2020 Kia Soul GT-Line: This price range field has an angle
“The 2020 Kia Soul stays a sensible, engaging, and reasonably priced CUV that anybody can love.”
- Stand-out styling
- Design-forward cabin
- Loads of house
- Out there high-tech options
- Turbo powertrain is a miss
- Superior security options are non-obligatory
The hamsters from the last-gen Kia Soul have run out of city. Why? The brand new Soul scared them away. These cute rodents have been aimed toward getting youthful drivers into the boxy automobile.
Now, issues are completely different. Everybody is aware of concerning the Soul, however they’re conversant in the cutesy model. The all-new 2020 Kia Soul is right here to point out off a brand new facet of the machine — a sharper, extra aggressive edge to show that going in opposition to the grain is an efficient factor.
Hatchback? SUV? CUV? One might technically make the argument that the Soul is all of those. The classification isn’t vital, since you’re getting the very best of all worlds. Its subcompact measurement means pricing begins at an reasonably priced $17,490 for the bottom LX trim. Transfer as much as the GT-Line Turbo, which is the automobile we examined for every week, and also you’re a beginning worth of $27,490. That’s nonetheless reasonably priced by at present’s requirements.
It’s obvious that American shoppers are sticking to their crossovers. However in contrast to CUVs that stick firmly to a recipe, the Soul, particularly within the GT-Line trim, breaks the mould to provide patrons a have a look at what enjoyable, low cost, and versatile seems like. From this angle, it’s nice, however not good.
Inside and exterior design
The outdated Soul was a field on wheels, and so is the brand new one. Wanting on the Soul can transport you again to elementary faculty, once you needed to cope with these horrible sq. milk cartons. Simply add in 4 wheels.
Whereas the general silhouette hasn’t modified, almost the whole lot else has. The headlights have moved down the entrance fascia, whereas slim daytime operating lights are actually related by way of a paper-thin grille. Across the again, the taillights have a hockey-stick form that connects on the high.
The 2020 Soul has a extra muscular aesthetic that sharply contrasts with the lovable look from final gen’s mannequin. You may as well spec the Soul with a two-tone coloration scheme for further character.
Go for both the X-Line, or one of many GT-Line trims, and your subcompact CUV comes with a singular physique equipment. The X-Line does an impression of an off-road CUV with particular 18-inch wheels, roof rails, and physique cladding. The 2 GT-Line trims go for a sporty design, with the GT-Line Turbo getting distinct wheels, pink badges, black trim items, and center-exit exhaust.
Individuals could also be cut up on the Soul’s exterior design, however this field brings the warmth inside. Legroom and headroom are abundantly accessible in each rows, with even the tallest of passengers forgetting that they’ve been relegated to the again. Utility is simply as spectacular, because the Soul can carry 24.2 cubic toes of cargo behind the rear seats, and has capability for a complete of 62.1 cubic toes of cargo. These figures make the Soul one of many extra spacious choices within the section, beating the Hyundai Kona, Nissan Kicks, and Honda HR-V.
There’s nonetheless a component of enjoyable that exists alongside all of this utility. From the triangular vents to the space-like trim that surrounds the door deal with and audio system, the Soul’s cabin is snazzy, but useful. Our Soul GT-Line Turbo got here with temper lighting that matches the rhythm of the music in several colours or themes like “Midnight Metropolis,” “Café,” and “Romance.”
Whereas spacious, the Soul is an reasonably priced method to get round, so it has its fair proportion of exhausting plastics and tough supplies scattered all through. Nonetheless, none of it feels low cost. For a automobile that prices beneath $29,000, the Soul GT-Line Turbo feels and appears well-designed. The leather-based and fabric seats are sturdy but snug, with the heated seats warming up your bottom faster than a scorching tub.
Tire and wind noise can disturb the peace at freeway speeds, and the seats really feel quite excessive at their lowest place. After all, that might not be a draw back for shoppers craving for that CUV really feel.
Kia does make you attain far into your pockets to seize the very best tech options, however this economic system field comes with loads of tech commonplace. Nearly all of trims have a 7-inch touchscreen that features each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. That’s nothing out of the peculiar, although, as almost each competitor can match that.
The place the Soul actually flexes its muscle mass is once you begin to get increased up the meals chain. EX and GT-Line Turbo fashions include a large 10.25-inch touchscreen and Kia’s slick UVO infotainment system. That’s one of many largest screens you’ll discover within the section, simply beating the accessible 8-inch display screen within the Hyundai Kona, and the 7-inch touchscreens within the Nissan Kicks and Honda HR-V. As an additional advantage, you get wi-fi charging with the bigger display screen.
Having frolicked with each methods, that is a straightforward determination. Get the bigger 10.25-inch display screen. The usual 7-inch unit is fundamental – iPhone 6 ranges of fundamental. The 10.25-inch display screen with the UVO system is a gem, that includes clear, crisp photographs in an intuitive structure. The additional-wide size places three actually useful issues – navigation, audio, and climate – entrance and middle. If a type of doesn’t sound vital, there’s loads of customization to allow you to prioritize as you see match.
The Soul’s checklist of security options follows the identical trajectory as its infotainment methods. All you get with the bottom trim is a rearview digital camera. The upper up the ladder you climb, the extra you get, with the GT-Line Turbo being full of almost the whole lot beneath the solar, together with blind-spot monitoring, pedestrian detection, and lane-keep help. A retractable head-up show can also be included within the security cocktail.
For essentially the most half, the driver-assist options all work as they need to — apart from the lane-keep help system. That sucker will yank the wheel out of your fingers to cease you from drifting into one other lane. Some nitpickers might imagine the head-up show display screen seems low cost, too. That could be true, but it surely works, and it’s a function you received’t discover within the Honda HR-V and Nissan Kicks.
There are two accessible powertrains for the Soul. 5 out of the six trims include a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired to a repeatedly variable transmission that Kia calls an “clever variable transmission,” or IVT.
Solely the GT-Line Turbo has a distinct mill. That trim comes with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that’s good for 201 hp and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine additionally comes with a singular transmission within the type of a seven-speed dual-clutch.
With 54 further horses and a dual-clutch gearbox, you’d count on the GT-Line Turbo to be the performance-forward trim. And you’d be appropriate. However the powertrain has some critical flaws that spotlight simply how nonathletic the subcompact CUV actually is.
The peppy motor doesn’t lack grunt, however the best way it places down the facility in a single large gulp as an alternative of a clean set of sips is jarring The difficulty is exacerbated due to the dual-clutch transmission, which is gradual to shift, clunky at low speeds, and fast to offer a surge in energy unexpectedly. Stabbing the throttle from a standstill doesn’t lead to quick energy, making parking a difficult scenario.
The costly GT-Line Turbo trim is a straightforward cross.
Along with the engine, the GT-Line Turbo comes with a firmer suspension. The journey is stiff, however the Soul doesn’t really feel limber round corners, because the boxy design limits true efficiency potential. Round corners, the Soul displays physique roll befitting a subcompact CUV, and the GT-Line Turbo’s Goodyear Eagle Touring tires don’t encourage confidence.
Sarcastically, the Soul’s front-wheel-drive-only structure isn’t a dealbreaker. Different subcompacts just like the Nissan Kicks and the Toyota C-HR are front-wheel drive solely, too. You’re nonetheless getting 6.7 inches of floor clearance, which is an honest quantity to sort out snow. If you would like any type of actual off-roading functionality, although, you’ll must look towards the Jeep Renegade.
With the powertrain’s points and the additional bumpy journey that doesn’t translate to actual sporting potential, the costly GT-Line Turbo trim is a straightforward cross.
Fuel mileage and security
The Environmental Safety Company charges the 2020 Kia Soul at as much as 31 mpg mixed (29 mpg metropolis, 35 mpg freeway) when geared up with the two.0-liter four-cylinder engine and the CVT. For those who go along with the sportier GT-Line Turbo trim with the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, you’re 29 mpg mixed (27 mpg metropolis, 32 mpg freeway).
These aren’t unhealthy figures for the subcompact section, however they do put the Soul behind the Nissan Kicks, which is rated at 33 mpg mixed, and the brand new Hyundai Venue that’s rated at 32 mpg mixed. However the Soul is barely extra environment friendly than the Honda HR-V and the Hyundai Kona, which each have mixed gasoline economic system scores of 30 mpg.
With the Soul being all-new for the 2020 mannequin 12 months, it’s powerful to say how dependable the automobile might be down the street. The subcompact CUV does include one of many lengthiest warranties in the marketplace: A 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain guarantee and a five-year, 60,000-mile restricted guarantee. That’s higher than what you’ll discover with automobiles from Nissan or Honda.
Being a brand new automobile, the Soul hasn’t been crash-tested by the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) but. Within the Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security’s (IIHS) checks, the Soul did properly sufficient to be named a Prime Security Decide.
How DT would configure this automobile
Due to the problems with the powertrain and journey, we advocate skipping the GT-Line Turbo trim. With that mentioned, we just like the EX trim essentially the most. It has the identical 10.25-inch touchscreen, UVO infotainment system, and wi-fi charger because the top-of-the-line mannequin, however comes with the extra environment friendly powertrain.
The 2020 Soul has a extra muscular aesthetic that sharply contrasts with the lovable look of final gen’s mannequin.
For those who’d like a two-tone paint scheme, it’s a part of the $1,500 EX Designer Assortment Bundle.
Regardless of testing what’s arguably the worst choice within the lineup, the 2020 Kia Soul is a superb CUV. Its seems received’t be to everybody’s tastes, but it surely stands out in a section that’s crammed with boring choices. It’s sensible, too, with one of many largest cargo areas, a great deal of tech options, and an environment friendly powertrain. That is all wrapped in one of many snazziest designs and backed by one of many lengthiest warranties, too.
For those who’re in search of something near first rate off-road functionality, you’ll must go along with the Jeep Renegade. For these wanting a automobile with a design that doesn’t stand out as a lot, you’ll wish to have a look at the Nissan Kicks, Hyundai Kona, or Honda HR-V.
The Kicks doesn’t have all-wheel drive as an choice, however the different two do. Neither the Kicks nor the HR-V include Apple CarPlay or Android Auto as commonplace, however each include security suites in the course of their respective lineups as an alternative of random options which might be sporadically unfold round. As ordinary, Kia’s priced the Soul competitively, and between these opponents, it’s essentially the most reasonably priced choice of the bunch.
With so many choices to select from within the subcompact section, there’s certain to be one choice that does one thing higher than the Soul. However as a whole bundle, it’s a well-rounded CUV that manages to do rather a lot properly at a low worth, making it one of many higher choices in the marketplace.
Do you have to get one?
Sure. The Soul is a superb worth with funky, useful design. Simply steer clear of the GT-Line.
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