The 2020 Kia Soul is a funky new car that heralds a new generation of the subcompact crossover. With more competition than ever before, Kia has to seriously up their game in order to keep the Soul ahead of the rest. I managed to spend some time with the new model to see if it measures up.
The 2020 Kia Soul is all-new, having been redesigned from the ground up. It uses the same design philosophy and technology to deliver the experience but from a new perspective. It looks better, feels better and drives better than previous models.
2020 Kia Soul design
The design of the 2020 Kia Soul has taken the existing model and turned it up some. It now looks a little meaner, yet still funky and that thin light setup at the front works well. The large grille area also works well even though I didn’t think it would from the dealer shots we first saw.
The shape and size are largely similar, with that rising beltline and thin windows at the back. It just looks more modern now and has improved in all the right places.
Inside, the changes are apparent there too. The cabin has matured slightly, with fewer funky flourishes and more sensible design. However the quality is there, as is the technology. Seats are comfortable, visibility is good, controls are all robust and easy to reach and there is enough room for adults to sit anywhere.
Engine and mechanicals
The 2020 Kia Soul has a two gas engines and the EV variant. There is a 1.6-litre turbocharged four cylinder for the Soul GT that produces 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque and a 2.0-litre four that produces 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. The turbo uses a 7 speed transmission with dual clutch and the 2.0-litre uses either a six speed manual or CVT.
The Soul EV uses an upgraded motor and batteries to achieve 243 miles on a charge and deliver the equivalent of 201 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque.
I didn’t get to drive the Soul so cannot comment on handling or performance. I have driven the 2018 and 2019 models and they were sprightly and easy to handle. I don’t expect anything else from this model.
The 2020 Kia Soul is a surprisingly spacious small car with a lot to recommend it. Even though the competition is getting stiffer, the combination of quality, design and the remaining funkiness makes it a winner in my book. It is way more interesting than the competition and priced to beat them. That proposition is hard to argue with.
Check out the 2020 Kia Soul at Georgetown Kia, 199 and 314 Guelph Street, Georgetown, Ontario.