Experienced by Adrian McQueen
Photography by Adrenaline Lifestyles
Kia continues to stay competitive in the market with their all-new 2020 Kia Soul X-Line. The Korean automaker has kept the Soul relevant with consumers as the trends seem to change. The Kia Soul is a subcompact crossover SUV that was originally styled by Mike Torpey. In the early years, Kia received a lot of criticism of the materials used and the ride. With each Kia vehicle that I drive, I will continue to state that these days are long gone.
Upon first view you notice that the Soul is sitting on 16-inch alloy wheels and the roof rack. The body style has not changed. The box style profile and snub nose are iconic to the Kia brand. I still say to myself “that’s a cool looking vehicle.” The Soul X-Line was a hit at the annual Trunk or Treat event. The impending rain put a damper on our full setup plans but the style of the Soul itself was enough to garner the attention of many families. It is funny to still hear kids call it “The Hamster Car.”
The interior has good legroom with comfortable seating for 5 passengers. The Soul looks small from the outside, but once inside, there is plenty of room to stretch out. The Soul’s interior isn’t fancy but is definitely cozy. Two car seats fit in the car, along with two adults comfortably so that is a win in my book. I will speak more about the car seats later.
The infotainment system on this model came equipped with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a rear camera and Bluetooth wireless technology. Technology in the Soul comes equipped with Kia’s UVO telematics and infotainment eServices. UVO aka Your Voice, features voice and touch-activation access to manage music files and hands-free mobile communication. It connects with your smartphone and offers roadside assistance, vehicle maintenance schedule, 911 safety calls, directions, parking reminders and custom vehicle settings. There is storage space for your phone in the center console, and right below that, a simple shifter that’s easy to toggle. The cloth seats are comfortable and made with soft-touch materials. The Soul also has 60/40 split-folding seats that create more storage options.
As far as the power goes, the vehicle I tested was the 2.0-liter version, handling quite well in and around town. The 2020 Kia Soul comes standard with an Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder engine making 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. Out on the open, country roads, the Soul handled the corners and curves well. Yes, it is a bit sluggish when an extra “boost” is called upon. I understand that this isn’t a sports car, but a little more acceleration power would be useful such as entering highway ramps when needed.
Safety is critical when reviewing every automobile. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Soul the Top Safety Pick Plus award. The 2020 Soul earned good ratings in all six crash tests, including the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof-strength and head-restraint tests. It also earned a superior rating for front crash prevention and a good headlight rating. All are better than ratings from previous years.
This compact includes dual front advanced airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags, anti-lock braking system, with brake assist. If that wasn’t enough, more safety includes automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane change assist and tire pressure monitoring system.
As a parent of young children, installation and comfort of the child safety seats are a big deal to me. There are two sets of lower anchors and three tether anchors that sit halfway down the seatback. The installation was easy with both the infant seat and Forward-facing convertible. There was enough legroom for the front seat passengers while these seats were in use.
The Soul sits in a competitive class, going up against the Honda Fit, Hyundai Kona, Toyota C-HR, Nissan Kicks and the Hyundai Venue. Marketing campaigns for the Soul have wowed millions with Kia’s creative hamster campaigns, NBA promotions and numerous pop culture integrations. Kia’s warranty is unmatched with a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty program that consists of a 10-year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty, a 5-year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty, a 5-year/100,000 mile limited anti-perforation warranty and a 5-year/60,000 mile roadside assistance plan.
The 2020 Kia Soul X-Line that we tested came in a $22,615.00. The Soul returned 27 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg combined. We enjoyed this economical model Soul due to the smooth ride, functional infotainment and comfortable interior but now we are set to review GT-Line 1.6 Turbo. Stay tuned to see if it lives up to the hype. Enjoy the photo gallery.