There’s a good reason you see the little Kia Soul everywhere you turn. The Soul is Kia’s second most popular vehicle, and the 2020 Kia Soul has been named a top Edmund’s Editors Pick. Each year, the respected automotive publication puts out their top picks for cars and SUVs under $20,000 for drivers looking for affordable transportation. Kia did quite well, coming in on top in the new car category with the 2020 Kia Forte, and also in the new SUV category with the 2020 Kia Soul.
Why Edmunds loves the 2020 Kia Soul
Edmunds reviewers had plenty of positives for the 2020 Kia Soul, including the number of features for the price, it’s roominess compared to other subcompact crossovers, and the fact that the Soul has standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. They also liked the restyled exterior and new powertrain, a few more reasons the Kia Soul landed on top of their list.
Inside, the 2020 Kia Soul has a few unique selling points. Because of its boxy shape, it has plenty of interior space, and 60/40 split-folding rear seats add to the Soul’s versatility. The upper Soul trims get some fun extras like ambient lighting and beat-synced speaker lights. Reviewers also liked the intuitive nature of the 7-inch touchscreen, the wide door openings, and the comfortable if firm ride.
Whether the Kia Soul is an SUV or a large hatchback is open for debate, but from Edmunds point of view, it’s an SUV. They put it on top of the list of vehicles under $20,000 for various reasons, including its versatility and fuel economy. Kia’s second best-selling vehicle, and Edmund’s appreciated that the Soul is surprisingly fun to drive.
Driving the 2020 Kia Soul
According to Edmunds reviewers, the 2020 Kia Soul has impressive cornering abilities on par with some of its sportier competitors. They like the steering, which they called natural, and the CVT behaved like a normal automatic transmission.
While the 2.0-liter engine isn’t going to blow anyone away, it does just fine around town and the city. Edmunds clock the Soul at zero to 60 in 8.8 seconds, which they thought was respectable. This 16-valve, 4-cylinder engine features dual continuously variable valve timing and is the standard base engine on LX, S, GT-Line, and EX models.
They were a little less happy with the braking and found the brake pedal touchy. The brake response takes some getting used to. The Soul doesn’t offer all-wheel drive while most of its competitors do.
The Soul is economical and affordable
The Soul has a redesigned exterior and interior for 2020. With a starting MSRP of $17,490, the 2020 Kia Soul is one of the most affordable SUVs you can buy. You can upgrade to the Soul GT-Line Turbo, which offers a 1.6-liter turbo engine that puts out 201-horsepower when mated to a 7-speed transmission. That’s the Soul’s top model and starts at $27, 812.
There are six different trims for the 2020 Kia Soul. Each offers excellent fuel economy, with the LX getting 27 city and 33 highway miles to the gallon. The famous Kia warranty also makes it an economical choice, with an industry-leading 10-year/100,000 powertrain warranty and a 5-year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty.
Drivers looking for a small SUV with a proven track record should check out the 2020 Kia Soul. According to Edmunds, it checks off a lot of boxes with its economy, standard tech, and safety features, and drivability.