2020 Kia Soul GT-Line Turbo: All New Design, Same Fun Drive

Published: Sunday, September 15, 2019 | 7:47 PM

2020kiasoul475Some people like to scoff at the Kia Soul, that box-like car that is driven by hamsters in the Kia commercials. I have to admit to some skepticism when I drove my first Soul, years ago. But after driving it I have to admit I loved it. There is something about the high roof line and boxy dimensions. It feels so roomy on the inside and it’s easy to handle and park. The 2020 Kia Soul has been totally redesigned, it still has the boxy profile which is as unique to it as the hamsters.

Adding a little length and more aggressive-looking rear, the Soul still remains a roomy car for driver and passengers. It now has 6.7 inches of ground clearance (up from 5.9 inches), which gives this little crossover a more commanding driving position.

The 2020 Kia Soul comes in a number of trims: LX, S, X-Line, GT-Line, EX, and GT-Line Turbo. This review will focus on the GT-Line Turbo.

On the top of the heap, the GT-Line Turbo, features 18-inch wheels, LED exterior lighting (head-, tail- and foglights), a chrome exhaust, a sunroof, LED interior lighting, cloth and faux leather upholstery, power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated steering wheel, 10-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up display which are all unique to the model.

2020kiasoulintA turbocharged 1.6-liter four banger provides the Soul GT-Line Turbo with 201 horses and 195 lb-ft of torque. The turbo engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic trany. Expect to get 27/city, 32/highway, and 29/combined mpg.

On the inside the fit and trim are good, but some of the materials used are a bit down-market. It still has the quirky light show from the LED lights, but they are mounted higher now and can be seen in the daytime. A new 10.25 inch display is equipped on the GT-Line and offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Smartphone integration.

The interior is roomy which is one of the selling points for the Soul. It has a high-profile, so it’s got a great sight-line. There’s plenty of room for cargo, with the backseats up there’s 24 cubic feet, with the seats down there’s 62 cubic feet.

The Kia Soul has always been a fun car to drive. The turbocharged engine gives the car an extra kick, but there is just a bit of a lag. It corners well, and its boxy dimensions makes it easy to park.

Never tried the Kia Soul? It’s time for a test drive.