Kia may possibly use a trouble with its Soul subcompact hatchback-and it is a superb problem. Transferring on to the third technology for that 2020 product 12 months, Kia has meticulously developed the styling, daring to squeeze out any trace of its signature “tiger nose” grille, but cautious never to stray too far from your “tall box” condition of its forebears.
Why? Men and women know this thing if they see it, plus they know who can make it. If cars and trucks had egos, most would give their still left rear shock for that kind of brand recognition. Therefore, Kia may should tread carefully when it is time for technology 4.
The X-Line design will get a beefier, extra SUV-ish search than other Souls, as a result of rugged-looking matte black system trim with silver accents, and silver roof trim. Though our tester didn’t have it, two-tone paint is on the market also.
But that’s a fear for an additional day. Right up until then, Kia has designed the Soul a little larger sized, improved a person of its engines, rearranged and augmented the product lineup, ushered in new basic safety tech (at the very least in better trim ranges), and nonetheless kept price ranges in examine.
Consumer Guide’s to start with take a look at of a new Soul arrived within a Gravity Grey X-Line. The X-Line, which commences at $22,485 with shipping, is often a new model that, similar to a range of other modest hatches and wagons, trades on an off-roader appear without in fact incorporating any authentic off-road functionality. It includes special lower-body cladding and overfenders, fog lights, roof rails, and distinct 18-inch alloy wheels. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob inject a literal touch of luxury within an otherwise basic interior. Lane-change aid, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert give the X-Line a bare minimum in the sorts of electronic protection minders that customers have come to assume in recent years. (You’ve got to maneuver nearly the EX and GT-Line types to find the Kia Travel Smart suite of more-advanced lively basic safety tech.)
The Kia Soul contains a pleasingly basic, simple regulate layout. Having said that, the X-Line model is lacking many of the convenience and security attributes of higher-line Soul trim amounts, and there are no upgrade choice packages available. The rear-seat area features adequate legroom and outstanding headroom for adult passengers.
Some (effectively, this tester at the least) may well find the Soul X-Line refreshingly uncomplicated. As soon as settled on a manually modified fabric seat, the motive force needs to insert an ignition key to start. An AM/FM/MP3 radio which is useless very simple to application with a 7-inch touchscreen serves your listening pleasure. (Never be concerned, it is received Android Automobile and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration if you need to march into a distinct drummer.) The local weather program is manual, it is one zone, and it is amazing. Three dials-for temperature, admirer speed, and mode-let you turn ideal to your effectiveness level you desire. Just 4 added on-off buttons allow you choose air-con, rear defrost, and air recirculation or intake in a one push of the button. You need “fragrance launch?” Use cologne. On this firm, distant keyless entry, the tilt/telescoping steering column, and steering-wheel controls for audio and cruise regulate feel virtually sybaritic.
Generous cargo quantity inside of modest exterior proportions has actually been a Soul area of expertise due to the fact day just one; the redesigned 2020 design provides 24.two cubic feet of cargo place driving the rear seats, and 62.one cu. ft. using the rear seats folded.
The bottom engine is exactly what powers the X-Line. It truly is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder linked into a consistently variable transmission (CVT). At 147 horsepower, the 2020 engine is considerably less impressive as opposed to prior Soul motor of the very same displacement. That said, it nevertheless delivers a satisfying, useful degree of energy (if perhaps a little loud under acceleration), which has a really slight increase from choosing the “Sport” driving mode. The CVT is programmed to give off the truly feel of a stepped-gear transmission, which it does convincingly. EPA fuel-economy ratings are 27 mpg in city driving, 33 mpg in highway procedure, and thirty blended. This reviewer coated sixty per cent of his 192 exam miles in city situations, and noticed just 24.1 mpg, but you are going to see that CG editors’ highway-weighted total mileage was a great deal better.
The Soul is usually a very little a lot less subcompact than it was. The all-new system has 1.two inches more wheelbase and 2.2 inches much more whole size than its rapid predecessor. Steering truly feel is rather bland even so the ’20 Soul handles decently, with pretty good maneuverability for getting out and in of parking spaces. Suspension compliance will come off a tiny bit stiff, so experience can sense business.
Padded and soft-to-the-touch inside surfaces are minimal, observed just around the X-Line’s armrests, sprint prime, and console-box lid. So, far too, are cabin-storage options. In truth, the only amenities for rear-seat riders are bottle holders during the doorways. Up front you can find door pockets (with bottle holders), a sizable glove box, less-large console box, twin cup holders, and an open bin underneath the USB port. Luckily, passenger place is way more ample. There is excellent headroom and legroom in possibly row, and cozy assist about the front seats. In again, a virtually flat flooring might support a 3rd person-even a skinny adult-squeeze into your center in the seat.
Kia says the brand new body proportions enhance most cargo ability by 5 cubic ft, which the rear liftgate opening is wider and lower. The guide liftgate provides entry into a modicum of usable, easy-loading cargo room while in the squarish, flat-floored cargo bay. (Not-too-delicate products could suit underneath the floor while in the area within the spare tire.) Rear 60/40 seats fold practically flat to expand cargo capacity when necessary.
Maintaining the Soul moving into some thing akin towards the well-received bundle through which it’s got wrapped by itself given that its debut might be a fascinating issue for Kia to operate out. Till then, we are able to imagine that a whole lot of individuals will find strategies to take pleasure in this latest Soul.
There might be simply a standard compact automobile beneath the Kia Soul’s boxy hatchback exterior — it’s about a Kia Forte/Hyundai Elantra chassis, but who cares? These are great compact vehicles, plus the Soul turns them into a larger-feeling day by day driver while using the interior place and cargo adaptability compact crossover shoppers crave.
The Soul also provides absent the big top secret in entry-level cars and trucks as of late — they’re definitely very good. Our X-Line Soul, much like the connected Elantra and Forte, will come using a extensive 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Android Vehicle and Apple CarPlay — increased trims receive a greater monitor and satellite radio with navigation, nevertheless the reasonably priced X-Line provides you related abilities by way of your cell phone. For customers looking at a Soul for more youthful motorists, Kia provides significant basic safety gear even for the funds S trim stage. Meaning lane keep guide, blind place warning, rear cross-traffic alert and driver attention warning are all current even at this price point. Of course, the inside is usually difficult plastics about the dash and doorways, but style themes enable crack it up and several price-sensitive consumers would fortunately take the significant degree of protection tech more than some fake luxe trim — I’m sure I’d if it have been me (or my child) getting the Soul.
Soul driving dynamics usually are not nearly anything to swoon above, but it’s a predictable, easy-to-pilot car with fantastic visibility and enough electrical power to maintain you out of issues. It truly is evident the brake and steering inputs have been designed to attractiveness into the “vast middle,” providing neither sharp responses nor mushy delays. The Soul is flawlessly suitable, that is just what it ought to be.
A decade ago, in advance of “subcompact crossover” entered the public lexicon, a few unusual imports defied classic classification. Have been the Honda Aspect, Kia Soul, Nissan Dice, Scion xB hatchbacks, wagons or SUVs? It really is nevertheless tough to mention. But we do understand that the Soul, that’s the sole automobile with the batch even now all over, exhibits that Kia incorporates a profitable components on its palms.
The 2020 Kia Soul, which is entirely redesigned this yr, has a whole lot likely for it. Drivers in congested city regions will appreciate its nimble measurement, responsive engine and controlled journey in excess of bumpy pavement. Exterior town, the Soul shines with crisp managing and responsive steering. You could up the Soul’s fun issue more by equipping it by using a punchy turbocharged motor as well as a sport-tuned suspension.
It doesn’t matter exactly where you live, the Soul’s roomy cabin and helpful cargo place enable it to be a great daily auto. We also like its competitive pricing, which undercuts most rivals without having sacrificing interior products excellent or function content.
As with any budget-priced little vehicle, there are several downsides. All-wheel drive just isn’t out there, which could become a deal-breaker for purchasers in areas that experience icy or snowy highway circumstances. Which sport-tuned Soul, the GT-Line Turbo, suffers from a clunky-shifting transmission along with a harsh experience high quality. But general we think the 2020 Kia Soul rises above other subcompact crossovers as a result of its mixture of practicality, affordability and emphasis on fun.
By using a starting cost of $21,490, the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line makes an awesome alternative for many who need a primary Kia Soul by using a very little far more character. It is also a compelling selection in opposition to the Toyota C-HR. They’re about equal on overall performance, whilst Kia also builds the greater impressive 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line likewise.
Yep, which is the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line inside a snow storm. (Picture: TFLcar)
Neither car or truck gives any type of all-wheel generate below from the America, despite hunting like it. Overseas, the C-HR is available with all-wheel drive. Inside a feeling, then, they are much more like lifted hatchbacks than out-and-out crossovers.
There’s more to the Toyota: Indisputably, the Toyota C-HR’s most effective characteristic is its managing. It’s a sport-tuned four-wheel independent suspension set up that’s downright enjoyable to use. Steering experience and steering weight are remarkable to almost all of the Kia line as well as the only way to out-pace the C-HR is while using the turbocharged 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line.
Both of those vehicles have CVTs that mimic the feel of an computerized transmission. Basically, they pause a little supplying the feel of the vehicle switching gears. It works a little better within the Soul, but both vehicles nevertheless drone a bit when accelerating. Still, it is only noticeable in the event the driver’s a little bit aggressive.
While in the late 2000s, there were quite a few so-called “box” cars that came to market place inside the U.S. including the Nissan Cube and the Scion xB. On the other hand, only one ever actually held any appeal for me personally and it is now the only one remaining on sale here, the Kia Soul. At last November’s Los angeles Automobile Clearly show, Kia unveiled a fresh third-generation Soul which i just acquired to spend some time with to check out if I still like it.
The brand new Soul retains precisely the same basic profile it’s experienced for your past ten years which differs a little bit from your other box automobiles in the roof has slight downward slope toward the back. The Soul in no way experienced the greater upright windshield found within the xB and Cube, all of which contributes to supplying the Soul a rather more sporting stance. Fortuitously, individuals variants do not effect the practical packaging added benefits with the boxy configuration. Irrespective of its compact footprint, the Soul offers remarkably ample area for travellers and cargo.
Whilst the fundamental kind stays intact, Kia designers have managed to give the Soul a more contemporary seem, picking up several of your currently stylish design and style cues. Up front, the earlier unified headlamp cluster has break up up as so many many others much like the Hyundai Kona and Chevy Blazer have in recent years. A set of narrow, horizontal strips give the daytime operating lamp operation when greater blocks down below flanking the grille consist of the headlamps.
Within the C-pillar, the black trim surrounding the facet windows flows again, bisecting the pillar and delivering some the floating roof glance. On the back again, the curved, vertical taillamps that flanked tailgate within the previous generation now extend every one of the way round the prime and about one-quarter of your way in to the bottom, providing a hoop of light. General, the Soul seems to be sharp and up to date in 2019, but I cannot assist but speculate if these at the moment trendy cues may possibly seem additional dated inside of a few yrs in the event the sector has moved on.
The brand new Soul is all over again offered in battery electric powered form although it now has the greater 64-kWh battery employed in the Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV products, more than doubling selection to 243 miles. I haven’t pushed that variant still but appear ahead to it. Over the inner combustion facet, the 1.6-liter in a natural way aspirated four-cylinder which was previously out there while in the foundation Soul has actually been dropped in favor from the 2.0-liter 4. Even so, this time it’s a decrease cost port gasoline injected version somewhat in comparison to the direct injected motor applied final 12 months. Output is down somewhat to 147-hp and 132 lb-ft but fuel financial system is up by three mpg to 30 mpg combined.
A six-speed guide transmission is obtainable from the base EX trim but all others aside from the Turbo now use a consistently variable transmission. The GT-Line turbo retains the one.6-liter immediate injected turbo and seven-speed dual clutch transmission mixture discovered in quite a few Hyundai and Kia overall performance versions. The two.0-liter CVT mix truly is effective really well in the Soul, in particular together with the 100 pound weight reduction. The control of your CVT is tuned to generally be very much similar to a regular stage ration transmission and it never ever exhibits any of the irritating motorboating have an affect on people today typically despise with these transmissions. Total the performance is much more than suitable for the compact vehicle and most drivers are unlikely to get any serious problems. In my own driving, I really conquer the EPA estimate which has a blended 32 mpg with out definitely making an attempt.
For this new generation, Kia has expanded the lineup from a few trim levels to 7 including the X-line suitable in the center. On condition that consumers manage to be scurrying away from vehicles and toward utility vehicles as rapid since they can, the X-Line receives a little bit of that fake crossover search that numerous other modest automobiles have as of late. Which means some silver colored trim parts below the front and rear fascias and also the rocker panels that vaguely resembles skid plates, but obviously will not be. The good thing is, the more “rugged” appear does not genuinely detract through the total style and design and i could dwell with it.
That rugged appear is not surprisingly entirely aesthetic without any fundamental functionality to aid off-roading. The strut entrance suspension and twist beam rear axle are quite regular fare for entry-level autos and supply incredibly decent journey good quality and handling. The Soul stays rather flat undergoing corners and doesn’t present considerably responses through the steering wheel but is adequately weighted and goes practically where by you level it. For operation off-pavement, you’ll want to stay with working around rocks no more substantial than normal gravel roadways.
Each individual trim such as the foundation LX that commences at just $18,500 such as delivery involves a 7-inch touchscreen audio procedure with Apple Carplay and Android Auto assist likewise as hill start off assist along with the now mandatory backup digital camera. The X-Line I drove also provided blindspot monitoring with cross targeted visitors inform. At $22,500 it did not produce other driver helps like lane holding or adaptive cruise handle and starting off the car however needed that tried and legitimate approach of truly inserting a essential right into a slot.
As regular, Kia is delivering a pretty strong value proposition with all the 2020 Soul. For any vehicle that could comfortably keep four grown ups and a bunch of stuff behind the seats, provide first rate gasoline financial state, a unique perception of style plus much more than ample performance, you’d be hard-pressed to find a improved car while in the U.S. marketplace at this time for your starting off rate under $20,000.