Ace of Base: 2020 Kia Soul LX

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

With each iteration, Kia has been refining its shaped-like-a-toaster rig, sharpening its styling and broadening its appeal. What some dismissed as a too-weird little box at it introduction has found plenty of traction and is now in its third generation.

A dozen years removed from its debut at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, the new Soul remains an affordable proposition for those who don’t want to resign themselves to the low seating position of a small sedan. And, yes, three pedals are still available for 2020.

Hooked to that six-speed manual is a 2.0-liter inline-four making 147 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. In the past, base model Souls were motivated by a 1.6-liter; to get the 2.0L, one had to move up the food chain. This extra displacement and power justifies the $1,000 price increase over last year’s entry-level trim.

Interior trappings are typically value-rich in this $17,490 Kia. Air conditioning is standard, as are an array of power accessories and a tilt/telescope steering wheel. The infotainment is housed in a familiar 7-inch tablet-style touchscreen and includes the likes of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is more than even some luxury carmakers can claim. A backup cam, USB port, and Bluetooth are all expected and accounted for.

The LX trim will advertise your thrifty spending by way of black door mirrors and a set of 16-inch steel wheels. Strangely, those mirrors are painted for customers who wantonly splash out $1,500 for an automatic transmission. They’ll get cruise control, too. I still wouldn’t pop for it, by the way. Simply select your new 2020 Kia Soul in Sparkling Silver and it will be tough to tell the difference. It would be excellent if Kia offered more than one no-charge paint color, however, and if their build-and-price tool showed the stick instead of the auto (explaining the body color mirrors shown here).

But the inclusion of the 2.0L engine more than makes up for these minor sins (and for the $1,000 price hike). For 2020, the Kia Soul has retained its spot in the Ace of Base trophy case.

[Images: Kia]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments and feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and priced in American Dollars. Your dealer may sell for less, even if it is a 2020 model.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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6 of 37 comments
  • MiataReallyIsTheAnswer MiataReallyIsTheAnswer on Apr 24, 2019

    Here's one that's a true BASE, black mirrors, black door handles, stick, plastic hubcaps.... already has a few discounts....

    • See 3 previous
    • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Apr 24, 2019

      @Russycle 'Cause it'll be a lemon?

  • Rudiger Rudiger on Apr 25, 2019

    Ah, the Kia Soul, the latest iteration of the geezer-mobile for the less well-off retiree, previously occupied by vehicles like the PT Cruiser and Chevy HHR. You can't swing a dead cat in Florida without hitting a geezer in a Soul. And I can't say I blame them. The seating is higher than a sedan, but not as high as an SUV/CUV so easy to get in and out of. Easy to see out of and drive, too. And now with the adequate 2.0L engine in the base model? Nirvana for the AARP crowd.

  • Oberkanone Were these available with diesel?At $3700 this Volvo presents nicer than other vehicles I see at this asking price.
  • V16 Lobbyists, not a Senator from Missouri are the real power brokers in Washington.Money, the mother's milk of politics dictate every outcome.
  • The Oracle This one will push past 400K with another timing belt and basic maintenance.
  • Ajla I'll be the odd man out here and say I don't have a problem with this. It isn't like we are blocking a crack EV program from Spain. I don't consider China a friendly nation and I think a lot of you are whistling past the graveyard. Also as some commenters have already posted it is very difficult to separate Chinese corporations and the Chinese government. I like affordable cars but not that much. Yes, the ideal might be to make US EVs so amazing that BYD retreats back but that takes time so what happens in the meantime?
  • Daniel J Test drive the previous gen envision and couldn't bring myself to buy one over a Japanes made Mazda.