The compact-sized Kia Soul crossover entered the third generation for the 2020 model year. The model shares the platform with the Hyundai Kona and arrived for the new generation with the restyled exterior and new base engine. The newest Soul is also larger than the previous version and provides better comfort and utility than before. It also comes with a modern infotainment system with smartphone compatibility in all versions. The Soul delivers also composed ride and can be fun to drive in some versions.
However, while the newest generation Soul is available in the all-electric variant on the Old Continent, buyers in the US States will have to wait for more to get the most efficient Soul. The Soul EV is running late to the US due to high demand in Europe and a limited supply of the components. The European market has a high demand for the EVs and a limited supply of the components for electric motors and batteries delayed the arrival of the fully-electric Soul to the US for the 2021 model year.
So, the 2021 Kia Soul will add to the range of the gas-powered versions a pure electric model with distinctive styling and range over 200 miles. The recently-redesigned gas-powered Souls will remain the same with some changes in the equipment organization.
2021 Kia Soul: Design
The Kia Soul arrived all-new for the 2020 model based on the new platform and with redefined styling. The newest Soul has kept the boxy silhouette but wears more modern styling elements. The Soul gained also additional inches in the length and wheelbase which improves inheritor comfort and cargo capacity.
For the 2021 model year, there won’t be visible changes on the gas-powered versions while the new all-electric version will have some distinctive features. The Soul EV will borrow heavily from the conventionally powered Soul but will get distinctive grille insert, unique front lights and 17-inch wheels.
The 2021 Kia Soul should also offer new color options and wheel styles. The base Soul will come on the 16-inch wheels while upper grades will include 17- or 18-inch units. The X-Line and GT-Live versions will also have a more rugged and sportier appearance respectively compared to the rest of the range.
As for the interior, the things will remain pretty much in the same form as it is in the current version. The Soul comes with a 7-inch touchscreen and Apple Car Play and Android Auto from the base version while gets a 10.3-inch display in the top grade. The new Soul EV will also install the larger 10.3-inch unit.
The Soul will gradually upgrade the material quality and equipment availability with each upper trim. The base version will skip active safety systems while in the next trim will appear forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-keeping assist. The model will also be available with lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.
Buyers will also be able to get the Soul with the dual-zone climate control, heated steering wheel, Harman Kardon premium sound system, wireless charging, etc. The model will also provide up to 62.1 cubic feet of the cargo space.
2021 Kia Soul: Powertrains
The 2021 Kia Soul will repeat the current gas engines but add the all-electric version.
A 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine will be under the hood of most versions paired with the 6-speed manual or continuously variable transmission. This engine makes 147 hp and torque of 132 lb-ft. The base engine and automatic transmission will return up to 33 mpg highway while the EX version will manage up to 35 mpg.
A 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine combined with the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission will be on offer for the more interesting drive. This engine makes 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque while returning up to 32 mpg highways.
The new generation Soul EV debuts for the 2021 model year with the 243 miles of electric range. The power comes from the permanent-magnet synchronous AC electric motor fed by the 64-kWh battery. The all-electric Soul will have 201 hp at disposal. It should reach 60 mph in 7 seconds. All Souls will gain be the front-wheel drive.
2021 Kia Soul: Release, Price
The 2021 Kia Soul will reach the dealers in late 2020. The price range should again start from about $17, 500. Kia sells the Soul EV from £33,795 in the UK. We will know its price for the US market closer to arrival.