The Kia Soul is practically the only boxy, quirky small crossover still on the market. Despite it going alone these days, Kia is keeping it around with an all-new one for 2020. Dressed in an all-new look with more options than ever, the Kia Soul may just be a serious option for buyers now.
Kia appears to have largely played it safe with the Soul’s redesign. The overall boxy shape that helped propel the Soul to stardom remains, but there’s far more details in the new design. The front clip has ditched its goofy stance in favor of futuristic, slim headlights and an overall fascia that that’s more polished than today’s Soul.
Designers also redesigned the rear of the Soul with dramatic new C-clamp style taillights that Kia says were inspired by airplane wings. A new design trait on the C-pillar and trim level variances round out the new look.
Speaking of trims, Kia is offering up some distinctive options this time around. There’s a new GT-Line that is more athletic in appearance and a new X-Line that takes on a more rugged look. There’s also a new EX Design Collection trim option.
With more trims comes more engine options. The base 2020 Soul will be powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder that churns out 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque via a six-speed manual or CVT automatic. Buyers wanting a little more can opt for Kia’s turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 201 horsepower and 196 pound-feet of torque that will be sent to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Lastly, the Soul EV remains in the lineup and better than ever. The 2020 Soul EV will have an electric motor capable of spinning 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque. This motor is supplied power by a 64-kWh battery pack that can be charged by a standard Combined Charging System DC fast-charge system. Also capturing power will be a new smart regenerative braking system that includes paddles on the steering wheel.
Thus far Kia has not released any range or efficiency information on the Soul EV.
Inside, Kia says the Soul’s new interior was at least partially inspired by music. There’s a pod-like instrument panel that houses a new 10.25-inch touchscreen that is capable of showing two features at once. Speaking of music, the Soul’s new ambient lighting system can be tired to music for those wanting a private stage environment for jamming out while driving. Audiophiles can also opt for a 640-watt Harman Kardon audio system with an amplifier, 10 speakers, and a dedicated subwoofer.
From a safety perspective, the Soul has matured a bit as well. The 2020 model will offer all of Kia’s Drive Wise system, which includes 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 is slated to go on sale in the U.S. in the first half of 2019.