Written by Marco Carvajal
Photographs by Marco Carvajal and Hector Russo
The Kia Soul is full of lights and Music, therefore KIA PR team made music the main theme used at the Soul 2020 National Press Introduction in San Diego during February 2019.
The third generation, the new 2020 Soul is becoming available for sale now in March 2020. The Soul is Fun, Funky and Functional
During this National Press event I was able to test drive the new Soul X-Line IVT with a 2.0 engine and the Soul GT-Line 7DCT with a 1.6 turbo engine, both models are fantastic with a very attractive and functional design.
The Kia Soul is fun and unique, it is a boxy urban automobile. It is difficult to categorize this original car concept but we can say that it is funky! It is not a compact car, it is not a CUV compact utility vehicle, but it shares many of the characteristics of compacts and CUVs, providing a new driving experience. We can say that the Soul is a Compact Crossover.
The story of the Kia Soul started about 10 years ago, as the Soul was designed inspired by the idea of a Boar with a Backpack, developed by former GM automotive designer, Michael Torpey.
The Soul is described by KIA’s executives as some type of Chameleon that adapts its color, shape and features easily, depending on what is needed and desired by new car drivers.
The Kia Soul is designed at the Kia design center in California, and was unveiled in 2008 at the Paris Motor Show. It is manufactured in South Korea and marketed globally from the 2010 model year.
New 2020 Soul Third Generation
The Kia Soul 2020 is the new third generation. Two Kia vehicles, the Soul and also the Kia Forte are very important players in the market share of first car buyers. For Kia, the Soul is a very important marketing tool, not only produces a lot of sales and revenue, but it also brings new car buyers into the brand, and those buyers usually stay faithful to Kia and continue buying other Kia vehicles in other segments.
Albert Biermann former BMW now works for Kia and Hyundai. Albert has been very involved with the development of the new Kia Soul 2020. The Kia Soul can be recognized for Kia’s corporate front grill Tiger’s Nose, designed by Kia’s chief designer, Peter Schreyer.
The Soul has been redesigned for the model of 2020, retaining some characteristics that made it an icon of success for Kia. The exterior and its interior looks great, modern, funky and attractive. The new Kia Soul uses an all-new platform. Kia engineers designed a great suspension to reduce noise, vibration and harshness, the goal is to improve handling and comfort.
The new generation Soul is 2.2 in. longer in overall size, and it has 1.2 in. longer wheelbase than the previous generation. New design and several trims for every taste makes the Soul very appealing. Large boomerang tail lights in the back and the vertical rear window. The GT line has dual exhaust to look sporty and drive better. The new soul is stronger, it has 35% stiffer chases and a faster steering ratio.
Cargo space is good, enough for 3 carry on suitcases and some additional bags. There is also larger space than before for the driver and passengers. There is more than 24 cubic feet of available cargo space with the seats up, or 62.1 with the second row folded flat. The rear seats are spacious, there is plenty of legroom for taller passengers onboard.
The interior of the Soul is big and modern with a panoramic sunroof. The GT Top Line models look more premium and appealing with a large touch screen, illuminated door flares and an exclusive set of instruments.
Interior Mood Lighting System
Soul fans love music and LCD screens, therefore Kia built bright and flashy LCD screens on the interior side of the Soul, and also great quality audio. 11 mood lighting system for interior ambiance, you can choose from: Hey! Yo!, Party Time, Traveling, Romance, Midnight City and Cafe.
As the Soul Chameleon can change its color, Kia offers tons of optional features like Harman Kardon premium audio, Kia Drive Wise Technology with several advanced safety features.
Pricing and Trims
Kia likes create a Soul for everyone, the regular aspirated and the optionally turbocharged Soul is available in five trims: LX, S, X-Line, GT-Line, and EX, and to complete the line up there is also the Soul EV (electric).
The Soul offers great pricing starting around $17K with the entry level Soul LX, all the way to around $27K for the GT-Line, the top of the line. With this aggressive pricing new car buyers, especially those buying a car for the first time will be highly attracted to buy the Soul instead of the competition. The new Soul “GT-Line” models and “X-Line” bring visual and performance excitement to Soul lineup.
Following each trim, transmission, engine and price:
1.6L turbo I4
Pricing does not include the approximate $995 destination charge
The base Soul can be powered by 2 different engines, depending on the trim level. There is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 147 horsepower and 132 pound feet of torque. It is only FWD and uses either 6-speed manual transmission, or a basic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The other engine for those who like more power and a sporty feeling is the turbo 4-cylinder 1.6-liter only available on the GT line, with 201 horsepower and 195 pounds feet of torque, with a sporty automatic transmission with double clutch and 7 speeds.
2020 Soul EV Version
The new trend in the car industry is to move to electric and hybrid cars, and the Soul won’t stay behind. The new 2020 Soul has an EV version. This 5 passenger electric car produces an estimated 201 Horsepower and 290 lb.-ft Torque. Design of the Soul EV includes full LED rear tail-lamps that illuminate brighter and consume less power than traditional bulbs to increase efficiency. It also features exclusive 17-inch lightweight wheels engineered for improved aerodynamics, saving energy. The new Soul EV has an estimate to cover 243-mile range.