The third-generation Kia Soul arrives with a refreshed design, new tech, and a new turbo engine.
After some tantalizing teasers and sightings of prototype test mules, the all-new 2020 Kia Soul has made its debut at the 2018 LA Auto Show with a refreshed exterior, new turbocharged engine, and an all-new platform. The funky crossover retains its traditionally boxy silhouette, but there are several key changes that make it look more refined. Sculpted lines result in a much sharper design, while the headlights are narrower and flow smoothly into the grille, accentuating the car’s width. There’s also slim daytime running lights and turn signals, and a larger front grille. At the back are new boomerang-shaped taillights, while the C-pillars are designed to resemble airplane wings.
Measuring 165.2 inches long, 70.9 inches wide, and 63 inches high, the new Soul is slightly longer than its predecessor, but this has resulted in more passenger and cargo space inside. Front and rear legroom has increased by 0.2 inches and 0.3 inches respectively, while cargo space has increased by 5.0 cu.-ft. up to 23.8 cu.-ft. Larger front door openings also provide easier access as a result of sculpted front door panels.
According to Kia, the 2020 Soul’s stronger structure benefits from an increased use of Advanced High Strength Steel, hot stamped components, and structural adhesive, which should enable the crossover to achieve the highest safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and National Traffic Highway Safety Administration.
As standard, the EX and GT-Line trims come with a 10.25-inch HD color touchscreen with split screen function, a rear-view monitor and parking guidance. An eight-inch head-up display and 640-watt Harman Kardon audio system with an amplifier and 10 speakers are also available. Available driver assists include 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.
As for engine options, the base model is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission or Intelligent Variable Transmission that produces 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. New to the range is more powerful GT-Line trim that packs a 1.6-liter twin-scroll turbocharged I4 GDI engine paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that produces 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. The GT-Line also has a sportier front and rear fascia, 18-inch alloy wheels, unique side sills and front fascia with red accents, integrated fog lights on the front grille, gloss black side mirrors, GT-Line badging, and a leather-wrapped D-shaped steering wheel and gearshift knob. The sportier GT-Line also includes a chrome tip center exhaust, larger disc brakes, and sport-tuned suspension.
The new rugged X-Line trim adds a body kit with body cladding, overfender, and off-road inspired accents, as well as unique 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rail inspired accents, fog lights, and optional two-tone paint. Last but not least, the EX Designer Collection includes 18-inch alloy wheels with black spokes, LED headlights and fog lights, and a two-tone roof.
Thanks to an all-new platform, Kia promises the new Soul delivers “a more refined experience behind the wheel and on the road”. Engineers have also designed the suspension geometry to help reduce noise, vibration and harshness while also improving handling and comfort in a variety of conditions. Pricing for the 2020 Kia Soul will be announced closer to launch in the first half of next year.
Also debuting at the show alongside its gasoline-powered sibling is the new Kia Soul EV, which is powered by a new liquid-cooled lithium ion polymer 64 kWh battery that provides improved charging times. The electric motor produces 201 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque, up from 210 lb-ft in the outgoing model. Range details will be announced next year, but it's expected to deliver around 300 miles.
Further differentiating the EV are restyled front and rear bumper, a solid front grille insert with charging door conveniently located on the driver’s side, LED headlamps strikingly integrated into upper cross-car brow, unique fog lamps, and exclusive five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels.