The Kia Soul has grown up for the 2020 model year and it’s now in its third generation. The boxy look is still there, as it has become kind of a signature for the model that used to take on the Nissan Cube and such, but everything else is pretty much new.
Besides the redesigned front and rear ends, the interior has also undergone a significant makeover. It comes with a 10.25-inch color touchscreen display as an option, which has a split-screen function, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard across the range and it can be specced with a head-up display, too. Audiophiles will find that the mood lighting can sync to the music playing through the on-board speakers, which is nice to have if that’s your thing.
The engine lineup includes a 177 hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder in lesser models and a 1.6-liter turbo-four rated at 201 horses in upper grades. Kelley Blue Book jumped in the latter at the 2020 Soul’s launch event, finding that it does have a little lag, but once boost builds up, it feels zippy.
The overall driving experience is very good and so is the ride quality. All in all, it could be said that the Soul is more mature than its predecessor, and it won’t disappoint users, unless they’re too picky, in which case they will notice some hard plastics inside, although those are probably some of the compromises made to keep the price as low as possible.
Pricing for the new generation Soul starts at $18,485 for the LX trim level with the naturally aspirated engine and a six-speed manual gearbox. Buyers looking for the CVT will have to fork out an additional $1,500, while the turbocharged engine begins at $30,825 for the GT-Line Turbo grade. An all-electric model will arrive later on with a 243-mile (391 km) range, but until it does, let’s see how its ICE-powered siblings perform in the video review that follows.