Eric's Autos: 2020 Kia Soul
Kia has made the Soul bigger but only on the inside. The just-updated vehicle is stronger under the hood, too. These improvements don't come at the cost of its affordable fun factor. At just over $17k to start, it's one of the least expensive ways you'll have a good time in a new car.
What It Is
The Soul is one of the original box cars, a type of car popular for many years in Japan, where space (especially parking space) is scarce and gas is expensive. They began to be seen here about 10 years ago. Others of this kind include the Scion (RIP) xB and Nissan Cube.
Box cars have become popular here because they're different (for once) and inexpensive (for a change).
Prices begin at $17,490 for the base LX trim, which comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission -- part of the fun. A continuously variable (CVT) automatic transmission is optional.
Also available is a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a seven-speed automated manual transmission. This is the heart of the top-of-the-line Soul GT-Line Turbo, which costs $27,490.
The 2020 Soul is new from the tread up.
It's only slightly bigger on the outside than before but much bigger on the inside. Max cargo space has been opened up to 62.1 cubic feet with the back seats down (previously 49.5 cubic feet), and there are now 24.2 cubic feet behind the back seats (previously 18.8 cubic feet).
Front-seat legroom has also been increased by about an inch.