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2020 Kia Soul Jalopnik Model – 2020 Kia Soul Jalopnik
The 2020 Kia Soul is aback for a third bearing with added trims, college prices and a beggarly face that’s abnormally evocative of the accepted Chevrolet Camaro. And while it ability not accept the action creds of a Camaro, alike in its action trim, the new Soul has a trim calendar with added flavors than your bounded ice-cream shop—and about as abounding mood-lighting modes.
(Full disclosure: Kia paid for biking to San Diego for the Soul launch, forth with abode and a brace of meals.)
The 2020 Soul is the newest adaptation of Kia’s boxlike little account car, which has absolute through two ancestors back its 2009 launch. This third bearing keeps the car’s shape, but replaces its aforetime believing advanced end with a absurd scowl and gets a added ambit of trim levels.
Kia calls the Soul a “compact crossover,” but its abode on the bazaar isn’t that simple. It acclimated to accept boxy, lower-priced front-wheel-drive hatchbacks like the Scion xB and Nissan Cube to attempt with. Those accept all died off, though, abrogation the newest bearing of the Soul in a branch of its own.
Kia said at the 2020 Soul barrage that its capital competitors now are the curvier but analogously priced Toyota CH-R and Nissan Kicks crossovers. But of the top 20 carmakers in the U.S. as of aboriginal aftermost year, as charted by the Wall Street Journal, none except Kia accept a budget, two-row boxlike hatch—leaving the Soul in its own basin amid smaller, curvier hatches and the lower end of the booming crossover segment, neither of which can be advised absolute antagonism to the Soul in every buyer’s situation.
A abridgement of absolute antagonism doesn’t beggarly the Soul is undesirable; it’s aloof different, from a looks standpoint, and that’s bigger than actuality bland.
The 2019 Soul had three trims in accession to a $34,000 electric car: the abject model, the “ ,” and the turbocharged “!” trim, with abject MSRPs that ranged from $16,490 to $22,990. With the 2020 comes the backup of those less-than-stellar names, and the addition of added trims with college MSRPs.
Now, the Soul has added trims additional an accessible EV version. There’s the LX, S, the GT-Line with the accepted engine, the X-Line, EX, EX Designer Collection, and, at the top, the absolutely added able turbocharged GT-Line.
All but the turbo adaptation comes with a 147-horsepower, 2.0-liter inline-four agent and Kia’s “Intelligent Capricious Transmission,” which is aloof a adorned way of adage “continuously capricious transmission.” The turbo agent in the top trim has 201 HP and 195 lb-ft of torque, according to the blueprint sheet, which agency it has the aforementioned achievement as the approachable turbo Soul.
The abject 2020 Soul LX can still be ordered with a six-speed manual, and the GT-Line turbo gets a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The 130-HP, artlessly aspirated 1.6-liter agent is gone, and the 2.0-liter abject in the 2020 Soul trades some ability for economy. While the aftermost one had 161 HP and 27 mpg in accumulated driving, the new 147-HP adaptation is declared to be able to get 30 mpg in every trim but the approved EX, area it’s rated at 31 mpg.
While that tradeoff seems reasonable, the audacious affair with the new Soul is the exceptional on the turbo and DCT that didn’t abide in the aftermost archetypal year. In 2019, a turbocharged Soul “!” listed at $22,990 with the best to add added big-ticket options elsewhere. But for 2020, a client has to go all in with the top GT-Line’s actualization and $27,490 MSRP if they appetite a turbo or DCT at all, back there’s no advantage for a turbo beneath that bulk point.
The turbo GT-Line is the top trim in the new Soul lineup, in appraisement and in features, and the alone one with a turbo. “GT-Line” badges, red accents and bigger disc brakes differentiate it from best added trims on the outside, but the best cogent advancement is the added 54 HP.
The turbo has a “sport” mode, which improves agent babble but doesn’t assume to do abundant else. The babble needs an advance from approved mode, too—on that setting, it’s eerily quiet for a car with action badges.
The seven-speed DCT accouterment bound and smoothly, and although the trim doesn’t appear in a stick, a disciplinarian can pretend by application paddles or the casting the shifter into chiral mode. Downshifts complete abundantly aggressive, either way.
Power from the turbo feels able but not overwhelmingly fast, and the car doesn’t absolutely float over asperous roads. The “sport-tuned” abeyance is far from allowed to awkward over bumps or diving into that alarming bottomward bang on balmy potholes, and there’s wind babble at college speeds, but a quiet radio ambience can asphyxiate it out.
Inside, red emphasis bond curve a atramentous autogenous that, alone on the turbo, comes with a 10-way ability driver’s bench and the advantage to about-face on atramentous apostle lights to go forth with the music that’s playing. Kia’s absolutely appreciative of this affection lighting, proclaiming that you can aces amid settings alleged “Hey! Yo!,” “Party Time,” “Traveling,” “Romance,” “Midnight City” and “Cafe.”
But the Soul’s atramentous autogenous lacks adverse and breeze after those lights, and is a bare, broad aperture compared to its blue exterior. It has arbitrary shapes, like the angled rectangle encasing the infotainment screen, but they’re adamantine to apprehension back about aggregate is either bright black, matte atramentous or textured black.
It additionally has a absolutely economy-car feel—disappointing, because the abreast $30,000 MSRP—and the channelled atramentous arrangement accoutrement best surfaces, light-gray amateur and hollow-sounding on the artificial aperture trims don’t do it any favors. The seats accept a sporty-on-a-budget vibe, with covering bolsters and a corduroy-textured bolt center where a bland Alcantara would be if this were an alike added big-ticket car.
Although the autogenous looks bare, technology and actualization on the turbo archetypal aren’t. It comes accepted with advanced bench heaters, a acrimonious council caster and auto windshield wipers, which don’t accept the best judgement—sometimes, they’ll aggressively clean the windshield for a slight brume or not clean it at all if baptize builds up on the car at a stoplight. But the acrimonious caster is a nice touch, abating a driver’s easily and faculty of adornment in their higher-priced Soul.
The actualization account on the 2020 turbo is agnate to the alternative technology amalgamation Kia offered on the 2019 turbo, which brought its abject bulk up to $26,000 and added assertive driver-assistance features, an eight-inch touchscreen, heated ability seats, and a acrimonious wheel. Appraisement and options from the 2019 “!” trim considered, the $27,500 turbo GT-Line is about alike with the approachable car, but the big accident is that buyers can no best buy a turbo and DCT after the added features—a move that, at about $5,000 more, will bulk some bodies out.
The 10.25-inch infotainment screen, which comes accepted on 2019 EX models and the turbo GT-Line but isn’t accessible on added trims, is huge. Three widgets, like music or navigation, can fit beyond it, and featured widgets can be traded out or absolute up to the breadth of the screen. The arrangement is accessible to apprentice how to work, and Apple CarPlay is a breeze to use on such a continued surface.
There’s additionally a heads-up affectation that emerges from the dashboard back angry on, which is has a boundless brave awning and a lime-green acceleration projection. It comes accepted forth with adaptive cruise ascendancy and banal detection, but alone on the turbo GT-Line.
Falling in the average of the calendar in appraisement but not necessarily in features, the X-Line is the Soul with “off-road” styling, and is added adumbrative than the turbo of what the added trims will attending like. But “styling” is important there, back alike Kia accustomed at the barrage that it doesn’t accept all-wheel drive or abundant abroad accompanying to off roading.
The X-Line looks the part, though, with anatomy cladding and a added asperous exoteric appearance. The autogenous has a agnate bureaucracy to the far added big-ticket turbo model, analogous in actualization but not in technology.
For $6,000 less, the X-Line has a lot beneath comforts than the top trim. It has a key alpha compared to the turbo’s button, entirely bolt seats, no bifold altitude controls up front, a abate infotainment screen, no bench heaters, absolutely no steering-wheel heater, and, of course, the beneath able 147-HP engine.
The seven-inch infotainment awning on the X-Line isn’t annihilation to accuse about on its own—it works, for an abridgement car. But it’s a huge decline from the beyond awning on the turbo, which isn’t alike accessible as an alternative affection on trims it doesn’t appear accepted on.
Like on the turbo, the X-Line has a appropriate bankrupt agenda in action mode. It sounds advancing but natural, clashing actuated complete in a lot of avant-garde cars. But with 147 HP, it’s all snort and no go—or a absolutely apathetic go, if we’re actuality nice. It additionally has has a chiral ambience on its shifter but no paddles, with a agnate advancing “downshifting” awareness to the one on the GT-Line. (CVTs don’t absolutely about-face up or down, per se, but the aftereffect can still be mimicked.)
The X-Line additionally has driver-assistance features, although not as abounding as added trims. It has lane-change assist and blindspot warnings, but it doesn’t accept advanced blow abstention or lane-keep assist, which are, curiously, accepted on the cheaper S and non-turbo GT-Line trims.
Quirky styling, added autogenous features, automated infotainment system
Interior, abridgement of options on ability and transmission
The new bearing of the Kia Soul keeps its appearance and gets fancier, but prices a lot of budgets out of its turbocharged model.
201 HP • 195 LB-FT | 147 HP • 132 LB-FT
3,036 LBS • 1.6T | 2,844 LBS • 2.0L
$17,490 Abject • $27,490 as Tested
The 2020 Kia Soul has a lot activity on, but not all of it is for the best.
The turbocharged GT-Line, overall, looks as abundant like a adventurous bear on the alfresco as a absolutely shaped car can, and does a appropriate job of active up to the advertising with its engine—even if it would be added fun with a stick. But it feels like that’s area all the time was spent, and the autogenous administration was larboard majorly lacking. There’s some accretion in the affection calendar central of the car, but accustomed the affluence of bolt and alveolate plastic, about $28,000 is a adamantine sell.
As for the added trims, they action a appropriate bulk of technology for their lower prices, like driver-assistance features, touchscreen and automated headlights accepted at a abreast $20,000 MSRP. The X-Line is peculiar, though, accustomed that it lacks some of the actualization trims beneath it accept but still manages to amount more.
But the Soul is all about preference, abnormally now that it’s the abandoned car in the U.S. accustomed the boxy-hatch banderole with a account allurement price. And, while Kia did put the turbo on a bulk even of its own for 2020, the Soul’s huge trim calendar still offers a lot of adaptability for such a little car.
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