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2020 Kia Soul
MSRP Range: $17,490 - $27,490

MSRP$18,990
Edmunds suggests you pay$16,469
Dealer PriceGet price
Build and Price
12 for sale near you

2020 Kia Soul Review

  • Lots of features for the price
  • Roomier than other subcompact crossovers
  • Surprisingly fun to drive
  • Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Excessive wind and tire noise at freeway speeds
  • Clunky response from turbocharged engine's transmission
  • The 2020 Kia Soul is totally redesigned
  • Restyled exterior and new base powertrain
  • Part of the third Soul generation introduced for 2020
EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best
The redesigned Kia Soul has a lot going for it. Its boxy shape gives it a seriously roomy passenger cabin and tons of cargo space. It's also quite fun to drive, with above-average handling abilities and an intuitive CVT automatic. Minor grievances aside, this small SUV is one of the best out there.
Maximum acceleration from the 2.0-liter engine is a little lacking, but the Soul feels perfectly spry around town. The steering is natural, and cornering abilities are better than expected. In most cases, the CVT automatic feels like a traditional automatic. In Edmunds track testing, the Soul posted a 0-60 mph time of 8.8 seconds, which is a respectable time for a little SUV.

The steering features a light effort that builds up naturally when you move from center. The Soul has cornering abilities similar to sportier rivals such as the Mazda CX-3 and Mini Countryman. The only true downside is the touchy brake pedal, which takes some getting used to. The brake response builds too quickly, so you have to be smooth on the brakes to avoid lurching. Unlike some other subcompacts, the Soul doesn't offer all-wheel drive.
Despite a lack of adjustments, the front seats don't reveal any pressure points even after you've been sitting for hours. The rear seatback angle is fixed but is set at a comfortable angle. The ride is firm and controlled but never harsh. Unlike some rivals, the Soul doesn't shudder like it's falling apart when it's driven over square-edge bumps.

The X-Line's single-zone manual climate control is basic, and rear passengers might run a bit warm because there are no rear air vents at this trim level. The upright windshield generates a noticeable — but not irritating — level of wind noise, and some tire noise is evident, too. Simulated gearshifts mean the engine doesn't drone at full throttle as with other CVT automatics.
From an ergonomic standpoint, the simple interior design means there's not much to mess up. Navigating through touchscreen menus is easy thanks to an intuitive interface and physical buttons for high-level functions. A height-adjustable front seat and a generous range of steering wheel adjustment help accommodate drivers of all sizes.

The tall roof and wide door openings allow easy access to the front and rear of the deceptively large cabin. There's lots of headroom and legroom in front and back — four adults will have no problem taking road trips. All windows are tall and narrow with the exception of the small, upturned window in the rear three-quarters view.
The X-Line, like most Soul trim levels, has a basic six-speaker audio system. Without a dedicated subwoofer, bassy sounds come out of the speakers but lack punch. At least the speakers don't rattle at high volume. At this trim level, there's only one USB port, but it's illuminated so you can see it at night. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.

A blind-spot monitor is standard on the X-Line. If you can do without the X-Line's styling upgrades, the less expensive S and the 2.0-liter GT-Line both come with automatic emergency braking and lane departure mitigation. More features, such as a second USB port, navigation and voice controls, are available if you pay extra for a different trim.
The Soul has a deep cargo well that gives it more cargo room than other small SUVs, though it's weird you can't get a cargo cover on X-Line and lower trims. Though this configuration has impressive volume (24.2 cubic feet), there's a large hump at the base of the rear seats when you fold them, which limits utility.

Storage space is decent for the class, with front-seat occupants receiving a good number of bins and cubbies. Installing a car seat is tough despite a roomy back seat — the anchors are inset quite far and access to the tethers is hampered by this trim's non-adjustable headrests.
The EPA rates the CVT automatic-equipped Soul at 30 mpg combined (27 city/33 highway), which is slightly better than most competitors. However, we weren't able to replicate these numbers in real life. Over 350 miles of driving (100 of which were on the highway at a reasonable pace), we averaged just 26.8 mpg.
The Soul is quite inexpensive for a subcompact SUV. A midtrim model especially comes with a bunch of features but is missing a few key amenities such as adjustable rear headrests. Most buyers would be better served by the slightly more expensive but much more feature-rich EX trim. As usual, Kia's warranty is class-leading.
The continuously variable automatic transmission isn't exactly fun to use, but it is well-tuned and a bit more responsive than other CVT automatics. There's also not much power aboard — get the GT-Line Turbo for a peppier engine. Still, even the midtier Soul is fun to toss around corners and has a pleasant ride.

The Soul uses its boxy shape to its advantage by providing lots of interior and cargo room. Styling is distinct and unmistakable as a Soul. Upper trims get beat-synced speaker lights and ambient lighting, which are unique selling points in a homogenous class.

A decade ago, before "subcompact crossover" entered the public lexicon, a handful of unusual imports defied traditional classification. Were the Honda Element, Kia Soul, Nissan Cube, Scion xB hatchbacks, wagons or SUVs? It's still hard to say. But we do know that the Soul, which is the only vehicle of the batch still around, shows that Kia has a successful formula on its hands.

The 2020 Kia Soul, which is fully redesigned this year, has a lot going for it. Drivers in congested urban areas will enjoy its nimble size, responsive engine and controlled ride over bumpy pavement. Outside the city, the Soul shines with crisp handling and responsive steering. You can up the Soul's fun factor even more by equipping it with a punchy turbocharged engine and a sport-tuned suspension.

No matter where you live, the Soul's roomy cabin and useful cargo space make it a perfect everyday car. We also like its competitive pricing, which undercuts most rivals without sacrificing interior materials quality or feature content.

As with any budget-priced small car, there are a few drawbacks. All-wheel drive is not available, which might be a deal-breaker for buyers in places that experience icy or snowy road conditions. And that sport-tuned Soul, the GT-Line Turbo, suffers from a clunky-shifting transmission and a harsh ride quality. But overall we think the 2020 Kia Soul rises above other subcompact crossovers thanks to its blend of practicality, affordability and emphasis on fun.

Which Soul does Edmunds recommend?

If you're typically driving solo or with one passenger, the S model is a perfectly fine way to go. For more family- or friend-oriented duty, the EX is what you want. Along with a ton of extra convenience features, it adds a rear armrest and adjustable headrests (less expensive models come with fixed headrests). You also get a cargo cover and a removable cargo floor, which helps create a flat load space when you lower the rear seats.

Kia Soul models

The 2020 Kia Soul is available in LX, S, X-Line, GT-Line, EX, and GT-Line Turbo models. The trim structure is surprisingly confusing, with the X-Line, GT-Line and EX models all building off the S trim rather than each other. The LX is rather basic, but selecting the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) adds a few extra features. The S primarily adds advanced driver safety aids. The X-Line is the rugged-looking variant, while the GT-Line gives off a sporty vibe. Finally, the EX adds extra luxury features, and the GT-Line Turbo is a combination of the GT-Line and EX trims plus a more powerful engine.

Most Souls are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (147 hp, 132 lb-ft). The LX comes with a six-speed manual transmission as standard. A CVT automatic is optional on the LX and standard on all other trims with the 2.0-liter engine. The GT-Line Turbo has a powertrain unique to this model: a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder (201 hp, 195 lb-ft) paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. All Souls are front-wheel-drive, and all-wheel drive isn't available.

The base LX model comes with 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, rear privacy glass, a height-adjustable driver's seat, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and a six-speaker audio system. Standard safety features include a rearview camera and hill start assist.

Selecting the LX model with the CVT automatic also adds an engine stop-start feature, body-colored mirrors and door handles, remote locking/unlocking, cruise control, selectable driving modes, and a storage console under the armrest.

Stepping up to the S trim gets you alloy wheels, upgraded cloth upholstery and a lengthy list of advanced driver aids. These include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, and a drowsy driver attention warning system.

The X-Line is the rugged-looking model, with unique 18-inch wheels, special exterior body cladding, foglights, silver mirror caps, roof rails, the LX's cloth upholstery, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. It lacks a few of the S trim's driving aids, however, and only has the blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.

The GT-Line adds sporty exterior accents, different 18-inch wheels, foglights, gloss-black mirrors, a triangle-pattern grille, and the leather-wrapped steering wheel. The forward collision warning, lane departure warning and drowsy driver warning systems are standard here. A sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, a wireless charging pad, and the blind-spot monitor are available via the GT-Line Sunroof package.

The EX model gains 17-inch wheels, upgraded headlights, LED daytime running lights, foglights, a triangle-pattern grille, heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a wireless charging pad, a second USB port, a rear center armrest, adjustable rear headrests, a removable cargo floor and a cargo cover. The infotainment system also gets an upgrade, with a 10.3-inch screen, HD and satellite radio, voice recognition and a navigation system. All of the advanced safety features are standard as well.

The top-trim GT-Line Turbo essentially blends the GT-Line's appearance with the EX's features, then adds the more powerful turbocharged engine. Feature content is identical to the EX, with the exception of the GT-Line's 18-inch wheels, LED exterior lighting (head-, tail- and foglights), a chrome exhaust, a sunroof, LED interior lighting, cloth and faux leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver's seat, a heated steering wheel, and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system. The GT-Line Turbo also has pedestrian detection for the forward collision system, adaptive cruise control and a head-up display.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2020 Kia Soul.

5 star reviews: 81%
4 star reviews: 5%
3 star reviews: 1%
2 star reviews: 3%
1 star reviews: 10%
Average user rating: 4.4 stars based on 58 total reviews

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Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars, The 2020 Soul LX...Rare: Value without Compromise
Happy Wanderer,
LX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

Purchased the base model LX w/ the CVT transmission 4 weeks ago, and have already taken it "out west" on a road trip that thoroughly tested it's performance, comfort, and utility. We are pleased with our purchase with no regrets. While previous owners love their older model year Souls, the 2020 Soul is a completely different vehicle. I had previously test driven the first two generations of the Soul, and opted for other vehicles instead due to the base engine not having enough power for the frame. The current (2020) 2.0 L, 4 banger engine paired with the CVT just work well together. Where the old base model engines struggled at highway speeds, and the old transmissions clunked at key freeway speeds, the new base engine and transmission are smooth and effortless. The only thing that challenged our Soul base box at all was driving the Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park...one of the highest altitude roads in the world. Even then, the Soul did just fine, the engine just had to work a little harder, but the vehicle handled beautifully. Once you add the 2020 base powertrain to the superior engineering of the vehicle, it's probably the best value vehicle on the market. The Soul's fantastic roominess, and cargo capacity engineered into such a small footprint, combined with it's new sleeker and funky style, industry leading infotainment system (included in the base model price!), and best in the business warranty make this purchase a no brainer. Once you consign yourself to considering a value purchase, take a test drive, and the quality, comfort, and pleasure of driving the vehicle will sell itself. My recommendation is not to opt up to the turbo version. The new base model engine and transmission together are adequate to the point of feeling "peppy" in normal driving, and the base model (LX) inside and outside look and feel refined. You may want to opt up to a just slightly higher S trim to gain active driving safety features and alloy wheels. To me, everything after that is cosmetic, adding more money to the price than what you get back in value and options. The LX and S models are finished enough, with enough features and quality driving performance to feel infinitely much more upscale than they actually are. Every time we drive this vehicle, we can't help but feel pleased with the product, and thrilled by the relatively small price paid for it compared to anything comparable on the market.

4 out of 5 stars, 2020 Kia Soul LX
techguy,
LX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

I went with the LX trim with automatic transmission because I got a great deal on one at my local dealership. I've owned mine for a few weeks now. I was impressed with the space and seat comfort for being such a compact car. It feels way bigger than it is when you are inside the vehicle. I can fit 3 of my best friends in mine without issues and they are big dudes. The smallest one is around 275 pounds at 6 foot 2 inches. The vehicle handles very well, the 2 liter is surprisingly peppy, and that has a lot to do with the new ivt. It is a really smooth and the power band change is very quick when you put the peddle down. I am extremely impressed with the transmissions response time. Makes the car feel a lot faster than it actually is. The ride is a bit on the firm side even in my base trim. If you are on a bunch of uneven pavement. You are going to feel it. It is very refined on smooth pavement. I used to drive a sports car as my daily driver so it honestly feels similar to my old car. Not a bad thing, but it is a warning for people in rougher rode conditions. I live in Tennessee. We have a bunch of mountains, but our roads are decent. I've had no issues in my area. Handles slopes better than expected. The base LX trim comes with android auto/apple car play. It is a basic system, but definitely a nice addition. Play around with the equalizer for the speakers. They have a nice amount of bass if you tune it right. A surprise for an entry level model. I actually don't feel the need to upgrade the sound system. AC is important to me. I hate being hot in a vehicle. They got one heck of a good AC unit in this car and the fan speed will blow your hair back. People never mention AC in their reviews, but I do. The new redesign looks fantastic. It looks like a baby land rover. I do recommend the base 2 liter engine over the turbo from a reliability stand point. A turbo is fine if you take care of it, but a regular engine will take more abuse without all the fuss. It has plenty of power to do what you need with the base engine. Try them both out and see what you think. The LX trim does also offer remote start if purchased from the factory. Mine did not come with it, but I love that feature. Going to add remote start to mine at a later date.

5 out of 5 stars, 2020 Kia Soul Delivers Exactly What You Need!
George Campbell,
LX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

Choose your trim level to suit your budget and taste. Whatever you choose, you'll get a solid performer you'll quickly fall in love with. No question about it. We traded in a 2013 Base Trim Soul with manual transmission for the 2020 LX with the IVT transmission. One of us was tired of so much shifting. We also switched colors from Shadow to Snow White Pearl. What didn't change was our enjoyment of the Soul. The 2020 has more power and is slightly, but not noticeably bigger. The design is more refined, but it still shouts KIA Soul to anyone who sees it. As for the IVT (KIA's version of a CVT), if you didn't know it was a CVT, you probably wouldn't know. No "rubber band effect." No "droning." Instead, you get 8 fixed ratios that emulate a normal automatic transmission anytime you use more than a light throttle. Switch to Sport mode and it's even more normal feeling. You can even select individual ratios from the Drive position for things like descending hills or to feel like you're even more in control. Seats are way better than our Gen 1 2013 model, with good bolsters, etc. The new touch screen works beautifully with Apple Car Play or Android Auto, but you do have to plug in your phone with a USB cable. No problem. Performance? Plenty. Even on short freeway on-ramps, half throttle will let you reach traffic speed for merging without strain. Passing? Downshifts are smart and make the most of the IVT's 8 fixed ratios. No problem. If you're heavy on the throttle, the engine makes a rorty, satisfying noise, too, so your friends will be impressed. And speaking of friends, they'll be very comfy in the back seat of the 2020 Soul, with loads of leg and head room. No friends? Then, fold down the back seats and you'll have a spacious cargo area for all your junk. Even with the seats up, there's room back there for all the suitcases you need to take on your road trip. This is our second Soul, and we hope they're still making Souls when this one hits its 5-year, 60,000 mile warranty point. If not, then we'll keep it through the 10-year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. Want an affordable car you're sure to love? Check out the 2020 KIA Soul at your local dealer, but bring your information and your trade-in with you, because you're going to want to drive away in one. Guaranteed. Whether you get a base LX like ours or the maxed-out GT-Line Turbo trim, your Soul will soon be a well-loved part of your family!

5 out of 5 stars, 2020 is a game changer...
Don,
S 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

I traded in a 2016 kia soul base for a 2020 kia soul s... My 2016 only had 25000 miles and was in great shape... Absolutely no complaints... Great little car... That being said... This 2020 soul s is world's above the 2016 model in just about every way... Rides better... Handles better... Feels better... Transmission is fantastic... Very smooth exceleration... Much better pick up... This car is maybe the best on the small suv segment... And I've test driven them all... Great value as well... And the S trim comes standard with all the active safety features like lane keep assist... Emergency braking... Blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert and something called driver attention warning... Great car!

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Used Years for Kia Soul

Features & Specs

LX 4dr Wagon features & specs
LX 4dr Wagon
2.0L 4cyl CVT
MSRP$18,990
MPG 27 city / 33 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Horsepower147 hp @ 6200 rpm
See all for sale
S 4dr Wagon features & specs
S 4dr Wagon
2.0L 4cyl CVT
MSRP$20,290
MPG 27 city / 33 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Horsepower147 hp @ 6200 rpm
See all for sale
EX 4dr Wagon features & specs
EX 4dr Wagon
2.0L 4cyl CVT
MSRP$22,690
MPG 27 city / 33 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Horsepower147 hp @ 6200 rpm
See all for sale
GT-Line 4dr Wagon features & specs
GT-Line 4dr Wagon
2.0L 4cyl CVT
MSRP$20,290
MPG 27 city / 33 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Horsepower147 hp @ 6200 rpm
See all for sale
See all 2020 Kia Soul features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite Soul safety features:

Forward Collision Avoidance
Warns you of stopped or rapidly slowing vehicles ahead and automatically applies the brakes if you don't respond.
Lane Keep Assist
Warns you as you start to drift from your lane. Automatically applies pressure to the wheel to guide you back into the lane.
Blind-Spot Collision Warning
Alerts you to vehicles either in your blind spot or rapidly approaching in the next lane using lights located in the side mirrors.

NHTSA Overall Rating 4 out of 5 stars

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
Overall4 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger4 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Side Barrier RatingRating
Overall3 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front Seat5 / 5
Back Seat5 / 5
RolloverRating
Rollover4 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover14.7%

Kia Soul vs. the competition

Kia Soul vs. Honda Fit

The Honda Fit is one of our favorite small hatchbacks, with a good amount of room and clever storage solutions that allow it to carry more than you might think. The Kia Soul is more expensive, but its cargo area is larger and the cabin is more accommodating for large passengers. The Soul also feels much more up-to-date than the aging Fit.

Compare Kia Soul & Honda Fit features

Kia Soul vs. Jeep Renegade

The Soul is a better all-rounder, but there's no denying the charm of the Jeep Renegade. Jeep's smallest SUV looks rough-and-tumble but is actually pretty comfortable and roomy. All trims are available with all-wheel drive, but the top-trim Trailhawk features true four-wheel drive and low-range gearing. To learn more about the Renegade of this generation, read Edmunds' long-term road test of a 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk.

Compare Kia Soul & Jeep Renegade features

Kia Soul vs. Hyundai Kona

The Soul's biggest competition comes from its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Kona. Like the Soul, the Kona is roomy, fun to drive and competitively priced. The two small crossovers are quite similar, with styling and the base powertrain being the only true differences. (The Kona uses a conventional automatic transmission rather than a CVT automatic.)

Compare Kia Soul & Hyundai Kona features

Related Soul Articles

2020 Kia Soul First Drive

Not Another Soul-Sucking Small Crossover

Cameron Rogers by Cameron Rogers , Reviews EditorFebruary 28th, 2019

In the 2000s, the Honda Element, Kia Soul, Nissan Cube and Scion xB debuted as tall, boxy hatchbacks that offered utility and funky design in equal measure. However, their quirkiness wasn't fully embraced by the public, and each eventually fell as traditionally styled subcompact crossovers began to find more of an audience.

All, that is, except the Soul.

Redesigned this year and now in its third generation, the 2020 Kia Soul has outlasted its rivals and become a wonderful little car in its own right. Though fully reworked, the 2020 Soul is all about incremental changes. Kia restyled the exterior to be sharper and more aggressive, but it's still instantly recognizable as a Soul. The fun-to-drive character remains intact as well, and an increase in cargo capacity makes it more practical. I attended the launch event in San Diego, California, to test the new Soul in the urban environments for which it was made.

More Power ≠ Better

My first order of business before heading to the mountains northeast of downtown San Diego was selecting between two available trims: the midtier X-Line or the top-spec GT-Line Turbo. All Souls come standard with a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. It's paired to a new continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) on most trims; a six-speed manual is available on the base LX. As the first leg of our drive route was sure to feature a couple of hours' worth of fun roads, I opted for the GT-Line Turbo.

The GT-Line sits in the middle of the Soul lineup. It comes with a few sport-themed upgrades, including a larger front fascia and different exterior accent colors. It also offers an upgraded powertrain unique to this trim level: a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder (201 hp, 195 lb-ft) connected to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This GT-Line Turbo version also comes with a sport-tuned suspension and larger brakes.

But as I quickly discovered, the GT-Line Turbo is not the best for dealing with congested metro traffic. The transmission delivers typical dual-clutch clunkiness at low speeds. Hit the accelerator from a stop, and there's a notable hesitation before you start moving forward. It jumps into high gears pretty quickly, which is good for fuel economy but isn't great for on-demand power delivery. To that end, it takes a heavy foot to force a downshift if you want an extra boost.

Later in the drive, I switched to a Soul X-Line. The CVT is much smoother and feels very much like a traditional automatic. Throttle response is more natural, but you do give up the enviable thrust provided by the turbocharger. At full throttle, the transmission simulates gearshifts, which eliminates the drony engine sound exhibited by many other CVT-equipped cars. This powertrain combination works well in the Soul, and we think most buyers will be happy with it. It's also more fuel-efficient than last year's Soul with the 2.0-liter engine, getting an EPA-estimated 30 mpg in combined driving, compared to last year's 27 mpg.

It's worth noting that, unlike many subcompact crossovers, the Soul is available in front-wheel drive only. An all-wheel-drive powertrain is not available, which might make the Soul a non-starter for prospective buyers who live in areas that experience heavy snow or icy conditions.

Switchback Slicer

The Soul is surprisingly fun to drive around long, sweeping curves. The GT-Line's available sport-tuned suspension reduces body roll and keeps the Soul cornering flatter through corners, but even the standard Soul is stable. While it's primarily meant for commuting, the Soul handles a set of corners better than most in its class.

The Soul rides more stiffly than other small crossovers, and driving over harsh bumps and dips results in noticeable shocks transmitted into the cabin. However, the upside is that Soul feels more in control. Rivals are often too softly tuned, resulting in a ride that can feel floaty and disconnected at higher speeds. The GT-Line, when optioned with its upgraded engine and suspension, has an even firmer ride, but driving enthusiasts won't likely mind.

There's not much engine or road noise from either trim, but the Soul's boxy shape inherently creates a lot of wind noise. While you can still talk to passengers without raising your voice, you will be able to hear the wind at highway speeds, even with the sound system turned up.

Clean, Functional Cabin

Though the overall cabin design isn't drastically different than last year, a number of tweaks help differentiate it from its predecessor. A 7-inch touchscreen is now standard, and a new 10.3-inch screen is available on higher trims. Even the smaller of the two is easy to navigate, with an intuitive layout and attractive display. Some functions are buried in the settings menus, but nothing that you'd want to change on a day-to-day basis.

Controls on the steering wheel are conventionally laid out, but Kia crammed in nine buttons on each side of the wheel, so they are tough for first-timers to use without glancing at the wheel. This is the one minor blemish on an otherwise pleasing interior layout. Buttons for the Soul's advanced safety features are grouped on the dashboard, to the left of the driver. A new silver piece of trim surrounding the handle gives the door more visual interest, and even contains illuminated elements on more expensive models. And fans of the Soul's unique lighted speaker surrounds (which sync to the music) will be pleased to know that they make a comeback, but only on the very top trim.

As expected of a boxy hatchback, the Soul is highly practical. There's more than enough headroom and legroom for tall passengers seated in front or in the rear, though some adults might find the heavily bolstered front seats a little narrow. The cargo area ranges between 18.7 and 24.2 cubic feet, depending where the configurable load floor is positioned. The 60/40-split rear seats don't quite fold flat, but maximum cargo storage of 62.1 cubic feet is one of the best in class. Drivers with kids will appreciate that the seat belt for the middle seat is integrated with the seatback, so it folds down with the seat. Other vehicles have a more cumbersome seat-belt setup that is mounted in the headliner.

Pricing and Release Date

The 2020 Kia Soul starts at $18,485 (destination included) for a base LX model with the manual transmission — selecting the CVT bumps the price to $19,985. The X-Line I tested on our drive starts at $22,845, while the GT-Line Turbo begins at $28,485. Entry-level Souls are less expensive than many rival crossover SUVs, and even the most luxurious of the 2.0-liter trims, the EX, is priced well below the competition. Most subcompact crossovers don't offer an upgraded engine, but the Soul does, although it is more expensive than rivals' top-trim models.

Overall, the Soul represents a tremendous value for its reasonable pricing scheme and generous features list. However, its lack of an all-wheel-drive powertrain might limit its appeal to buyers in snowy climes. Look for the first 2020 Souls to arrive at Kia dealerships near the end of March.

2020 Kia Soul First Look

The Hamsters Keep On Spinning

Calvin Kim by Calvin Kim , Vehicle Test EngineerNovember 28th, 2018

Now in its third generation, the Kia Soul blends the positive qualities of hatchbacks and crossovers, adding funky styling and peppy powertrains. The result of this packaging is a roomy interior and ample cargo capacity. For the redesigned 2020 Kia Soul, the automaker focused on increasing these positives, while adding more technology and driver assist features. Kia has also renamed the Soul's trim structure, adding more differentiation between them for good measure.

The New Lineup

While previous versions of the Soul featured ambiguous trim names such as "+" and "!," the new 2020 Soul will be available in six traditionally named trims: LX, S, X-Line, GT-Line, EX and EX Designer Collection. Two powertrains are available: a new 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder engine that produces 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque and a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four rated at 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. The 2.0-liter engine mates up to either a six-speed manual transmission or Kia's Intelligent Variable Transmission (a continuously variable automatic transmission), while the 1.6-liter engine is only available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. A Soul EV will also be on offer. No matter the powertrain, the Soul still only comes in front-wheel drive.

Specific details between the trims are not yet available, but we do know that the X-Line will have an off-roader presence thanks to unique wheels, a black fender trim, and stylized rockers and fascias, as well as roof-rail accents and beefy foglights. The GT-Line is the opposite, stressing street looks with a larger front fascia, body-colored rockers and lower trim pieces, slimmer foglights, and gloss-black trim throughout. The 1.6-liter turbocharged engine is optional on this trim, as is a stiffer suspension, larger brakes and center exhaust.

The EX Designer Collection builds on the already well-equipped EX model, with unique 18-inch wheels, LED headlights and foglights, as well as two-tone paint.

The Changes

The basic boxy layout of the Soul has not changed, though. The 2020 Kia Soul retains the same width (70.9 inches) and height (63 inches) measurements, while the wheelbase and body have been stretched by 1.2 inches (102.4 inches) and 2.2 inches (165.2 inches), respectively. Most of the interior dimensions are within a quarter of an inch of the previous model, with a slight 0.2-inch bump up in front legroom (41.1 inches) and a small 0.3-inch downgrade of rear legroom (38.8 inches). Front headroom drops by 0.2 inch (39.4 inches), while rear headroom remains the same (39.5 inches). Interior width is identical for front and rear occupants. Most beneficial, though, is the 5-cubic-foot increase in cargo space, for a total of 23.8 cubic feet. This figure puts the Soul above a BMW X2 in cargo capacity.

Overall, the body has crisper edges, particularly along the sides, with smoother transitions in the front and rear. The front headlight configuration and lower fascia give the car a wide and bulky look, while the taillights and rearmost pillars have edgier swoopy wing shapes to them. The rear end also features a lower liftgate opening, while the front door openings are larger, easing entry and exit of both people and cargo.

Inside, the interior design is bolder. A larger 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen is available, as is a head-up-display. And of course, there's an ambient lighting system that can synchronize to the beat of whatever is playing through the audio system; it's a feature available in every generation of Soul. The modes for this system have catchy but ridiculous names such as "Hey! Yo!" and "Romance."

From a technology perspective, the Soul has always been ahead of the curve, and this new model continues to lead. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, but optional features include the ability to pair two Bluetooth devices at once; a 640-watt, 10-speaker sound system; and numerous active driver aids such as dynamic cruise control, forward collision avoidance and rear cross-traffic alert.

How Much and When Can I Buy It?

Pricing and availability have yet to be announced, but we can assume it will cost a few thousand more than the outgoing model, so starting around $19,000 and reaching to the upper $20,000s. And Kia estimates the 2020 Soul will be available sometime in the first half of 2019. Stay tuned to Edmunds for more information about the 2020 Kia Soul.

FAQ

Is the Kia Soul a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2020 Soul both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.8 out of 10. You probably care about Kia Soul fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Soul gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg to 30 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that carrying capacity for the Soul ranges from 23.4 to 24.2 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Kia Soul. Learn more

What's new in the 2020 Kia Soul?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Kia Soul:

  • The 2020 Kia Soul is totally redesigned
  • Restyled exterior and new base powertrain
  • Part of the third Soul generation introduced for 2020
Learn more

Is the Kia Soul reliable?

To determine whether the Kia Soul is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Soul. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Soul's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2020 Kia Soul a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2020 Kia Soul is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2020 Soul and gave it a 7.8 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2020 Soul is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2020 Kia Soul?

The least-expensive 2020 Kia Soul is the 2020 Kia Soul LX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 6M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $17,490.

Other versions include:

  • LX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $18,990
  • S 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $20,290
  • EX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $22,690
  • GT-Line 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $20,290
  • X-Line 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $21,490
  • GT-Line Turbo 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) which starts at $27,490
  • LX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 6M) which starts at $17,490
Learn more

What are the different models of Kia Soul?

If you're interested in the Kia Soul, the next question is, which Soul model is right for you? Soul variants include LX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT), S 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT), EX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT), and GT-Line 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT). For a full list of Soul models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2020 Kia Soul

2020 Kia Soul Overview

The 2020 Kia Soul is offered in the following submodels: Soul Wagon. Available styles include LX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT), S 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT), EX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT), GT-Line 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT), X-Line 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT), GT-Line Turbo 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), and LX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 6M).

What do people think of the 2020 Kia Soul?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2020 Kia Soul and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2020 Soul 4.4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2020 Soul.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2020 Kia Soul and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2020 Soul featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2020 Kia Soul?

2020 Kia Soul EX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

The 2020 Kia Soul EX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $24,290. The average price paid for a new 2020 Kia Soul EX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is trending $4,135 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,135 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $20,155.

The average savings for the 2020 Kia Soul EX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is 17% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 7 2020 Kia Soul EX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2020 Kia Soul S 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

The 2020 Kia Soul S 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $21,545. The average price paid for a new 2020 Kia Soul S 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is trending $3,938 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $3,938 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $17,607.

The average savings for the 2020 Kia Soul S 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is 18.3% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 16 2020 Kia Soul S 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2020 Kia Soul LX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

The 2020 Kia Soul LX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $20,245. The average price paid for a new 2020 Kia Soul LX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is trending $3,874 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $3,874 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $16,371.

The average savings for the 2020 Kia Soul LX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is 19.1% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 12 2020 Kia Soul LX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2020 Kia Soul X-Line 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

The 2020 Kia Soul X-Line 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $22,745. The average price paid for a new 2020 Kia Soul X-Line 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is trending $3,977 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $3,977 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $18,768.

The average savings for the 2020 Kia Soul X-Line 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is 17.5% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 4 2020 Kia Soul X-Line 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2020 Kia Soul GT-Line 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

The 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $21,890. The average price paid for a new 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is trending $4,126 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,126 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $17,764.

The average savings for the 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) is 18.8% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 3 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2020 Kia Soul GT-Line Turbo 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

The 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line Turbo 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $28,610. The average price paid for a new 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line Turbo 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) is trending $4,737 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,737 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $23,873.

The average savings for the 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line Turbo 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) is 16.6% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 1 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line Turbo 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

Which 2020 Kia Souls are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2020 Kia Soul for sale near. There are currently 405 new 2020 Souls listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $19,015 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2020 Kia Soul. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $5,986 on a used or CPO 2020 Soul available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2020 Kia Souls you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Kia Soul for sale - 3 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $18,400.

Find a new Kia for sale - 10 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $23,840.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2020 Kia Soul?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Kia lease specials