2020 Kia Soul: Review — Cars.com


as a car reviewer I actually get asked
quite frequently about what’s a good new car to buy friends and family come and
ask me this question and it’s usually because they already have a vehicle in
mind and they’re hoping that I’m going to name that car and make them feel
better about their intended purchase but every now and then they genuinely want
to know what is something that’s new and affordable and spacious and efficient
and reliable and increasingly I find myself recommending this thing this is
the latest Kia Soul and it seems to tick the boxes for so many people for so many
reasons now for 2020 kia has updated the soul significantly to make it even more
appealing to even more people from the outside you wouldn’t think he has done
much to the 2020 soul it has the same shape as before with some revised front
and rear styling but they’ve been sneaky and actually rides on an all-new
platform one that features a longer wheelbase it comes with some new
powertrain options as well it also has upped the trim count to five
different versions two of them with some distinctly different flavors than before
what this means is that there’s pretty much a soul for everybody looking for an
efficient affordable model that can carry four passengers in comfort or five
in a pinch the base trim levels are already very well equipped and come with
a snappy 2-liter engine made it to either a 6-speed manual or a new
continuously variable automatic transmission the new engine is perfectly
adequate for moving the soul smartly around town or even out onto the highway
with plenty of power for passing or accelerating up to highway speeds some
continuously variable transmissions are better than others and the souls new one
is actually one of the good ones the cars steering handling and braking
aren’t terribly sporty but not every car needs to be a sports car it’s perfectly
good everyday commuter hatchback with the automatic it’ll even get an average
30 miles per gallon which is stellar by small car standards but it is a solid
rating now if you want something sporty or the soul has you covered here too if
you want the looks of a tougher off-roader without any of the mechanical
bits to actually take you off the pavement there’s the new ex line trim
and that adds these rugged looking plastic fender trim body bit things fog
lights roof rail inspired trim up top an optional two-tone paint all meant to
evoke an off-roady vibe of course there is no all-wheel-drive offered on the
soul so a Subaru Crosstrek competitor this is not at the top of the range is a
genuinely sporty variant the Jeep it features significant styling
differences from the lesser models with a sporty or front and rear end side
cells with red accents integrated fog lights and 18-inch wheels and tires but
most notable is the option to spec a turbocharged 1.6 liter engine package
but also comes with a dual-clutch 7-speed automatic a sports suspension
and larger brakes it doesn’t exactly make the soul into a Volkswagen GTI like
hot hatch but it definitely ups the entertainment value of this tiny
truckster and it looks pretty wicked too but what really sells a lot of people on
the soul is not the way it looks although many do find its styling to be
an appealing factor no it’s more about the way the soul can swallow people and
stuff in surroundings that are surprisingly stylish for the price that
they’re asking the interior features top quality materials it’s screwed together
beautifully and it’s extremely comfortable visibility in every
direction is excellent thanks to the Souls high driving position tall roof
and low beltline there’s plenty of room up front and even plenty of room in the
backseat for real sized adult humans something you wouldn’t figure from
looking at the soul from the outside choo there isn’t much trunk space so you
won’t be taking a family of four on vacation in it but for a young couple
with a single child did it work drop one or both of the split folding
seat backs and you’ve got adequate space for three plus luggage now you might
remember the souls original TV ads starring some dancing hip hop hamsters
and that’s because kia has made this car their style setter for younger crowds
including some flashy lightshow bits on the interior the company’s up their game
in this department for 2020 now offering a system that allows you to select one
of six interior mood lighting themes based on whatever music you’re playing
the music can sync up to the lighting and the doors and the speaker’s to flash
with the beat moods you can choose from include quote hey yo party
time traveling romance midnight city or cafe depending on if you’re jamming to
Frank Ocean or Frank Sinatra or Frankie Goes to Hollywood it’s all controlled
through one of the best multimedia systems on the market Kia screens are
big clear and easy to use and navigate even when under way you can opt for a
huge ten and a quarter inch touchscreen on the top trim levels to make you for
an even better user experience now the downside Kia only makes its flashy mood
lighting and big screen tech available on the very top spec GT line 1.6 turbo
so you’re gonna have to spend some coin to get it
what’s all this flash and Dash run you at the lower end of the trim level if
the soul is very reasonably priced a Bay LX model starts at 18,845 including
delivery but you don’t want that one as it doesn’t have any of the latest modern
electronic safety gear one step up from that is the S model and that’s really
where you should start standard forward collision warning with
autonomous emergency braking lane keep assist lane departure warning blind spot
detection area cross traffic alert and driver attention warning even comes with
a standard apple carplay and android auto function a nicely equipped sole
with all the necessities will set you back about 21,285 but if you want
all the goodies including the top safety gear the flashy interior big multimedia
screen and adaptive cruise control you have to opt for the top-line GT 1.6
turbo trim which will cost you a minimum of twenty eight thousand eight hundred
forty-five dollars now for what you get for that price a pretty spacious little
hatchback with quite peppy performance lots of great technology and a pretty
stellar warranty that’s really not a bad price at all today I have recommended a
lot of these Kia souls to people over the years and what these new 2020
updates I think I want to keep on recommending them if you’d like to learn
more about the new 2020 Kia Soul you can look everything up on cars.com