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Ace of Base: 2020 Kia Soul LX

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By on April 24, 2019

With each iteration, Kia has been refining its shaped-like-a-toaster rig, sharpening its styling and broadening its appeal. What some dismissed as a too-weird little box at it introduction has found plenty of traction and is now in its third generation.

A dozen years removed from its debut at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, the new Soul remains an affordable proposition for those who don’t want to resign themselves to the low seating position of a small sedan. And, yes, three pedals are still available for 2020.

Hooked to that six-speed manual is a 2.0-liter inline-four making 147 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. In the past, base model Souls were motivated by a 1.6-liter; to get the 2.0L, one had to move up the food chain. This extra displacement and power justifies the $1,000 price increase over last year’s entry-level trim.

Interior trappings are typically value-rich in this $17,490 Kia. Air conditioning is standard, as are an array of power accessories and a tilt/telescope steering wheel. The infotainment is housed in a familiar 7-inch tablet-style touchscreen and includes the likes of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is more than even some luxury carmakers can claim. A backup cam, USB port, and Bluetooth are all expected and accounted for.

The LX trim will advertise your thrifty spending by way of black door mirrors and a set of 16-inch steel wheels. Strangely, those mirrors are painted for customers who wantonly splash out $1,500 for an automatic transmission. They’ll get cruise control, too. I still wouldn’t pop for it, by the way. Simply select your new 2020 Kia Soul in Sparkling Silver and it will be tough to tell the difference. It would be excellent if Kia offered more than one no-charge paint color, however, and if their build-and-price tool showed the stick instead of the auto (explaining the body color mirrors shown here).

But the inclusion of the 2.0L engine more than makes up for these minor sins (and for the $1,000 price hike). For 2020, the Kia Soul has retained its spot in the Ace of Base trophy case.

[Images: Kia]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments and feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and priced in American Dollars. Your dealer may sell for less, even if it is a 2020 model.

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