Do you remember when Kia Soul commercials consisted of large anthropomorphic hamsters in baggy clothes dancing and shuffling to pop music? It was pretty blatant that the brand was trying to market to millennials, however, one look into the driver’s side window of almost any almost Kia Soul that passes you on the street and you’ll think that they missed the mark. Instead of appealing to younger buyers, the Kia Soul has seemingly struck a bigger chord amongst the baby boomer generation. But if the Kia Soul was really meant for millennials, then why is it so popular among the baby-boomer generation?
The Kia Soul’s styling knows no age boundaries
Weird hamsters aside, Kia admits that the marketing behind the soul was “psychology.” Michael Kopke, director of marketing for Kia Canada told The Globe and Mail, “It’s psychology, right? How much do you like being reminded how old you are? [The commercial] is tapping into aspiration, how you want to see yourself.”
Does that mean that older people want to be young and younger people want to be hip, cool hamsters? Not really. But the 2020 Kia Soul’s unique styling goes to show that the Avant-Garde looks and boxy structure knows no age boundaries and also withstands the test of time. The Kia Soul first debuted in 2010 amidst other boxy competitors like the Nissan Cube and Scion xB. Those other two cars are now discontinued, but the Soul soldiers on for 2020, with a sleeker new aesthetic that includes wraparound taillights and aggressively squinty headlights.
The Kia Soul is budget-friendly
Kia priced its four-door hatchback well into the sub-$20,000 range as the base-model LX trim has a starting price of $17,490 while the top-trim GT-line Turbo starts at $27,490. Its pricing structure has increased over the years, but it’s well within the sweet spot of affordability for both generations as millennials with low-paying jobs and boomers with fixed 401k incomes.
The Soul is fuel-efficient
The 2020 Soul is powered by either a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine on the lower trims (LX, S, GT-Line, X-Line, and EX) or a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine on the top GT-Line Turbo trim. The base naturally aspirated engine produces 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque while the turbo 1.6-liter engine puts out a 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque.
Either choice is enough to power to get around town for anyone in just about any age range, however, the main appeal to both millennials and boomers alike is that the 2.0-liter can achieve 27 mpg in the city and up to 35 mpg on the highway, while opting for the turbo engine will net 27 in the city and 32 on the highway. Fuel savings equals more money in your pocket, and you don’t have to be part of the older generation to appreciate that.
It’s very practical
The Kia Soul’s boxy shape is very practical as it offers a lot of headroom and ample legroom for up to five occupants and has a low step-in height that makes ingress/egress really simple, which is perfect for boomers and their grandkids. The Soul also offers excellent visibility and as far as cargo-hauling capability, it has 24.2 cubic feet of room in the trunk with the seats up and a cavernous 62.1 cubic feet with the seats folded down. Needless to say, the Soul offers up a healthy dose of practicality for all age groups.
Age is nothing but a number
While the Kia Soul ads could be geared toward the younger crowds, we can see that it’s timeless looks, fuel efficiency, and practicality works well for all generations. The all-new 2020 Kia Soul isn’t a far departure from what the first-generation iteration was when it first debuted, however, we wouldn’t be surprised if the car sticks around for a few more generations as long as the boomers keep buying them.