2020 Kia Soul Is Now 50% Sharper And Optionally, 100% Electric

The latest-generation 2020 Kia Soul has just premiered at the Los Angeles Auto Show and although it has a similar overall shape to its predecessor, it has undergone a plethora of significant changes.

The new 2020 Soul adopts a boxy silhouette but pairs it with a number of futuristic styling elements, particularly at the front. For example, there are a pair of slim headlights that rest above black accents and an enlarged black front grille. Also included in the new fascia are daytime running lights.

The rear of the updated Soul also looks radically different than the outgoing model and includes eye-catching taillights that extend up the C-pillars. Speaking of the C-pillars, the South Korean automaker says that they’ve been designed to resemble airplane wings. The C-pillars also feature the ‘Soul’ badge.

A new Soul for the new world.

In terms of powertrain options, there’s quite a few. Base models will come equipped with a 2.0-liter, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine delivering 147 hp and 132 lb-ft (178 Nm) of torque. This engine is mated to either a six-speed manual or an Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). For those looking for more performance, there is a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder on offer with a seven-speed dual-clutch as well as 201 hp and 195 lb-ft (264 Nm) of torque.

Then we come to perhaps the most important new Soul, the 2020 Soul EV. The car features a 64 kWh battery that supports Combined Charging System DC fast-charge as standard and is paired with an electric motor pumping out 201 hp and an impressive 291 lb-ft (394 Nm) of twisting force. Kia hasn’t released performance details and has yet to reveal the car’s EPA-estimated range.

Among the details we do know is that the 2020 Kia Soul EV includes four driving modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Eco+. These modes automatically adjust power output, regenerative braking, air conditioning and heating settings, while also setting speed limits to help manage the efficiency of the powertrain.

Additionally, the Soul EV includes smart regenerative braking that’s operated through the paddle shifters, allowing drivers to slow the car and capture kinetic energy to boost range. There’s also a Brake and Hold System as well as a Smart Regen System which adjusts the regenerative braking level based on a vehicle being detected in front.

Inside, Kia’s designers took inspiration from the world of music and created a series of “shapes and textures that reflect acoustic inspired elements to create a full sensory experience.” One key interior inclusion consists of sound mood lighting that can be synchronized to the music playing through the car’s audio system. There’s also wireless charging, available dual auto climate control and a set of special tweeter speakers.

The 2020 Kia Soul comes available with a 10.25-inch HD color touchscreen with split screen function and a rear view monitor with parking guidance. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth are all present. Should customers so desire, they can also option an 8-inch Head-Up display and a 640-watt Harman Kardon audio system with an amplifier, 10 speakers, and a dedicated subwoofer.

Just as fun as ever but even more advanced.

In terms of safety, the new Soul can be optioned with Kia’s Drive Wise system. This includes Forward Collision Avoidance, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Changing Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Blind-spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross Collision Warning, Smart Cruise Control, and High Beam Assist.

The ICE-powered 2020 Kia Soul models will be offered in GT-Line, X-Line, and EX Design Collection guises. Of these, the X-Line is perhaps the most interesting as it’s designed to look more rugged than the rest. As such, it features body cladding, chunkier fenders, off-road accents, bespoke 18-inch wheels, fog lights, optional two-tone paint, and different 18-inch wheels.

*This story has been updated with live images from the LA Auto Show


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2020 Kia Soul GT

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2020 Kia Soul Electric

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  • Dennis Scipio

    The New Soul’s Front End reminds me of a Stormtrooper.

  • Six_Tymes

    All the updated specs sound impressive, as to the front head light design, “Why So Serious”. lol

  • SpongeBob99Swell
  • charlie bear

    The kia Soul lost its ”soul” with this new design,

  • StrangerGP

    The front is ugly, but I like that the interior finally has some soul thanks to the ambiet lighting.

  • Jboy Ababon III

    Every redesign is a mess. The first Soul still has the best soul of the bunch.

  • MarkoS

    I like the design, but the center mounted exhaust would prohibit a hitch mount for bike racks.

  • Jason Miller

    I really like that GT-Line.

  • Knarck

    It reminds me of SRT

    • Bash

      You can take the rest of the day off now.

  • DetrinKD

    What’s with the unfinished panels inside the EV?

    Otherwise. I like it for a SOUL.

  • Dude

    Looks awesome

  • eb110americana

    I always liked the Soul, and this one is no different. It’s a cheap car with character. Something that someone would actually want for reasons other than, “It’s sensible and cheap.” However, the center stack, primarily that ovoid around the infotainment screen, looks atrocious. It looks cheap, and not even new-car-cheap, but 15-year-old-rental-car-cheap. Whoever designed that should be fired. In fact, whoever approved it should be fired too.

    • A fenek

      I agree – the exterior looks modern, but the interior is visibly cheap and outdated, that black plastic does it no favors either.

    • Knotmyrealname

      You saved me writing pretty much the same thing. That IP is a mess. A 1990’s mess. I really liked the very first Soul, but it’s gone downhill ever since. And now, this has fallen off the cliff.

  • Perry F. Bruns

    What’s the cargo space now?

  • FordMopar

    This is waaaayyy better than any previous designs, 1st, 2nd gen and revised 2nd gen. Much more crisper looking and less cheap economy looking. The GT-line in red is pure awesome. To all who complain, go back and drive your boring CUVs and play it safe. We need more bold looking with bold colors CUVs now for 2020. Enough with plain vanilla CUVs out there…. Equinox, Compass, Traverse, Escape, Rouge, and others…. come on!

  • Enoch Gabriel Gonzales

    nice evolution from the previous gen, but still has to grow in me

    • Eric

      I hate to be that guy, but this one’s a little too funny. You meant “on me”. Which, when you think about it, isn’t really any better…


  • SteersUright

    They did a GREAT job with the exterior, considering what this is. The interior, though, looks horrible, outside of the cool and huge infotainment screen.

  • A step-back from the previous generation, but delightful nonetheless.

    • EL CHAPO

      That’s your opinion, but this soul is waay better than the last 2 gen

      • Evo45

        For the features yes, but it’s not pretty to look at in front design

  • Six Thousand Times

    Previously, the Soul was one of those OK cars that didn’t try too hard so wasn’t too terrible but this one is trying too hard.

  • Enoch Gabriel Gonzales

    what’s with that green crayola-colored rugged version? they could have painted it with bright orange or just plain silver.

  • Sybill Julian

    schreyer totally loves his job

  • Honda NSX-R

    Taillights are weird

  • TheHake

    Now complete with Skoda RS wheels!

  • salamOOn

    the only one good looking is the one with the “offroad” styling….. interior is nice.
    but i would prefer Sportage over this new gen Soul.

  • Mike anonymous

    I want my hamsters!

  • Rasta_Farian

    This totally reminds me of how Toyota botched the second generation of the Scion xB and Nissan similarly screwed up the Cube. They went from small boxes on wheels to blobs.

    • TheBelltower

      Exactly. The details that make it interesting get totally watered-down.

  • Fabián Montiel

    What’s with the taillights?

  • G82FS

    Totally disappointed that the interior of the EV is not the same as the ICE models.

  • Maximilian Norlande Rabbitt

    I have but one question…Where mah hamsters at? O^O

  • Blade t

    It’s cool you can get one that’s turbo with a dual clutch..

  • exeptor

    Why so grumpy?

  • Bo Hanan

    Land Rover Evoque front end.
    And a refresh with no Turbo with that AWD???

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