What the critics say
The 2020 Kia Soul
“For those who want a practical package with a little sass, the 2020 Kia Soul is ready to oblige.” The boxy compact has always combined affordability, oddball style, and the capacity to haul five people plus cargo, and its new third-generation model adds “a healthy dose of refinement” without skewing the equation. Power is up in the base engine, ride quality now impresses, and the redesigned face evokes a small Range Rover. It’s a likable, “extremely well-rounded” car.
“The argument for the Soul is strongest the closer you stay to the entry level.” The new base engine packs enough power and torque to “get you wherever you want to go,” and until it nears the red line, it’s very quiet. There’s also “cargo room galore” behind the rear seats. Add a touch-screen infotainment system, AppleCarPlay connectivity, average fuel efficiency of 30 mpg, and the Soul begins to look like a steal. “No wonder they sell over 100,000 of these a year.”
But the Soul “undergoes a personality shift,” for the better, when optioned with the 201-hp turbocharged four-cylinder. If you can afford the $5,000 premium, “we’d recommend it in a heartbeat”—unless you’re waiting for the new and improved Soul EV. Yes, small, capable people-haulers are no longer hard to find. “Still, there remains only one Soul.” ■