2020 Kia Soul Keeps The Style And Value Story Going
June 17 2019, Sam Abuelsamid
In the late 2000s, there were several so-called “box” cars that came to market in the U.S. including the Nissan Cube and the Scion xB. However, only one ever really held any appeal for me personally and it’s now the only one left on sale here, the Kia Soul. At last November’s Los Angeles Auto Show, Kia unveiled a new third-generation Soul that I just got to spend some time with to see if I still like it.
The new Soul retains the same basic profile it has had for the past decade which differs slightly from the other box cars in that the roof has slight downward slope toward the back. The Soul never had the more upright windshield found on the xB and Cube, all of which contributes to giving the Soul a slightly more sporting stance. Fortunately, those variations don’t impact the practical packaging benefits of the boxy configuration. Despite its compact footprint, the Soul offers surprisingly ample room for passengers and cargo.
While the basic form remains intact, Kia designers have managed to give the Soul a more contemporary look, picking up several of the currently fashionable design cues. Up front, the previously unified headlamp cluster has split up as so many others like the Hyundai Kona and Chevy Blazer have in recent years. A pair of narrow, horizontal strips provide the daytime running lamp functionality while larger blocks down below flanking the grille contain the headlamps.
At the C-pillar, the black trim surrounding the side windows flows back, bisecting the pillar and providing a bit of the floating roof look. At the back, the curved, vertical taillamps that flanked tailgate on the previous generation now extend all the way around the top and about one-quarter of the way in on the bottom, providing a ring of light. Overall, the Soul looks sharp and contemporary in 2019, but I can’t help but wonder if these currently fashionable cues might look more dated in a few years when the industry has moved on.