Not a fan of the current Soul? Kia hopes to that change.
According to The Korean Car Blog, the all-new 2020 Kia Soul and Soul EV will make their respective global debuts late next month at the LA Auto Show (the 2019 models are pictured here). Can’t say we’re entirely surprised by this, and we’ve reached out to Kia for further comment, just to be sure. However, an LA debut does make complete sense because the West Coast is a particularly prime market for crossovers and EVs. Both are slated to go on sale in North American sometime in the second quarter of 2019 as early 2020 models. As for Europe, only the Soul EV will supposedly go on sale there.
Kia has remained mostly mum on details regarding the next Soul, but what we can tell based on previous spy shots is that it’ll, once again, retain an evolutionary design, just as was done with the second generation model. That’s not a bad thing unless, of course, you’ve never been a fan of the Soul’s quirky design. Expect to see new daytime running lights along with more slender headlights, a trademark of the brand’s latest lineup styling. But it’s been a huge sales success nonetheless, so would Kia mess with a winning formula?
The interior will feature a redesigned steering wheel, new switchgear, and an improved infotainment system. But perhaps the most noticeable change will be the re-location of the shifter; it’ll now be a rotary knob located on the center console. We also spotted a disguised though still recognizable next-generation Soul last April when we were in Korea touring the Kia R&D center and K900 media drive and can confirm those design rumors.
Our sources claim the new Soul will share much of its DNA with the also new Hyundai Kona in terms of powertrain. The base engine is slated to be a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. A turbocharged 1.6-liter four with 175 hp and 195 lb-ft will be optional. If so, what’s interesting is that this optional engine will be less powerful than the current Soul’s turbocharged 1.6-liter four with 201 hp. Fortunately, for the first time, all-wheel drive will be available. Also expect for the Soul EV to have the same general underpinnings as the Kona EV, but we can’t confirm just yet whether the former will have that impressive 258-mile range on a single charge. Given that LA is only about a month away, we expect official details to arrive in the very near future.