All-new and funkier than ever, the 2020 Kia Soul is a completely new yet familiar version of Kia’s beloved and award-winning urban runabout. Taking everything that helped popularize the quirky, unconventionally styled subcompact, Kia Motors poured more of its soul into nearly every inch of the vehicle, resulting in a third-generation that continues to transcend unmatched style, peppy performance, thrilling technology, and urban practicality.
Proving the point that “there is a Soul for everyone,” the normally aspirated and optionally turbocharged Soul is available in five trim levels – LX, S, X-Line, GT-Line, and EX – plus the all-new Soul EV.
While the 2020 Kia Soul stays true to its design heritage with its boxy silhouette and confident stance, its newly sculpted lines, cutting-edge details, and technical lighting elements present the most futuristic, youthful and innovative Soul yet. New exterior design highlights include:
- High-tech front headlight configuration with connecting trim piece accentuates width
- Slim-design daytime running lights and turn signal indicators
- Larger front grille with unique two-tone treatment
- Front fender detail lines add volume to clean and smooth surfaces
- Roof rack mounting points
- Three-dimensional wraparound boomerang-shaped taillights
- C-pillars designed to resemble airplane wings
- Signature vertical rear window and “Island” stay true to Soul design heritage
- Distinctive C-pillar garnish features new “Soul” graphic
TRIM LEVELS & PRICING
The 2020 Kia Soul is available in six trim levels: LX, S, X-Line, GT-Line, EX, and GT-Line Turbo. The LX is rather basic, but selecting the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) adds a few extra features. The S adds advanced driver safety aids. The X-Line is the rugged-looking variant, while the GT-Line has a sporty vibe. 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.
Standard equipment for the base LX trim include 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, a six-speaker audio system, a rearview camera and hill start assist. The LX with 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.
The S trim gets you alloy wheels, upgraded cloth upholstery and a lengthy list of advanced driver aids such as 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 trim has rugged-looking model, unique 18-inch wheels, special exterior body cladding, foglights, silver mirror caps, roof rails, the LX cloth upholstery, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. It lacks a few of the S trim’s safety features 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, leather-wrapped steering wheel, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and drowsy driver warning systems. 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 models get 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, a cargo cover, infotainment system 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 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line Turbo essentially blends the GT-Line appearance with the EX’s features, then adds a more powerful turbocharged engine. Standard feature is identical to the EX, with the exception of the GT-Line 18-inch wheels, LED exterior lighting, 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 has a head-up display, adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection for the forward collision system.
The 2020 Kia Soul pricing:
- Soul LX: $17,490.00
- Soul LX: $18,990.00
- Soul S: $20,290.00
- Soul X-Line: $21,490.00
- Soul EX: $22,690.00
- Soul GT-Line 2.0L: $20,290.00
- Soul GT-Line 1.6T: $27,490.00
Most the 2020 Kia Souls will feature a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with the continuously variable transmission (CVT). For those who desire more zip, a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine offered in the GT-Line. It delivers loud acceleration along with a bit of turbo lag at low revs and noticeable tugs through the steering wheel at full throttle. The 1.6-liter engine is matched to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. All Souls are front-wheel-drive, and all-wheel drive isn’t available. Kia automatic engine Start/Stop system, dubbed ISG are standard on all trims except for the LX where it’s optional. The system can be deactivated but provide fast and smooth restarts.
147 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
132 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
Zero to 60 mph: 8.0 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 24.7 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 16.4 sec @ 86 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 120 mph
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/33 mpg (CVT), 29/35 mpg (CVT, EX trim), 25/31 mpg (manual)
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
201 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
195 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500 rpm
Zero to 60 mph: 6.4 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 17.0 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.0 sec @ 95 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 128 mph
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/32 mpg (CVT)
Though the 2020 Kia Soul 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. Buttons for the 2020 Kia Soul 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 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 2020 Kia 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.
THE 2020 KIA SOUL SPECIFICATION
2.0L I-4, Multi-Port Injection (MPI)
1.6L-Turbo twin-scroll, Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI)
Bore x stroke
81.0 x 97.0 mm
77.0 x 85.44 mm
147 hp @ 6,200 rpm
201 hp @ 6,000 rpm
132 lb.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm
195 lb.-ft. @ 1,500 - 4,500 rpm
Spark ignition system
Spark ignition system
Multi-Port Injection (MPI)
Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI)
Regular 87 or higher
Regular 87 or higher
Fuel tank capacity
6-Speed Manual Transmission
Intelligent Variable Transmission (i-VT)
7-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT)
25 city/31 hwy / 27 comb
(i-VT) + ISG
27 city/33 hwy / 30 comb
27 city/32 hwy / 29 comb
120.9 cu. ft.
Cargo volume (rear seat up)
24.2 cu. ft.
Max Cargo volume
62.1 cu. ft.