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AAA World Article

Kia Soul

The all-new third-generation Kia Soul hasn’t lost the funky edge that’s always made it a style icon.


Photo Courtesy of Kia

The all-new third-generation Kia Soul may have matured, but it hasn’t lost the funky edge that’s always made it a style icon. This version of the subcompact four-door hatchback has been stretched just a bit for more passenger room in front and back. The clever cargo hold can be left as a deep well that’s ideal for containing grocery bags; you can also insert the available cargo shelf to create a flat load floor with the rear seatbacks folded.

Our test car, a new X-Line model, featured prominent body cladding, fog lights and roof rails designed to give it a rugged look, but the Soul’s lack of all-wheel-drive makes it a bit of a poseur. Its standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and nicely tuned suspension deliver a sprightly feel, but the turbocharged 1.6-liter four under the hood of the top GT-Line Turbo trim level we also drove is the way to go if fun-to-drive character is a priority.

Add a comfortable, attractive interior with such nifty details as the available 10.3-inch center touchscreen, and this new Kia Soul proves maturity doesn’t have to mean boring.

Strengths

  • Comparatively roomy interior
  • Many desirable standard features
  • More fun to drive than expected

Weaknesses

  • All-wheel drive isn’t available.
  • Cabin can get noisy at highway speeds.

Bottom Line

A cool alternative to small SUVs, with personality to spare

Pricing

Base Price: $17,490

As Tested: $22,615

Safety

NHTSA: Not yet tested

IIHS: Not yet tested

MPG (city/highway)

27/33 (2.0L/CVT automatic)

27/32 (1.6L turbo/automatic)

Interesting Technology

Driver-drowsiness monitor; huge 10.3-inch touchscreen

Also Consider

Honda Fit; Hyundai Kona

This article originally appeared in the September/October 2019 edition of AAA World.

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