The redesigned 2020 Kia Soul subcompact SUV was rebuilt with better quality interior and stylist exterior designs. Priced in the $20,000 range, enhancements include advanced technology, safety, and power. The biggest improvement includes the reshaping of its boxy figure which has been restyled with smoother curves and sharper design cues.
I tested the new third-generation 2020 Kia Soul X-Line that was built with a stronger high strength steel safety cage which produces a stiffer ride. The former boxy shape has been refined with rounder curves, sharper looking light fixtures, larger front grille with two-tone paint treatment, 3D wraparound boomerang tail lights, C-pillar airplane wing design, and an off-road look, although it does not have the suspension to do so.
Kia designers did not do away with the boxy design entirely since it produces class-leading roominess. There is 23.4 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, and 62.1 cubes of space when the back seats are folded down. It has more space than its competitors which includes the Fiat 500X, Jeep Renegade Nissan Kicks, Mini Countryman, Jeep Compass, and Mazda CX-5.
The hints of premium quality materials in the interior is a perfect complement to the new exterior, especially for a subcompact SUV starting under $18,000 MSRP. Kia designers made music a central focus of the new interior by incorporating acoustic and visual effects that includes mood lighting, tweeter speakers, dual auto climate control, and wireless phone charging,
The new Soul offers six different trim levels and seven configurations: the LX, S, X-Line, GT-Line, EX and GT-Line Turbo trims. Almost all models are powered by a 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine, while the GT-Line Soul has a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The LX model has a manual transmission, while others have a continuously variable transmission. The GT-Line uses a dual-automatic transmission and offers turbo as an option.
The 2020 Kia Soul X-Line is powered by a 2.0-liter multi-point fuel injection four-cylinder engine that generates 147- horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. It is paired with an intelligent variable transmission (IVT).
The 2020 Kia Soul features a host of standard features that include front/side/curtain airbags, electronic stability control, hill-start assist, 7-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and more. The 2020 Kia Soul starts at $17,490 for the base LX and goes up to $28,485 MSRP for the top-of-line GT-Line.
The Kia Soul X-Line comes with additional features that includes an X-Line exclusive body kit, roof rails, 18-inch alloy wheels, auto on/off headlight, lane-changing assist, blind-spot collision warning, front fog lights, roof trim, and leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
U.S. News and World Reports awarded the “Best Subcompact SUV for the Money” to the 2020 Kia Soul and the winner of its “2019 Best New Cars for Teens”.