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2020 Kia Soul Review

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A subcompact crossover, the Kia Soul is known for its funky style. “Boxy” competitors, like the Honda Element and Scion Xb, are out of production, but the Soul is thriving. Due to its popularity, Kia redesigned the Soul for 2020, along with its all-electric twin, the Soul EV. New for the gasoline-powered version, which we focus on here, are the number of trims and an exterior makeover. All Kia Souls come with a 5 year, 60,000 mile “bumper-to-bumper” warranty. Toyota 4Runner

2020 Kia Soul pricing

The lowest manufacturer’s recommended price (MSRP) for the 2020 Kia Soul is $17,490. This price increases by $10,000 for the top-of-the-line GT-Line Turbo Soul. Of course, you may not have to pay MSRP — depending on where and when you shop, you may be able to get a lower price.

Trim LX S GT-Line X-Line EX GT-Line Turbo
Base MSRP $17,490 $20,290 $20,290 $21,490 $22,690 $27,490


Check out an industry guide — Kelley Blue Book or NADAguides, for example — to find a fair market price for the Soul or any other vehicle you’re considering.

What’s next? Once you pick out the car you want, a car loan is usually next. Car dealers can and often do raise customer APRs for their own profit, so apply for a loan outside of a dealership. Potential lenders could include Kia financing, your bank, credit union or online lender. You could also fill out an online form at LendingTree where you may receive up to five potential loan offers from lenders, based on your creditworthiness.

2020 Kia Soul safety

The 2020 Kia Soul, being so new, is not yet rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, its predecessor, the 2019 Soul, earned a five-star rating from the NHTSA and is an IIHS Top Safety Pick.

The Soul also offers active safety technology on certain trims. Here are some of the main features.

  • Forward Collision Warning Avoidance Assist. It warns the driver of a potential collision and applies the brakes if the driver does not.
  • Lane Keeping Assist. The car can make minor steering adjustments to help it stay in the lane.
  • Blind Spot and Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning. The vehicle can alert the driver visually and audibly when it senses another car in one of its blind spots.
  • Driver Attention Warning. The car can give visual and audible driver alerts if it senses a low attention level.
  • Smart Cruise Control. With cruise control on, the car can adjust its speed to match and follow a car in front of it.

Here’s a closer look at the features that are and aren’t available on specific trims. Not available means that the feature cannot be added to the car; standard means the feature is on the car and included at no extra cost; available means the feature could be added to the car for an extra cost. Below, we separated the trims based on feature availability.

Trim LX S EX
Base MSRP $17,490 $20,290 $22,690
Forward Collision Avoidance Assist Not Available Standard Standard
Lane Keeping Assist Not Available Standard Standard
Blind Spot and Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning Not Available Standard Standard
Driver Attention Warning Not Available Standard Standard
Smart Cruise Control Not Available Not Available Not Available
Trim X-Line GT-Line GT-Line Turbo
Base MSRP $21,490 $20,290 $27,490
Forward Collision Avoidance Assist Not Available Standard Standard (with Pedestrian Detection)
Lane Keeping Assist Not Available Standard Standard
Blind Spot and Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning Standard Available Standard
Driver Attention Warning Not Available Standard Standard
Smart Cruise Control Not Available Not Available Standard

2020 Kia Soul trim comparison

The 2020 Kia Soul has six trims from LX to the GT-Line Turbo. Older model years of the Soul had only three trims: the Base, Plus (+) and Exclaim (!).

In most cases, the trims build on each other. For example, the S trim will have or improve upon everything the LX trim has. The exception is the X-Line; it doesn’t add many new features in exchange for special exterior styling.

Trim LX S GT-Line X-Line EX GT-Line Turbo
Base MSRP $17,490 $20,290 $20,290 $21,490 $22,690 $27,490
Standard Features 147 Horsepower, Manual Transmission, 7″ Touch Screen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Automatic Transmission, Active Safety Technology Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel & Gear Shift Knob, Dual USB Charging Ports, Fog Lights 18″ Alloy Wheels, X-Line Exclusive Exterior Styling 10.25″ Touch Screen, Cargo Cover, Heated Front Seats, Power-Adjustable Driver’s Seat, Wireless Charger 201 Horsepower, Power Sunroof, LED Lights, Premium Audio, Heated Steering Wheel, Head-Up Display


Warranty. No matter the trim, all new Souls have Kia’s standard warranty, which is “bumper-to-bumper” for 5 years, 60,000 miles and covers the powertrain for 10 years, 100,000 miles. But if you’re looking at a used Soul, or you’d just like to add a greater warranty on top of that, check out how to find the best extended car warranty.

Seating. All trims of the Soul can technically seat five adults. That said, three adults sharing the back seat of this sub-compact may not be happy.

Transmission. If you want automatic drive on the lowest trim of the Soul, you’ll have to pay extra. The standard transmission is a manual one, and upgrading to automatic drive on the LX will cost $1,500 more. For the trims S and above, the only transmission option is an automatic.

All-wheel drive. The Kia Soul does not offer all-wheel drive (AWD) or four-wheel drive. If that’s something you need, read about the best all-wheel drive cars.

2020 Kia Soul competitor comparison

The subcompact crossover market is pretty hot; the Soul has plenty of competition. To make it easier for you to compare them, here is a table with the Kia Soul and some of its most highly-rated competitors. All models compared are the base models.

Kia Soul Mazda CX-3 Hyundai Kona Subaru Crosstrek Honda HR-V
Base MSRP $17,490 $20,390 $19,990 $21,895 $20,520
Expert Scores 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.2 4.1
Base Standard Technology 7″ Touch Screen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto 7″ Screen, Rearview Camera, Smart City Brake Support 7″ Screen, Hyundai Smart Sense, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto All-wheel drive, Bluetooth, 6.5″ Touch Screen Bluetooth, 5″ Screen, Rearview Camera
Base Fuel Economy 27 MPG 31 MPG 30 MPG 25 MPG 30 MPG
Base Transmission Manual Automatic Automatic Manual Automatic

*Chart data is for base 2019 models, except for the Kia Soul, which is a 2020 base model. Expert score averages Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds expert ratings, as available. Standard technology refers to features included in the lowest trim level for each model at no extra cost (not an exhaustive list). Fuel economy is combined city/highway mileage as defined by the EPA.

Of these, the Soul has the lowest starting price, yet it falls a bit short on features (including active driver aids) and has a manual transmission on its starting trim. While the Subaru Crosstrek also has a manual transmission, it counters that by having standard all-wheel drive. And, just as you compare vehicles, be sure to compare auto loan rates to be sure that you’re getting the best one. You can check out where to find the best auto loan rates in 2019.

The bottom line on the 2020 Kia Soul

You might like the Kia Soul if you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive, funky-styled and practical vehicle that you won’t have a hard time finding in a packed parking lot. The funky styling continues inside, thanks to available mood lighting with set color options that will pulse in time to music. That said, it’s not the only boxy vehicle out there — you could check out a few more here. You might not like the Soul if eccentric styling isn’t your thing.

MSRPs in the article are accurate as of the date of publishing.


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