With a completely redesigned exterior and interior, high-tech features, and available turbocharged engine, the 2020 Soul is a marvel of adaptability inside and out. While the five-passenger, front-wheel drive hatchback still has its signature boxy look, Kia has made the car sleeker via thinner headlights and sharp-edged openings on the grill. Contributing to the sleeker lines are 2.2 additional inches of length and almost an inch more ground clearance. For buyers looking for a Soul that stands out even more, a new GT-Line appearance package boasts 18-inch wheels and sportier-looking grill, lights, and bumpers.
The Soul is available in six trim levels: The LX, X, S, EX, GT-Line 2 liter, and GT-Line 1.6 liter. The base-model LX still clocks in at just under $18,000, while the top-of-the line GT Turbo has a MSRP of $27,500.
Under the hood, the base Soul 2020 model has a new engine: a 2-liter, naturally aspirated 4-cylinder that generates 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. More deluxe models have the option of running on a1.6-L turbocharged 4-cylinder. While the base engine can be paired with either a 6-speed manual or a new Forte-sourced CVT gearbox, the turbo only pairs with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.
The 2020 Soul’s new transmission helps the 2.0-liter engine propel the Soul to 60 mph 0.1 second quicker (in 8.0 seconds flat) than the previous-generation Soul equipped with the more powerful, 164-hp version of the same engine and a six-speed automatic. The revamped powertrain also is 1 decibel quieter at when the pedals to the metal.
Changes to the 2020 Soul’s interior aren’t as dramatic as they are for the outside and powertrain. There’s a roomier feel and more cargo space thanks to the additional base length. A 10.25-inch color touchscreen now serves as the Soul’s centerpiece, and the arresting light system that first appeared on 2019—ambient lights that pulse to the beat of music coming through the sound system—are now available in more colors. Like its predecessors, this model year seats 5 passengers.
The 2020 Kia Soul offers a collection of Kia Drive Wise technology features that 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. The 2020 Kia Soul also uses more advanced high strength steel in its structure. For these and other reasons, 2020 Soul won a Top Safety Plus score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Safety and security features that come standard on the 2020 include dual front advanced airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, 3-point seatbelts, front seat pre-tensioners, height-adjustable front seat-belt anchors, seat-belt reminder and sensor, rollover sensor, and brake assist system.