Long gone is the Soul’s cute hamster body armor, in its place sheetmetal that will confuse your neighbors
This article does not mark the first time the Soul’s new styling has been likened to a Range Rover. In fact,MotorTrendhas pointed out the resemblance more than once in previous coverage of the new Soul, as have other outlets. But this does mark the moment when, once I saw the likeness, I became unable to unsee it.
It was my neighbor who brought it to my attention. He noticed the Soul parked outside my house and eventually texted me with, “ThatKiayou’re driving, did Range Rover design it? Looks like an Evoque.” At the time, his comment was a headscratcher. I wasn’t seeing what he saw. Then, a few days later, while I was outside kneeling to tie my shoe in the front yard, I glanced across the lawn at the Soul’s profile and saw the Rover-esque cues for myself. The thin, wraparound headlights and the tapered, all-black daylight opening seen in the profile are indeed reminiscent of Evoque (and maybe Range Rover Sport, too). Keep in mind that this particular Soul is an EX, so it doesn’t feature the off-road-inspired matte black lower body cladding and silver faux skidplates that distinguish the X-Line Soul. One could argue that an X-Line Soul looks even more Range Rover-y. And although it’s not likely anyone will mistake a Soul for an actual Range Rover, it is apparent Kia has positioned the Soul to evolve into a more grown-up vehicle, distancing itself from its nerdy, cute-ute origins.
Whether or not ones see Range Rover in this sheetmetal, even the most casual observer will note that this third-generation Soul features aspirational, sleeker, and more handsome styling than its predecessor. Want further proof, google2013 Kia Souland be amazed how very different this vehicle looks from the first generation. The Soul has completely ditched its cute, youthful wardrobe and now seems to be dressing only for success. This latest design seems to indicate that Kia has gotten more serious about the Soul as a genuine competitor in the overcrowded crossover market.
A curious part of the exterior styling is the black piece of plastic that cuts through the C-pillar. Embossed in the plastic is the word “Soul” spelled out in funky 2-inch typeface, an evolution of the Soul badging found on the previous generation’s front fender. Additionally, this kinked, horizontal piece of plastic helps sell the illusion of a floating roof, adding yet another slick design element to the Soul’s profile. Overall, the result is a crisp, direct look that seems to have been designed by people who want drivers to be proud of their vehicle while simultaneously smitten that their car might make some ponder if Range Rover has infiltrated Kia’s design studio.
Read more about our long-term 2020 Kia Soul EX:
|2020 Kia Soul EX|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$25,755|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door hatchback|
|ENGINE||2.0L/147-hp/132-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4|
|TRANSMISSION||“8”-speed Cont variable auto|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||2,981 lb (61/39%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||165.2 x 70.9 x 63.0 in|
|0-60 MPH||8.6 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||16.7 sec @ 83.8 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||116 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.85 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||27.4 sec @ 0.61 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||27/33/30 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||125/102 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.66 lb/mile|