2020 Kia Soul: A Boxy Crossover That Somehow Thinks Outside the Box [LA Auto Show]

Kia has just unveiled the funky 2020 Kia Soul, complete with mood lighting.

Call the Kia Soul boxy if you want, but you can’t say it doesn’t stick out. At least not now, as the 2020 Kia Soul has been redesigned with a totally new face. We’ve seen prototypes driving around recently, but now we have the full picture. The very quirky (and very red) Soul hit the floor of the 2018 LA Auto Show today, complete with that new look, more tech and more trims than before.

Let’s start with the trim levels. LX, S, X-Line, GT-Line, EX and “EX Designer Collection” round out the range of choice in the 2020 Kia Soul. Two engines are on offer: a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine with 147 horsepower, or a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine with 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. The 2.0-liter engine comes mated to a six-speed manual or Kia’s new Intelligent Variable Transmission. The smaller 1.6-liter turbo, on the other hand, comes mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Sadly, contrary to what we were hoping, the 2020 Kia Soul is still front-wheel drive only.

Still practical, and filled with tech

The 2020 Kia Soul is 2.2 inches longer than the previous model, with a 1.2-inch longer wheelbase. Front legroom has increased by 0.2 inches, but rear legroom is 0.3 inches shorter than before. The increased length, however, has made for 23.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity – up 5.0 cubic feet from before.

Inside, the 2020 Kia Soul has a heads-up display, available wireless charging, dual-zone climate control and a 10.25-inch infotainment display. As before, the infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. More interestingly, the 2020 Kia Soul has a new “mood lighting system”. Drivers can change the car’s ambient lighting to a pre-selected range, including “Hey! Yo” and “Party Time”. Keep in mind who this car is aimed at, after all.

The X-Line adds some more rugged kit on top of the standard 2020 Kia Soul. That includes body cladding, overfenders, off-road inspired accents and unique 18-inch alloy wheels. The GT-Line, on the other hand, leans one sportier. There you get the 201 horsepower turbo engine, integrated fog lights, and a sportier front and rear fascia.

2020 Soul EV. [Photo: Kia]

New Kia Soul EV

If the gasoline-powered 2020 Kia Soul doesn’t catch your fancy, there’s always the EV. The 2020 Kia Soul EV is extremely green, as you can see from the picture, but it also has more range than before. The new model also has 201 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque, significantly more powerful than the outgoing version. The Smart Regen System adjusts the braking level depending on what’s in front of the car.

2020 Soul EV

The 2020 Kia Soul EV has a 64 kWh battery pack, but the EPA-estimated range has not been announced yet. We can infer the range based on the similarly-specced Hyundai Kona Electric, which has a range of 258 miles. Paul Fisher, a representative from Kia we spoke to in the video above, pegs the range at about 233 miles.

2020 Soul EV

Pricing information isn’t available yet, but the new 2020 Kia Soul will go on sale in the first half of 2019. Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more updates! Subscribe to TFLcar and TFLnow for more coverage from the 2018 LA Auto Show.