Ever since the first generation Kia Soul was launched in 2009, many consumers loved the small crossover’s combined appeal of its funky styling yet practical and spacious interior. It was a small crossover with plenty of personality. This all-new 2020 Kia Soul, which is now in its third generation, builds on the character that the first-ever Kia Soul has been able to establish.
The new Soul’s exterior is a careful evolution of the distinctive design that the Soul nameplate has first introduced, but this time around, more sculpting efforts have been made to make the small SUV stand out even more. Up front, there’s a new trim piece that connects the slim LED daytime running lights and turn signals, making it look like a unified single piece of design element. The lower grille, meanwhile, is now wider and more aggressive, while the main headlamps have been separated from the daytime running lights, just like in many of the Hyundai-Kia group’s line of SUVs and crossovers. At the side, the distinct silhouette has been enhanced through the addition of a black design piece located at the C-pillar that connects the rear window with the boomerang-shaped tail lights. For this generation, Kia is introducing three design themes for the Kia Soul, with each theme having their own character. The X-Line features a rugged exterior design, while the GT-Line features a sporty design, grippier P235/45 R18 tires, flat-bottom steering wheel, as well as larger disc brakes and a sport-tuned suspension. Lastly, the EX Designer Collection follows a contemporary approach with its two-tone paint scheme.
Music has always been the central theme for the Soul’s interior. The first generation Soul introduced a bevy of design themes that has centered around the topic, and this time around, the Soul fully embraces that. Many parts of the interior have been adorned with design trims and shapes that “reflect acoustic inspired elements to create a full sensory experience.” These include a plethora of LED mood lighting, which can be configured with a variety of “moods” such as Hey! Yo!, Party Time, Traveling, Romance, Midnight City, and Cafe. Complementing the added mood lighting are the 640-watt Harman Karon sound system and 10.25-inch infotainment system with split screen function, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
Under the hood of the Kia Soul is a 2.0-liter inline-4 petrol engine that produces 147 hp and 179 Nm of torque, mated to either a 6-speed manual or a CVT. The other engine is a 1.6-liter turbo petrol inline-4 producing 201 hp and 264 Nm of torque, mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. Regardless of the engine or transmission, power is sent through the front wheels.
Like all modern cars nowadays, the Kia Soul is fitted with a plethora of driver safety and convenience features under the Kia Drive Wise suite of safety features. These range from Automatic Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, among others.
The 2020 Kia Soul will go on sale in the U.S. market in the first half of 2019.