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Base model shown as 2020 LX Manual
2020 Kia Soul LX Manual - front view

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Top Features of Base Model

  • Stylish interior and exterior
  • Stands out amongst other small crossovers
  • Tons of tech with features that you don’t see on other vehicles
  • Affordable
Pro Review

Kia Soul: Everything You Need to Know

About the Kia Soul

The Kia Soul is a four-door boxy, small crossover that’s big on style, affordability, and space. It seats five people comfortably.

The 2020 Kia Soul is the third generation of the popular vehicle that defies classification. Some consider the Soul to be a tall wagon or hatchback, while others consider it to be a small SUV or crossover.

For 2020, the Kia Soul is all new. It gets a bit more interior space, a new engine, a larger infotainment screen, and a few other highlights, including a slightly new face.

Kia is a Korean company that is part of the Hyundai-Kia group, and they say that they have sold more than a million Kia Souls since 2009 when the boxy crossover first came to the U.S. The Kia Soul has won a handful of awards for its design, price, and functionality over the years.

The 2020 Kia Soul made its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2018.

What’s New in the 2020 Kia Soul?

For 2020 the Kia Soul gets a whole variety of updates because it’s all new for 2020.

First, the 2020 Kia Soul rides on an all-new platform that makes the boxy vehicle quieter and more refined on the road. Kia engineers worked to improve the handling and comfort of the 2020 Kia Soul because previous generations were plagued by complaints of lousy handling behavior.

For 2020 the Kia Soul can be had in a variety of engines, including a good-looking Kia Soul EV. We drove the 2020 Kia Soul EV in Korea in April. You can read more about it here.

Engine options in the 2020 Kia Soul include:

  • A new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired to either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT that makes 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque.
  • 1.6-liter twin turbo inline-four-cylinder engine comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that makes 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.
  • An EV option that produces an estimated 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque.

The EPA estimates that the Kia Soul equipped with the 2.0-liter engine and automatic CVT will get 29 miles per gallon in the city and 35 miles per gallon on the highway.

The 1.6-liter engine with the automatic transmission will get you 27 miles per gallon in the city and 32 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Kia Soul EV gets 243 miles on a single charge.

The Kia Soul EV comes in six different trim levels:

  • LX: The base model
  • S: Adds advanced driver safety aids
  • X-Line: Gets a rugged styling update
  • GT-Line: More sporty styling
  • EX: Luxury features included
  • GT-Line Turbo: A combination of the GT-Line and EX with a more powerful engine

The Kia Soul is perfect for a family or young person who wants something with tons of interior space, an edgy design, and something that isn’t just another SUV on the street.

What Does the Kia Soul Compete With?

The Kia Soul competes with the following small crossovers:

The Kia Soul is great for someone looking for a great deal on a technology-packed vehicle that is fun to drive, has tons of style, and ample interior space. It’s the crossover for someone who doesn’t want a crossover.

Exterior Design of the Kia Soul

The 2020 Kia Soul gets a full makeover for 2020 both inside and out. Kia designers said that when they were working on the new 2020 Kia Soul they “turned up the volume” on the design. That is evident all around the exterior of the crossover.

First, the Soul gets a 1.2-inch longer wheelbase and 2.2-inches longer overall for 2020. The 2020 Kia Soul is bigger than its predecessor.

At the front of the Soul, the car gets a new face and rear that gives it a more edgy and some-what high-tech look. The grille at the front of the Kia Soul gets larger for 2020 and it gets a new two-tone treatment.

The 2020 Soul is offered with a choice of 16-, 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels. The base LX comes with 16-inch steel wheels as standard.

New for 2020, the Kia Soul gets an X-Line addition which is largely a looks package that adds some off-road styling to the Soul. For 2020 the GT-Line gets unique wheels, red accents all around, and a more aggressive front and rear fascia.

Interior Style in the Kia Soul

Inside the Soul gets updated styling and a suite of new technology. Just as designers turned up the volume on the outside of the Soul, they carried the theme through to the interior, as well. The used acoustic inspired elements to create an edgy and unique interior in the 2020 Soul. This includes sound mood lighting that can be synchronized to your music or your mood. It can also be upgraded to include a 640-watt Harmon Kardon sound system.

The 2020 Kia Soul still gets tons of interior space, and front seat passengers get an additional 0.2-inches of legroom, while the cargo capacity increases by a full five cubic-feet.

Cargo space with the seats up is still 24 cubic-feet and with the seats down the Soul gets 62 cubic-feet of space. Additionally, the 2020 Soul gets a wider and lower liftgate at the rear to ease loading and unloading as well as a dual-level cargo floor for added space.

What Technology Comes in the Kia Soul?

The Kia Soul comes with a few features at its base, LX level. These include

  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 7.0-inch color touchscreen
  • Wireless charging
  • Bluetooth functionality with the ability to connect two wireless devices at once

Optionally you can order a 2020 Kia Soul with a heads-up display, smart cruise control, and heated front seats and steering wheel.

What Safety Features are in the Kia Soul?

The Kia Soul comes complete with a variety of safety features at its base level including:

  • Forward collision avoidance with pedestrian avoidance
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Driver attention monitor
  • Rear Cross-collision warning
  • Blind-spot warning
  • High beam assist

You can opt to add smart cruise control to the base level LX for an additional $1500.

The 2019 Kia Soul is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick. It hasn’t been evaluated for 2020.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 Kia Soul a 5-star safety rating. The 2020 model has not yet been evaluated at the time of this writing.

What is the Kia Soul Like to Drive?

Most Kia Souls are equipped with the 2.0-liter engine and CVT which makes driving the Soul a smooth if not somewhat lively experience. The 1.6-liter turbocharged version with the dual-clutch transmission has garnered some complaints of being slightly clunky off the line.

On the road, the Kia Soul feels more sophisticated than previous models. Sure, there's still the usual wind and tire noise (though it is much improved) but the Soul is plenty nimble in traffic, or when merging onto the highway. It’s fantastic in tight parking lots that require tight turning radiuses, too.

The engine in the 2.0-liter is responsive, and if you want to get a little bit more pep, we suggest going for the 1.6-liter turbocharged version. Steering and handling are crisp and direct feeling and the upright driving position gives excellent visibility all around.

Overall the Kia Soul is roundly fun to drive in almost every situation. Unless you absolutely need all-wheel drive, the Kia Soul is an excellent bet for a small crossover.

Should I Buy a 2020 Kia Soul?

Yes, we think that the 2020 Kia Soul is well worth checking out mainly for its level of packaging and the unique styling that comes in the crossover.

Should I buy a Used Kia Soul?

There are many used Kia Souls on the market, and they can offer a great way to get into a well-equipped, safe, and comfortable small crossover for a reduced price.

We would recommend avoiding 2012, 2014 and 2015, Souls as they tend to have engine problems, according to There are also complaints of clunking sounds when turning older Souls.

How Much Does the Kia Soul Cost?

Prices for the 2020 Kia Soul start at $18,485 including a $995 charge for destination, for the base LX trim. The top-of-the-line GT-Line Turbo starts at $27,490 plus $995 destination.

For our money, we'd go with the GT-Line or the Kia Soul EV which starts around $35,000.

Pros and Cons of the 2020 Kia Soul


  • Roomy interior
  • Warranty that covers the powertrain for 10 years/100,000 miles
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard
  • Resale is generally good


  • Noisy interior even though it’s been improved
  • No all-wheel drive option
  • Clunky transmission in the turbocharged version
  • Somewhat polarizing design
Model History

The History of the Kia Soul: A Boar With a Backpack

The Kia Soul first appeared on U.S. shores as a 2009 model. It made its debut at the Paris Motor Show in 2008. The Kia Soul was first designed by Kia at its California design center in Irvine.

The inspiration for the Kia Soul reportedly came after designer, Mike Torpey traveled to Korea to brainstorm ideas for a new Kia vehicle. While there, he saw a documentary on wild boars and drew a picture of a boar wearing a backpack. He wanted to communicate an idea of strength and capability, as the New York Times reported. Eventually, that drawing became the inspiration for the Kia Soul.

The 2020 Kia Soul is the third generation of the vehicle, and it is available in showrooms now.

Specs & Key Features of the 2020 Kia Soul


Body Style
2.0L 4-Cyl DOHC MPI
147 hp
6-Speed Manual
Passenger Doors
Passenger Seating
Front Wheel Drive
City MPG

Key Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Audio
  • Back Up Camera
  • Bluetooth
  • Tinted Glass

More Features

  • Engine: 2.0L 4-Cyl DOHC MPI
  • Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
  • Front-Wheel Drive
  • 4.47 Axle Ratio
  • 60-Amp/Hr 550CCA Maintenance-Free Battery w/Run Down Protection
  • 150 Amp Alternator
  • Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
  • Front Anti-Roll Bar
  • Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
  • 14.3 Gal. Fuel Tank
  • Single Stainless Steel Exhaust
  • Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • Torsion Beam Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist and Hill Hold Control
  • Wheels: 16" Steel
  • Tires: P205/60R16
  • Spare Tire Mobility Kit
  • Steel Spare Wheel
  • Compact Spare Tire Mounted Inside Under Cargo
  • Clearcoat Paint
  • Body-Colored Front Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
  • Body-Colored Rear Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
  • Black Bodyside Insert and Black Wheel Well Trim
  • Black Side Windows Trim and Black Front Windshield Trim
  • Black Door Handles
  • Black Power Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding
  • Fixed Rear Window w/Fixed Interval Wiper and Defroster
  • Deep Tinted Glass
  • Variable Intermittent Wipers
  • Front Windshield -inc: Sun Visor Strip
  • Fully Galvanized Steel Panels
  • Black Grille w/Chrome Surround
  • Liftgate Rear Cargo Access
  • Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included w/Power Door Locks
  • Fully Automatic Aero-Composite Halogen Daytime Running Headlamps w/Delay-Off
  • Radio: AM/FM/MP3 Audio System -inc: 7.0" touch screen, 6 speakers, support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, USB connectivity, and Bluetooth wireless technology
  • Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control, Aux Audio Input Jack and External Memory Control
  • Integrated Roof Antenna
  • Front Bucket Seats
  • Driver Seat
  • 6-Way Adjustable Driver's Seat
  • 4-Way Passenger Seat -inc: Manual Recline and Fore/Aft Movement
  • 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
  • Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
  • Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
  • Power Rear Windows and Fixed 3rd Row Windows
  • Front Cupholder
  • Rear Cupholder
  • Front Cigar Lighter(s)
  • Ashtray
  • Remote Releases -Inc: Mechanical Fuel
  • Manual Air Conditioning
  • HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts
  • Illuminated Glove Box
  • Driver Foot Rest
  • Interior Trim -inc: Metal-Look Interior Accents
  • Full Cloth Headliner
  • Cloth Door Trim Insert
  • Urethane Gear Shift Knob
  • Cloth Seat Trim -inc: Woven
  • Day-Night Rearview Mirror
  • Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors
  • Partial Floor Console, Mini Overhead Console w/Storage and 2 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Front Map Lights
  • Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
  • Full Carpet Floor Covering
  • Carpet Floor Trim
  • Cargo Area Concealed Storage
  • Cargo Features -inc: Spare Tire Mobility Kit
  • Cargo Space Lights
  • Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins
  • Power 1st Row Windows w/Driver 1-Touch Down
  • Delayed Accessory Power
  • Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
  • Trip Computer
  • Outside Temp Gauge
  • Analog Display
  • Manual Adjustable Front Head Restraints and Fixed Rear Head Restraints
  • 2 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Air Filtration
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
  • Back-Up Camera

Warranty Options for the 2020 Kia Soul (4)










Roadside Assistance



Available Trims for the 2020 Kia Soul (7)

LX Manual
MSRP Starting at
MSRP Starting at
MSRP Starting at
MSRP Starting at
X-Line IVT
MSRP Starting at
MSRP Starting at
GT-Line Turbo DCT
MSRP Starting at

Safety Ratings for the 2020 Kia Soul

US NHTSA Crash Test Results

Results shown are for the 2020 Kia Soul LX Manual:

Overall Rating
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
Overall Side Crash Rating
Side Barrier Rating
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat
Rollover Rating