RFD has Soul! Sorry, last time I make that joke. Maybe. We’ve been all about the Soul lately, with Jacob reviewing one, and then reviewing another one! If he didn’t live in Nashville and I didn’t live in DC, I woudln’t be 100% positive that this isn’t the same Soul X-Line from his review! Regardless, we’ve even reviewed the last generation Soul EV! So when Kia dropped off this hopefully different 2020 Soul X-Line, I figured there wasn’t much more our readers needed to know. So thanks for reading, bye.
OK, that’s not true of course, there is always more to learn. In this case, I found myself awkwardly attracted to this little box on wheels. So, if you’ll indulge me, I’ll lie on this metaphoric journalistic couch and tell you how I’m feeling.
First things first, the Soul was not welcome in my home at first. My wife thought that it’s ne’er do well looks and squinty eyes looked untrustworthy. That’s not totally true, she just doesn’t like funky, boxy cars, and the Soul is about as boxy and funky as it gets in the automotive world. What’s funkier than a Soul, maybe a Juke?
Personally, I liked it from the beginning. I thought it’s plucky bulldog-like face, Gravity Grey paint, and practical box layout was something fresh and different in a sea of crossovers that all look the same. Many need a vehicle that can be all things to all people, well really just all things to them, since it’s their car, whatever. The Soul approaches that mark with a comfortable interior and a generous amount of room for your stuff (62.1 cubic feet total).
But, it’s not fast. Not that anyone buys a Kia Soul looking for performance. If you need some more oomph, buy the GT-Line Turbo. So back to my conflictedness. I wasn’t really supposed to like it since it’s not fast, my wife didn’t like it (a sure sign I shouldn’t) but I had to imagine passers-by smiling as I drove by in the Soul.
I was really starting to feel it.
Check it out, the Soul is easily one of the least expensive (not cheapest, that’s got a negative connotation) press loaners I’ve ever had. At just $21,490 to start, this X-Line is ridiculously cost effective for what you get. Here are some X-Line highlights.
- Blind Spot Collision Warning (BCW)
- Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning & Avoidance Assist
- 18-Inch Alloy X-Line Exclusive Wheels
- Rugged Black Exterior Body Trim with Silver Accents
- Fog Lights, Roof Trim
- Available Two-Tone Paint
That’s a decent bit of kit for the cash, but this tester came with an additional one hundred and thirty U.S. dollars in options – basically carpeted floor mats in this case. So the grand total was $22,615 as-tested. Again, pretty excellent. Fuel economy is decent, but not groundbreaking, at 27 MPG city and 33 MPG highway.
I always hear John Davis from Motorweek saying fuel efficiency figures. Just me? Moving on.
OK, one more soul joke! Inside, the Soul really shines, Kia has done a great job up-scaling their interiors with nice materials and interesting design elements. The Soul features a crazy diamond pattern connecting the side vents and door handles. I really liked it, as did my kids, but it may not be for everyone. My wife likely hated it, I forget.
Overall, I enjoyed driving the Soul. The seats were bolstered more than expected and Kia resisted the urge to tack on an iPad-looking screen atop the dashboard. Instead the 7″ touchscreen, complete with required Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, was easy to use. For once, everything worked and was within easy reach.
The “Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT)”, also known as a CVT, when combined with the 147 hp engine is pretty slow. Even in “Sport” mode, which all cars have, yet few make good use of, it wasn’t going to win any races. Still around town, it was a pretty solid commuter.
The Soul delivers a lot of good things that will make most buyers happy. It’s practical, it’s inexpensive, it’s fairly economical, and it’s funky and fun. I found that, if I was in a good mood, I felt like it was a cute little pug wagging it’s tail at me. If I was grumpy, I felt like that little pug had just taken a dump on my bedroom floor. That’s about as much insight into my brain as you’ll like want to experience. Go check out the Soul if you want something a bit out of the ordinary, it might surprise you!