The Kia Soul enters its third technology with extra aggressive styling, a stronger array of tech and larger cargo-carrying capability. It mainly takes the whole lot we have all the time loved in regards to the Soul, and improves on that likable components. Seems, the 2020 mannequin 12 months replace makes Kia’s subcompact field extra well-rounded than ever.
For 2020, the third-generation Kia Soul seems a lot sharper than its two earlier generations. My GT-Line mannequin’s entrance fascia seems to have malevolent intentions for any stretch of tarmac it faces. it from a entrance three-quarter perspective, I just like the butch proportions, the floating, tapered roofline and the way the window profile is completed off in again with a nifty black “Soul” trim piece.
I am not notably keen on the rear fascia and the way the taillights wrap into the rear liftgate, however the heart exhaust suggestions are a selection of entirety to an general design that appears in contrast to the rest on the street in the present day. (The Soul’s cubic competitors, specifically the Honda Factor, Nissan Dice and Scion xB, went extinct in 2011, 2014 and 2015, respectively.)
I dig that Star Wars stormtrooper face.
The Soul’s inside does an excellent job of matching its quirky exterior. My tester has pink trim items surrounding the door handles, and so they’re flourished with a woven gentle sample that appears stellar at evening, particularly alongside the sunshine rings that encompass the door-mounted audio system. The cabin is fairly spacious, too, with loads of room for as much as 5 occupants. The agency driver’s seat does not instantly current itself as comfy, however like different Kias I’ve examined, that firmness retains backaches at bay throughout prolonged stints behind the wheel. My tester’s heated entrance seats, heated steering wheel and sunroof additionally make these prolonged stints extra fulfilling.
Out again, there’s loads of area to your stuff, with 23.four cubic ft behind the rear seats. Fold these puppies down, and you have got your self 62.1 cubic ft of cargo area, which not solely bests the capaciousness of different subcompact crossovers, however is even aggressive with automobiles a dimension class bigger.
There are many quirky little touches inside to match the skin’s uniqueness.
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I am impressed with the extent of tech in my Soul tester, starting with its 10-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system. At 640 watts, it makes the Soul bump with the identical enthusiasm because the Nissan Kicks’ Bose system, which is certainly one of my favourite OEM premium audio programs available on the market in the present day.
Kia enhances the bangin’ tunes with a candy 10.Three-inch touchscreen. The show is extremely sharp and an incredible focus on the Soul’s heart stack. My loaded tester additionally options goodies like embedded navigation, HD/satellite tv for pc radio and wi-fi smartphone charging expertly built-in right into a nifty tray forward of the shifter, however the base Soul ain’t too shabby with its commonplace tech. With zero possibility packing containers checked, you continue to get a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a six-speaker stereo.
Conversely, the Soul incorporates a dearth of normal driver-assistance options, however that is forgivable for a beginning value of $18,485, together with $995 for vacation spot. In the event you’re all about that security, although, the Soul’s non-compulsory extras have you ever coated. My loaded instance at $28,485 options pedestrian-detecting automated emergency braking, lane-keep help, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise management and strong LED headlights. The Soul even gives a head-up show, albeit the cheaper “CHUD” kind, that is actually solely efficient for shorter drivers, as we lately famous in our roundup of the worst in-car tech and comfort options.
This engine jogs my memory of the enjoyable I had enjoying sizzling potato as a toddler.
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Unboxing the ability
My Soul GT-Line tester is powered by a 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder making 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Energy is routed to the entrance wheels through a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission.
Stomp on the accelerator and the three,000-pound Soul responds with pleasure. Off-the-line acceleration is pressing, however as soon as the revs climb previous Three,000 rpm, the engine comes into its energy band, and that is the place issues get actually attention-grabbing. I derived limitless leisure from easing away from cease indicators slowly, grabbing the precise paddle shifter for second gear, after which hitting wide-open throttle to trip the wave of turbo torque.
The Soul GT’s Goodyear 235/45R18 all-season tires are desperate to spin beneath full throttle, even in second gear. The paddles dispatch shifts with nigh on zero delay. The transmission switches gears lots fast when left to its personal gadgets, too. The gearbox is not as quick as a Volkswagen, Audi or Porsche dual-clutch transmission, but it surely does supply a celerity approaching that of the Germans.
Even with the extra highly effective engine possibility, the Soul’s gas financial system gives lots to jot down house about.
With a well-modulated brake pedal, the Soul stops with respectable poise. The steering is well-tuned, too, delivering loads of fast and correct responses to my inputs, together with a bit of little bit of really feel, as nicely. The Soul does not supply the type of driving character that makes me need to hustle it by way of corners, however at barely elevated speeds it handles confidently, all whereas providing a well-damped trip.
In the event you’re extra enthusiastic about utilizing your Soul for wise commuting versus making your self giggle when accelerating between cease indicators, Kia gives it with a 2.Zero-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine good for 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, which could be paired with both a six-speed handbook or a constantly variable transmission.
The CVT mannequin is the best way to go for max effectivity, rated at 29 miles per gallon within the metropolis and 35 mpg freeway, however my hotter Soul GT nonetheless gives a decent 27/32 metropolis/freeway mpg. After 189 miles of principally metropolis driving, I achieved 24.1 mpg. That mentioned, my tester solely had 77 miles on the clock when it was delivered to me, so the real-world financial system may need improved submit break-in.
The Kia Soul is likely one of the most strong all-rounders available on the market in the present day.
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Outdoors the field
The Kia Soul is an effective way to face out on crossover-cluttered roads. The boxy machine is a cushty, environment friendly commuter, and gives cargo-carrying functionality superior to equally sized subcompact crossovers.
When optioned with turbo energy, the Soul may even exhibit some hot-hatchback traits which might be certain to boost any grocery store run, whereas nonetheless being respectably environment friendly. The 2020 Kia Soul, in consequence, is likely one of the most well-rounded automobiles you should purchase in the present day.
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