Ace of Base: 2020 Kia Soul LX

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
ace of base 2020 kia soul lx

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.

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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.

  • InCogKneeToe BUILD It and they will come.By Build It, I mean a Vehicle that the Customer Wants and it works for them. It could be called Chevette for all that that matters. The Mach E's success isn't because it totes the Mustang on it.Just build what people want, the next Caravan/Taurus/Beetle/Maverick (truck).
  • YellowDuck do you make a mid-engine crossover? Or even a 4-door coupe? Me not get.
  • 28-Cars-Later Thanks Corey. The head stud job on NOrthSTAR-T was $3K *years ago* as it involves an engine pull so rear wheel arch rust in and of itself isn't a show stopper. I'll be sure to check out the trunk as it may start to add up on deferred maintenance. Supposedly this was garaged so the underneath the rockers etc. should be decent but if those are shot its not gonna work.
  • Mark 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, G4NG engine with connecting rod bearing issues. Engine needs to be replaced, but Hyundai is denying warranty claim. I have all maintenance records from mile zero. It has been in Hyundai Service department 5 time in 4 months. They added the knock sensor and software update to let you know the engine is about to blow up. They kicked the can down the road doing patch work until the car was past the 120k extended extended warranty. I have that documentation too. So how can I join the class action law suit or find a Lawyer that handles these types of issues?
  • Wolfwagen Always loved the late 70s and very early 80s Scout II and Terras.This resurrection will be nothing like those. SINO - Scout in Name Only