the bottom, offering a hoop of light. Overall, the Soul appears sharp and present-day in 2019, but I cannot assistance but marvel if these currently trendy cues could appear a lot more dated in the few several years in the event the field has moved on.
The brand new Soul is all over again accessible in battery electric powered sort even though it now has the bigger 64-kWh battery employed in the Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV types, much more than doubling selection to 243 miles. I haven’t driven that variant nevertheless but appear forward to it. To the internal combustion side, the one.6-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder that was beforehand accessible during the foundation Soul has been dropped in favor with the two.0-liter 4. Nevertheless, this time it’s a reduced price tag port gasoline injected edition fairly as opposed to immediate injected motor utilised very last yr. Output is down a tiny bit to 147-hp and 132 lb-ft but gasoline economy is up by 3 mpg to 30 mpg blended.
A six-speed handbook transmission is out there during the base EX trim but all other folks aside from the Turbo now use a constantly variable transmission. The GT-Line turbo retains the one.6-liter immediate injected turbo and seven-speed twin clutch transmission mixture found in several Hyundai and Kia functionality versions. The two.0-liter CVT blend truly performs rather well while in the Soul, in particular using the a hundred pound excess weight reduction. The command of your CVT is tuned to become greatly similar to a typical phase ration transmission and it never ever displays any of your irritating motorboating impact folks ordinarily loathe using these transmissions. In general the functionality is much more than adequate for a compact vehicle and many drivers are not likely to acquire any serious issues. In my own driving, I really conquer the EPA estimate that has a combined 32 mpg without having genuinely attempting.
For this new era, Kia has expanded the lineup from 3 trim degrees to seven such as the X-line suitable in the center. Provided that people appear to be scurrying absent from autos and toward utility automobiles as speedy because they can, the X-Line will get a certain amount of that fake crossover glance that a great number of other smaller autos have these days. Meaning some silver coloured trim items underneath the entrance and rear fascias and the rocker panels that vaguely resembles skid plates, but clearly are usually not. Fortunately, the greater “rugged” search does not really detract from your general layout and that i could are living with it.
That rugged appear is of course fully aesthetic without having fundamental features to aid off-roading. The strut front suspension and twist beam rear axle are pretty conventional fare for entry-level vehicles and provide astonishingly first rate journey good quality and handling. The Soul stays somewhat flat under-going corners and doesn’t provide a great deal comments in the steering wheel but is sufficiently weighted and goes practically the place you place it. For procedure off-pavement, you will need to stick to jogging around rocks no much larger than typical gravel roadways.
Every single trim including the base LX that starts off at just $18,five hundred together with shipping incorporates a 7-inch touchscreen audio procedure with Apple Carplay and Android Car assistance in addition as hill commence support plus the now required backup digicam. The X-Line I drove also provided blindspot monitoring with cross site visitors alert. At $22,500 it didn’t have other driver assists like lane retaining or adaptive cruise regulate and starting off the car even now required that tried and accurate technique of actually inserting a vital into a slot.
As standard, Kia is giving a pretty potent benefit proposition with all the 2020 Soul. For the auto which will easily keep 4 adults as well as a bunch of things guiding the seats, deliver first rate fuel financial state, a novel feeling of style plus more than satisfactory efficiency, you’d be hard-pressed to find a improved car or truck during the U.S. industry right this moment for a beginning rate below $20,000.