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2020 Kia Soul Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2020 Kia Soul?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 Kia Soul? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

Back with a long list of improvements, the redesigned 2020 Kia Soul seeks to remain one of the top subcompact SUVs on the market. Not only does the new Kia Soul drive better, but it also boasts some exciting new features. However, it still offers the same great practicality and excellent warranty that so many drivers have grown to love. Let’s find out why the latest Soul deserves your attention.

What’s New for 2020?

This year, the Kia Soul has been fully overhauled. Aside from introducing a few new features, this crossover also flaunts a number of modern styling cues. Expect the new GT-Line Turbo model to trigger a great deal of interest.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 Kia Soul – The Pros

1. New Base Powertrain

Last year’s base powertrain needed a few upgrades. To solve this problem, Kia has introduced an all-new powertrain for 2020. It’s more refined and packs a bit more oomph. Output has increased to a pleasing 147 horsepower, which is 17 horsepower more than before. When taking the new Soul for a test drive, looking forward to enjoying more responsive acceleration. While a six-speed manual gearbox is standard on the base model, you can opt for a new automatic Intelligent Variable Transmission.

2. Drives Well for a Crossover SUV

The 2020 Kia Soul has a fun factor that sets it apart from larger SUVs. It feels more like a boxy hatchback. A low center of gravity helps the Soul to deliver a rather sporty drive. In comparison to the previous-generation Soul, the new model is a bit smoother. This can be contributed to the crossover’s upgraded suspension. While the Soul is no luxury vehicle, most people will be pleasantly surprised by its plush road manners.

3. Very Entertaining Soul GT-Line Turbo

To give drivers a more exciting option, Kia has welcomed a GT-Line Turbo model into the lineup. It’s specifically designed to deliver more thrills. Motivating the Soul GT-Line Turbo is a boosted four-cylinder engine. In the Soul, it’s tuned to crank out just over 200 horsepower. In regard to acceleration, the racy Soul GT-Line Turbo hits 60 mph on around 6.5 seconds. A sports-tuned suspension also allows you to have a blast on twisty roads.

4. Good Pick for Drivers On a Limited Budget

The 2020 Kia Soul is definitely not an expensive vehicle, especially for a new crossover. Prices begin at less than $18,000. Folks who can’t afford to shell out a lot of money will love the base Soul. You can also take advantage of Kia’s cost-reducing warranty, which includes 100,000 miles of powertrain protection. Good fuel economy is yet another plus for the new Soul. Models equipped with an automatic CVT can average up to 33 mpg on the open highway.

5. Cool Boxy Styling Returns for 2020

Over the years, drivers have fallen in love with the Soul’s boxy shape. Fortunately, Kia didn’t upset its fans by making any drastic changes to the crossover’s design. With that said, the new Soul does have a more interesting look. The biggest changes are found on the Soul’s front fascia, which is noticeably sleeker. You’ll also notice the slimmer, more upscale headlamps. Solar Yellow and Undercover Green headline the Soul’s list of eye-catching paint options.

6. Small On the Outside Yet Big Inside

Looking at the 2020 Kia Soul on the outside, it’s obviously not a big SUV. However, the inside of the Soul tells an entirely different story. It’s big enough to satisfy the everyday needs of your family. A high roof ensures good headroom. There’s also ample leg space for folks lounging in the rear. Cargo space is plentiful as well. With roughly 24 cubic feet of storage space in the back, you can easily pack for a vacation.

7. Big Features Come Standard

To get big features on the 2020 Kia Soul, you don’t need to climb far up the trim ladder. Even the base model is loaded with some impressive goodies. If you enjoy having easy access to your smartphone’s apps, you’ll greatly appreciate standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A six-speaker sound system is also standard. If you choose the Soul with an automatic CVT, Kia rewards you with more standard equipment. This includes remote lock/unlocking and adjustable driving modes.

8. Useful Safety Features

While the 2020 Kia Soul’s most attractive safety features don’t come standard, they are featured on most trims. Drivers will certainly like Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with automatic panic braking, which can anticipate an accident before it happens. Blind-spot monitoring gives you the green light to change lanes. Meanwhile, driver attention warning can tell when you are becoming drowsiness. Aside from the base trim, lane keep assist is also standard across the board.

9. Upgraded Features Available

When checking out the 2020 Kia Soul, you’ll have several premium features to pick from. Kia’s new 10.25-inch touchscreen is among the best in the segment. Split-view capabilities allow you to view two different screens at once. Upon hearing the Soul’s 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, music fans will light up with enthusiasm. Reactive speaker lights vibrate to the beat. Some of the other upgrades include wireless dive charging, a head-up display, and smart cruise control.

10. Good Car for Teens

The 2020 Kia Soul is a solid option for teenagers. It’s safe, easy to drive, and thrifty on gas. Although the Soul can accelerate quickly when needed, there’s not an intimidating amount of power under the hood. Of course, this crossover’s affordable pricing makes it more appealing for new drivers. Teenagers will especially appreciate the Soul’s fun features.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 Kia Soul – The Cons

1. Not Made for Off-Roading

If you like to go off-roading, think twice about buying a new 2020 Kia Soul. Although the X-Line trim may look rugged, it is not engineered for rough terrain. The Soul does not offer rugged necessities like protective skid plates and trail-tuned shocks. Furthermore, this crossover is only offered with front-wheel drive. When traveling in the mud, you will need the extra traction that is provided by an AWD system.

2. Allows Noise to Enter the Cabin

The Soul’s cabin is not absent from exterior noise. When cruising at speeds above 60 mph, you can expect to hear some wind noise. While a little extra turbulence may not bother most people, others would like to experience a quieter ride. On the highway, there’s also a bit of tire noise. If you desire a more hushed cabin, consider the Mazda CX-3. It boasts one of the quietest interiors in the segment.

3. Can’t Get a Manual Transmission With the GT-Line Turbo

With the Soul GT-Line Turbo being such a strong performer, some driving enthusiasts may be wishing for a manual transmission. Unfortunately, they are out of luck. Kia pairs the Soul GT-Line Turbo with a dual-clutch automatic transmission. While this transmission has a sporty nature, some automotive journalists are not fond of its clunky behavior.

4. Rearward Vision Could Be Better

Thankfully, the 2020 Kia Soul has a blind-spot monitor on most trims. Your view out the rear window isn’t great. At times, its thick roof pillars can block your line of sight. When backing up, it’s a good idea to lean upon the Soul’s rearview camera.

5. Not a Good SUV for the Snow

As previously mentioned, all-wheel drive is not an option. This puts the Soul at a disadvantage against other crossovers in the segment. While folks living in most regions won’t have issues with the Soul’s traction, people in snow-prone areas may consider all-wheel drive to be a bare necessity.

How It Stacks Up Against the Competition:

2020 Mazda CX-3

The Mazda CX-3 is high on driving enjoyment. It also has a quality interior design. Unfortunately, there’s not much room in the backseat. This is bad news for drivers who need to accommodate adult-sized family members. You’ll find the 2020 Kia Soul to be a far more practical choice for families.

2020 Honda HR-V

Many people consider the Honda HR-V to be a great option. However, it’s a step behind the Kia Soul is some aspects. An available turbocharged engine enables the Soul to deliver a far more engaging performance. You also can’t get the HR-V with a sports-tuned suspension for enhanced handling.

2020 Jeep Renegade

Known for its class-leading off-road prowess, the 2020 Jeep Renegade is perfect for adventure seekers. However, it’s not as spacious as the Kia Soul. Furthermore, no trim in the Renegade’s lineup can match the performance of the Soul GT-Line Turbo.


When shopping for a small yet practical vehicle, don’t overlook the all-new 2020 Kia Soul. Improvements make it even better than the previous generation. Although the Soul may not offer all-wheel drive, this won’t be a deal breaker for most people. Because of the Soul’s spaciousness, it’s highly recommended for families.

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