When it comes to sports cars, most people think of a Porsche 911 or a Lamborghini. Others picture the Ford Mustang, Mazda MX-5 Miata, or the Subaru WRX. But how many of you would consider the Kia Soul to be a contender for a sporty car match?
A subcompact crossover SUV was probably one of the last vehicles ever to come to mind. But MotorTrend proved us wrong. They compiled a list of all the sporty cars out there that cost less than $30,000 and believe it or not, and the Kia Soul is one of them.
What did Kia improve on the 2020 Soul model?
Kia phased out the previous year’s Turbo model and replaced it with the new GT-Line trim. This model comes standard with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable transmission. But you can opt for a speedier motor if you like.
The more powerful engine is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo motor that produces 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Paired with it is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with a manual shifting mechanism.
With an adjusted suspension system, 18-inch wheels, and robust styling features, this model follows some of the more common sporty-type cars we see on the road today.
But it doesn’t look like a sports car
Technically, it isn’t a sports car, per se. We know the Soul for the iconic boxy look showcases what it really is, a subcompact SUV. It’s also one of only two sport utility vehicles that made it onto MotorTrend’s list. The Jeep Rubicon is the other.
They thought the Soul, particularly the GT-Line, had enough gusto to deserve to share the spotlight with some of the more familiar sports cars. Other big names on the list include the Dodge Challenger, Chevrolet Camaro, and the Fiat 124 Spider.
Acceleration time for the Kia Soul GT-Line is 6.4 seconds for a 0 to 60 run, making it about 1.6 seconds faster than the base version. No, you will not find it on the track racing against a Lamborghini, but it does offer a nice splurge of speed that could satisfy many speed enthusiasts.
Another way the Kia Soul GT-Line impresses is the cost it brings for this model. This version, with the sporty engine, has a starting MSRP of $21,335. It’s a small price to pay for speed, literally. You can’t say that about a Lamborghini.
How well does it ride?
According to Car and Driver’s review of the 2020 Kia Soul, the GT-Line had decent body control on the road. It also felt a little firmer in the ride than the other Soul models. They were impressed by the fact that it could isolate wind noise, so the cabin area remained quiet.
During their testing, the GT-Line managed 33 mpg on the highway when going 75 mph. That’s not too bad, considering it is a front-wheel-drive vehicle. The braking distance was disappointing, though, since it came to a complete stop at 172 feet, which was 11 feet more than their X-Line model.
In the end, however, they weren’t as impressed with the newer GT-Line models as MotorTrend was. They just felt the other versions were slightly better when it came to performance.
The 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line packs plenty of sportiness in its performance system and its looks. If you’re looking to have a bit of fun without paying as much as a home, the Kia Soul GT-Line is the way to go.