LA 2018: 2020 Kia Soul EV Makes its Debut

We’re big fans of the Kia Soul, and not just because the Hamstars were the most fun marketing gimmick of the last ten years. We also dig the Soul’s funky styling, great audio options, cavernous storage capacity, and– most of all– the all-electric version I winter-tested back in 2015. For 2020, the Kia Soul EV is all-new, and should be available in all 50 states!

Check out the official photo gallery, above, and LA Auto Show Automobility press release, below. Once you’re done with that, let us know what you think of the all-new 2020 Kia Soul EV in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

 

    NEW 2020 KIA SOUL EV COMBINES SOUL-FUL VIBE WITH ALL-ELECTRIC BUZZ

    LOS ANGELES – Kia Motors America (KMA) introduced the 2020 Soul, a completely new version of Kia’s beloved, award-winning and unconventional compact utility vehicle. In conjunction with that world-debut, the all-electric, battery-powered Soul EV was also unveiled. Just as quirky, fun-loving and crowd-pleasing, the Soul EV provides the opportunity for lovers of the Soul to drive it without ever having to stop for gas.

    A Much Better Battery

    The new Soul EV has a new state-of-the-art liquid-cooled lithium ion polymer 64 kWh battery which is expected to mean much less need for daily charging, and with Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast-charge as standard equipment, battery refills should be brief so road trip fun can happily continue after only a short break.

    The new battery is currently being tested to ascertain precise EPA-estimated range. Results are expected early in 2019 and will be announced at a later date.

    Driving Dynamics – The Soul EV is More Fun Than Ever

    The Soul EV has always provided a bit of a magic carpet ride, whisking along silently with seemingly effortless pull. Now, with 201 horsepower and 291 lb.-ft. of torque (way up from 210 lb.-ft. in the outgoing model), drivers will feel like a virtual Aladdin. Handling and driving dynamics are also much improved, thanks to the addition of independent rear suspension. The new Soul EV also provides plenty of tools for drivers to customize their driving experience and their battery usage, including:

    • Four drive modes – Eco, Comfort, Sport and Eco+ – that automatically adjust power output to the traction motor, regenerative braking, air conditioning and heating settings, and set speed limits to help manage operating efficiency depending on driving conditions

    • Smart regenerative braking operated via paddle shifters provides drivers the ability to slow the car and capture kinetic energy, adding extra range. Drivers can choose from four regen braking levels (0 to 3) depending on desired driving smoothness, enjoyment and efficiency

    • Brake and Hold System feature allows regen paddle shifter to bring the car to a full stop

    • Smart Regen System adjusts the regenerative braking level based on a vehicle being detected in front of the Soul EV and creates smoother coast-down driving, especially when descending a steep road

    • Smart Eco Pedal Guide display on the instrument cluster keeps the driver aware of real-time battery usage based on accelerator pedal input

    The 2020 Soul is all-new with a refreshed exterior that stays true to its boxy origins – a distinctive look beloved by legions of fans. The new Soul EV is built with the same architecture, but imbued with unique styling that provides the car a flair of its own:

    • Restyled front and rear bumper fascias

    • Solid front grille insert with charging door conveniently located on driver’s side

    • LED headlamps strikingly integrated into upper cross-car brow

    • Unique fog lamps

    • Exclusive EV five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels

    The Soul EV comes equipped with a long list of state-of-the-art features to help enhance safety, improve the driving experience and provide ease of operation and ownership. Kia engineers and designers have thought of everything. Every Soul EV includes a suite of “Kia Drive Wise” Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems, and a long list of standard and optional equipment, highlights of which are listed below.

    • High-tech rotary shifter (shift-by-wire)

    • 10.25-inch color touchscreen with rear view monitor and parking guidance

    • 6-speaker audio system (AM/FM/SiriusXM) with USB input

    • Steering wheel-mounted audio controls

    • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

    • Bluetooth wireless connectivity with voice recognition

    • 7 airbags (dual front advanced air bags, dual front seat-mounted side air bags, side curtain air bags with rollover sensor, driver’s side knee air bag)

    • Vehicle Safety Systems

    • Antilock braking

    • Traction control

    • Electronic stability control

    • Hill-start assist control

    • Tire pressure monitoring system

    • Pedestrian warning system

    • “Kia Drive Wise” Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS)

    • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)

    • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)

    • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)

    • Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)

    • Driver Attention Warning (DAW)

    • Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go

    • Blind Spot Collision Warning (BSW) (available)

    • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (available)

    • Parking Distance Warning – Reverse only (available)

    New for Soul EV is a revamped UVO16 telematics system that allows owners to monitor and control a long list of vehicle operations, including:

    • Notifications of battery and charging status

    • Real-time charging station update

    • Scheduled charging

    • Panic notifications – the vehicle will send a notification to the server if the panic alarm is triggered and the

    • system dials 911 emergency services, provides the car position via GPS, and opens a live microphone so that emergency workers can communicate with the vehicle occupants
    • “Send2Car” points of interest (POI) and waypoints — owners will be able to plan a road trip with waypoints and send it to the vehicles’ navigation system

    Made in Korea and One Soul with a Whole Lot More

    Built at the Gwangju plant in Korea, the Soul EV is expected to go on sale next year. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date. Buyers can choose from two trims, the Soul EV and the Soul EV Designer Collection. Supporting its super-fancy sounding name, the Designer Collection model gets all the Soul EV goodies, plus a whole lot more, including:

    • Two-tone paint: Gravity Grey with a Platinum Gold roof; Cherry Black with an Inferno Red roof; and Neptune Blue with a Cherry Black roof

    • Power-folding gloss-black heated, power-adjustable outside mirrors with signal repeater

    • 10-speaker Harman/Kardon premium audio with external amplifier

    • Wireless phone charger

    • Leather-wrapped steering wheel

    • Heated front seats with Sofino premium non-animal seating upholstery

    • Auto-dimming rear view mirror

 

Source | Images: Kia Motors.

 

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.