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Redesigned 2020 Kia Soul

2020 KIA SOUL OVERVIEW

Next-Generation Soul Strikes Back With Forward Design, Modern Tech, and More Diverse Model Lineup

  • Iconic shape and profile evolve on top of all-new platform
  • Technologically advanced cockpit designed to provide visceral musical experience
  • New 2.0-liter engine and available IVT transmission combination
  • Available 10.25-inch wide display2and available Head-Up Display2  play up Soul’s high-tech image
  • New “GT-Line” models and “X-Line” adds more visual and performance excitement to Soul family

All-new and funkier than ever, the 2020 Soul is a completely new yet familiar version of Kia’s beloved and award-winning urban runabout. Taking everything that helped popularize the quirky, unconventionally styled subcompact, Kia Motors poured more of its soul into nearly every inch of the vehicle, resulting in a third-generation that continues to transcend unmatched style, peppy performance, thrilling technology, and urban practicality.

“The Soul has been a massive success since its introduction to the U.S. market, blowing its (now defunct) rivals out of the water and establishing itself as an automotive icon with its fun-loving character and eccentric style,” said Orth Hedrick, executive director of Car Planning and Telematics. “Even with an entirely new generation of competitors now crowding the marketplace, we are confident the all-new Soul will once again prove to be a tough contender given its unparalleled style and impressive level of invigorating technology and customization options.”

Proving the point that “there is a Soul for everyone,” the normally aspirated and optionally turbocharged Soul is available in five trim levels – LX, S, X-Line, GT-Line, and EX – plus the all-new Soul EV (outlined in a separate press release).

Design Beyond the Box
While the Soul stays true to its design heritage with its boxy silhouette and confident stance, its newly sculpted lines, cutting-edge details, and technical lighting elements present the most futuristic, youthful and innovative Soul yet.

New exterior design highlights include:

  • High-tech front headlight configuration with connecting trim piece accentuates width
  • Slim-design daytime running lights and turn signal indicators
  • Larger front grille with unique two-tone treatment
  • Front fender detail lines add volume to clean and smooth surfaces
  • Roof rack mounting points
  • Three-dimensional wraparound boomerang-shaped taillights
  • C-pillars designed to resemble airplane wings
  • Signature vertical rear window and “Island” stay true to Soul design heritage
  • Distinctive C-pillar garnish features new “Soul” graphic

Music has been an overarching theme for Soul since its inception, and it’s no different this time around. For the third generation, designers and engineers turned up the volume on the interior design. Drawing inspiration from the “emotional visualization of sound,” the Soul’s interior space is adorned with shapes and textures that reflect acoustic inspired elements to create a full sensory experience.

Interior design highlights include:

  • Available sound mood lighting emits soft light from the center door panels and a unique 3D pattern surface on the upper door panels, with the ability to synchronize to the beat of the music playing through the Soul’s audio system
  • Sound mood lighting features a rainbow of customizable colors
  • Available wireless charging1
  • Available dual auto climate control
  • Soul’s signature tweeter speakers

Smart Packaging and Stronger Structure
Despite its compact footprint, the Soul’s boxy dimensions continue to offer up a surprising amount of cargo and passenger space. Slightly longer than before, the 2020 Soul also features more smartly designed packaging in an effort to make accessibility even easier.

Exterior Dimensions:

  • Length: 165.2 in. [+2.2 in.]
  • Width: 70.9 in. [unchanged]
  • Height: 63.0 in. [unchanged]
  • Wheelbase: 102.4 in. [+1.2 in.]

Interior Dimensions:

  • Legroom (front / rear): 41.1 in./ 38.8 in. [+0.2 in./ – 0.3 in.]
  • Headroom without sunroof (front / rear): 39.4 in. / 39.5 in. [-0.2 in./ unchanged]
  • Shoulder room (front /rear): 55.5 in. /54.7 in. [unchanged]
  • Cargo capacity: up to 24.2 cu.-ft.

Packaging highlights:

  • Wider and lower rear liftgate opening improves ease of loading and unloading
  • Easy grip handle on liftgate
  • Dual level cargo board offers flexibility with the ability to accommodate taller items using the lower level setting
  • Larger front door openings as a result of sculpted front door panels

The 2020 Soul’s stronger structure benefits from an increased use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), hot stamped components, and structural adhesive. With stronger bones, the 2020 Soul is expected to achieve the highest safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Next-Gen Infotainment and Kia Drive Wise Technologies
Recognizing that one’s car is an integral part of their social life, the 2020 Soul continues to surprise and delight with next-gen infotainment and technology.

  • Available 10.25-inch HD color touchscreen2with split screen function (standard on EX, GT-Line with turbo engine) and rear view monitor3 and parking guidance
  • Android Auto4and Apple CarPlay5
  • Bluetooth®6Multi-Connection – two Bluetooth devices can be connected at the same time
  • Available 8-inch Head-Up Display2
  • Available 640-watt Harman Kardon7audio system – twice the wattage of current Soul – with an amplifier and 10 speakers including tuned center speaker and subwoofer

Like other newly designed Kia models, the all-new Soul offers a suite of available Kia Drive Wise features8 including:

  • Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA) / FCA Pedestrian type
  • Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
  • Lane Changing Assist (LCA)
  • Driver Attention Warning (DAW)9
  • Blind-spot Collision Warning (BCW)
  • Rear Cross Collision Warning (RCCW)
  • Smart Cruise Control (SCC)
  • High Beam Assist (HBA)


What Drives You?
Soul enhances its fun-to-drive personality and versatility with different drivetrain combinations. From the all-new 2019 Forte, Kia’s Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) is now available on the 2020 Soul for those who require efficiency with their zip. Designed and built in-house, the IVT is Kia’s unique version of a continuously variable transmission that provides an engaging driving experience.

  • 0-liter Nu four-cylinder engine + 6-speed manual transmission or Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT)
    • 147 horsepower, 132 lb-ft. of torque
    • EPA-rated fuel economy:
      • 25/31/27 mpg10city/highway/combined (6-speed manual)
      • 27/33/30 mpg10(IVT)

For those who desire more zip, a turbocharged option is also available:

  • 6-liter twin-scroll turbocharged I-4 GDI engine + 7-speed dual-clutch transmission
    • 201 horsepower, 195 lb. ft of torque
    • EPA-rated fuel economy:
      • 27/32/29 mpg10

With the Soul’s all-new platform comes a more refined experience behind the wheel and on the road. Engineers designed suspension geometry to help quell noise, vibration and harshness while also improving handling and comfort in a variety of conditions.

A Soul for Everyone
The 2020 Soul can be outfitted to convey one’s unique sense of style through a variety of customizable options. Aside from the all-new Soul EV that debuted alongside its gasoline counterpart, the Soul offers even more flexibility according to different lifestyles.

GT-Line

  • Sporty front and rear fascia
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • P235/45 R18 tires
  • Unique side sills and front fascia with red accents
  • Integrated fog lights on front grille
  • “GT-Line” badging
  • Leather-wrapped D-shaped steering wheel and gearshift knob
  • Available 201-HP turbocharged engine
    • Chrome tip center exhaust
    • Larger disc brakes
    • Sport-tuned suspension

X-Line

  • Rugged body kit
    • Body cladding
    • Overfenders for chunkier look
    • Offroad-inspired accents
  • “X-Line” badging
  • Unique 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Roof rail inspired accents
  • Optional two-tone paint
  • Fog lights

EX Designer Collection (package available on EX trim)

  • 18-inch alloy wheels with black spokes
  • LED headlights and fog lights
  • Optional two-tone roof treatment
  • P235/45 R18 tires
First Drives, Kia, New Car Reviews, SUVs & Crossovers, ,

Written by Roadfly Charlie

Charlie is Roadfly’s founder and publisher, and was taught to drive by his father in a 1974 Porsche 914. That made poor Charlie a Porsche fanboy for life, and after driving a 911SC at 16, he bought and campaigned a variety of 944s at racetracks up and down the East Coast, earning awards and track records in his twenties. Charlie never really got over the car bug, and after a career in real estate development he founded the Internet media firm that became Roadfly. Charlie lives in McLean, VA with his wife and two daughters, and between the demands of family and business doesn’t have much time to play with cars anymore, excluding the machinery we review.

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