In the past, I’ve “sold” two Kia Souls to accompany of abundance via recommendations. Why? Because Kia’s auto crossover is a acute alloy of quality; efficiency; and smart, avant-garde packaging, authoritative it a abounding best for shoppers in the segment, especially, as one of my accompany said, if you “aren’t absorbed in addition Civic.”
For the 2020 archetypal year, Kia’s badly acknowledged Soul is all-new. The wheelbase has developed added than an inch, all-embracing breadth is up by 2.2 inches, and the exoteric architecture is sportier than anytime alike while application the iconic, boxlike profile. Alike added noteworthy is the accession of a new GT-Line trim, which adds administration upgrades such as fog lights and a altered advanced fascia, added an arrangement of accepted assurance and accessibility appearance about too absolute to list. Among the included niceties: advanced blow avoidance, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, 18-inch wheels, a ability sunroof, a 10.3-inch multimedia affectation with navigation, acrimonious advanced seats, wireless buzz charging, a head-up display, and a 640-watt Harman/Kardon aberrant audio system. With alone a brace of options (including $345 Snow White Pearl paint), my abundantly outfitted analysis car arrested in at $29,055.
The GT-Line is the sharpest Soul to date, accumulation its accustomed appearance with new humble headlamps, winglet-like C-pillars, and what Kia calls “boomerang” taillights. Yet it’s the new cockpit that absolutely stands out. The amplitude is as arrant as it is functional, aggregate alluringly sculptured apparatus pods, automated controls, accomplished seats, and endless of headroom. My analysis archetypal was additionally dressed up with adorable red accents. There’s affluence of artificial on display, but it’s accurately accomplished and doesn’t attending cheap. Additionally on lath is a new mood-lighting arrangement that allows the disciplinarian to configure the berth to any one of several altered ambiances—among them, “Party Time,” “Midnight City,” and “Café.” If you opt for the “Romance” setting, do us all a favor and esplanade at the far ancillary of the lot.
Carried over—and included on my Soul—is a turbocharged, twin-cam 1.6-liter four accompanying with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. At 201 horses, it’s appreciably added almighty than the new, 147-hp Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter four that’s standard. Alike with the turbo, though, the GT-Line feels added like a active touring apparatus than a adventurous plaything. The absolute agent is peaky, with addition advancing on with a abrupt bang rather than a bland surge, and admitting actuality a dual-clutch unit, the chiral is disappointingly apathetic in acknowledgment alike back application the chiral paddles abaft the wheel. That said, achievement is aloof accomplished for the all-inclusive majority of active situations; the powertrain is aesthetic and about able-bodied mannered, and ammunition ability is a admirable 27 mpg in the burghal and 32 on the highway.
Added forth with the turbocharged agent are a chrome-tipped centermost exhaust, beyond disc brakes, and a added aggressively acquainted suspension. There’s a lot of ability abetment congenital into the steering, which detracts from alley feel, but for the best allotment the GT-Line 1.6 Turbo is a actual competent handler. It nips smartly through turns, rides compliantly, and is impressively stout and able-bodied abandoned over alley shocks. Additionally account noting: arena approval has added from 5.9 inches on aftermost year’s archetypal to 6.7 inches—providing some added accomplishment over snow or asperous terrain, admitting the connected abridgement of an all-wheel-drive option.
It’s in the active interface area the new Soul absolutely shines. This is a adorable cockpit to absorb time in. Admitting the access in wheelbase and length, autogenous amplitude charcoal about the same—but that’s not a bad thing. My six-foot cocky acquainted absolutely adequate up front, while accepting in and out is alike easier than afore acknowledgment to a added aperture opening. The rear bear aperture is a bit bigger and lower, too. The rear bench is ample and comfortable, and cargo-hauling options (including split-folding rear seats and a two-level burden board) are abundant. Versatility is one of the Soul’s standout traits.
The 10.3-inch touchscreen deserves appropriate recognition, actuality one of the industry’s best. Right now, Kia and its Hyundai associate are arch the infotainment wars with their automated layouts, abrupt ascendancy responses, and bright displays. It’s a 18-carat amusement application this interface. The head-up display, which appears on a baby bottle console that glides up abaft the primary instruments, is bright and useful, and a host of buttons on the caster accomplish it accessible to accomplish abounding functions after removing easily from the rim. Additionally noteworthy: Unlike the collision-avoidance systems from some added makers, the Soul’s arrangement alerted me two or three times to abeyant hazards with an audio warning, but never already airtight on the brakes unnecessarily.
Kia’s third-generation Soul is well-equipped to abide the model’s bazaar success, alms a acute mix of amenities, active-safety features, packaging flexibility, aciculate looks, and aberrant body quality. Combine all that with the industry’s best warranty, and I’ll be continuing to acclaim this standout crossover to all who appear allurement in the future.
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