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2020 Kia Soul Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 8.2

The redesigned 2020 Kia Soul has a nice interior overall, and there are some unique styling touches, though they may easily go unnoticed because of the cabin's dull color scheme. Materials quality is so-so, and some rivals have more soft-touch surfaces that feel more upscale. The seats are comfortable, there's plenty of space in both rows, and cargo space is outstanding for the class. The infotainment system is easy to use, and there are some handy available driver assistance features.

  • "Like many similarly priced cars, the Soul uses hard plastics throughout its interior, although pricier models have more soft-touch bits. Assembly is impeccable, however, and the overall style feels more aspirational than before. Kia maintains a level of quirkiness inside, upgrading the old model's light-up door speakers – which could pulse to the beat of music – for available LED-backlit panels mounted higher on the front doors that can put on the same show but are now visible in the daytime." -- Car and Driver
  • "It's just a shame Kia didn't make this useful interior as characterful as the exterior. It certainly attempted to funk it up with triangular patterns in the doors, a squircle-shaped center stack and tweeters nestled against the air vents, but Kia rendered them all in shades of black or dark grey, hiding them even further in a colorless, drab interior." -- Autoblog
  • "But the Soul's black interior lacks contrast and flow without those lights, and is a bare, gaping hole compared to its funky exterior. It has quirky shapes, like the rounded rectangle encasing the infotainment screen, but they're hard to notice when almost everything is either glossy black, matte black or textured black." -- Jalopnik

Seating

The Kia Soul seats five people and comes standard with cloth upholstery. Upgraded cloth seats, synthetic leather upholstery, genuine leather seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel are available. There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing child car seats.

An advantage of the Soul's boxy shape is that both rows of seats are comfortable and provide abundant headroom, even for tall passengers. There's plenty of legroom for most folks as well. It's easy to find a comfortable driving position, and visibility is great.

  • "As expected of a boxy hatchback, the Soul is highly practical. There's more than enough headroom and legroom for tall passengers seated in front or in the rear, though some adults might find the heavily bolstered front seats a little narrow." -- Edmunds
  • "… the new Soul is just as compact as last year's model and just as easy to manage in cramped urban quarters and small parking spots. However, that also means that headroom and legroom are basically unchanged. That's fine by me; I've always found the boxy subcompact surprisingly generous when it comes to cabin space." -- CNET
  • "There remain gobs of head- and legroom front and rear. … Rear legroom is actually down 0.3 inch, while front legroom is up just 0.2 inch. Still, the rear seat in particular is spacious and comfortable, with a pleasantly angled seatback. " -- Car and Driver

Interior Features

Standard features in the Soul include a rearview camera and the UVO infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, a USB port, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Available features include a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, wireless device charging, a 10.25-inch touch screen, navigation, a Harman Kardon audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, and two additional USB ports.

Available driver assistance features include a head-up display, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, lane change assist, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and driver drowsiness monitoring. Some of these features are part of Kia's Drive Wise suite of safety technology.

As part of the redesign, the Soul now offers many more driver assistance technologies, including helpful safety aids like driver drowsiness monitoring and a head-up display. The redesigned Soul also comes standard with a larger touch screen (by 2 inches), and its available 10.25-inch touch screen is bigger than what some luxury vehicles offer. In any setup, the UVO infotainment system is easy to learn and use. The screen's graphics are crisp, and there are physical buttons for some functions.

See 2020 Kia Soul specs »

  • "Even base models receive a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a six-speaker audio system and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Standard on the EX and GT-Line 1.6T is a new 10.3-inch infotainment system with satellite navigation. The widescreen display is crisp and bright and provides plenty of visual real estate for a two- or three-up split-screen display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto users will appreciate the added room on this screen for up to 10 apps." -- Motor Trend
  • "In the X-Line, things are cheerful enough for the vehicle's affordable pricing: relatively soft plastics everywhere your hands or elbows might stray, an ergonomically sound (albeit sans satellite radio) 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that will be familiar to fans of the brand, and actual buttons and knobs for the climate-control and radio, the better to avoid distractions." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "A 7-inch touchscreen is now standard, and a new 10.3-inch screen is available on higher trims. Even the smaller of the two is easy to navigate, with an intuitive layout and attractive display. Some functions are buried in the settings menus, but nothing that you'd want to change on a day-to-day basis." -- Edmunds

Cargo

The Soul provides 24.2 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and 62.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Those are excellent totals compared to most other subcompact SUVs and hatchbacks. Even better, the rear hatch's wide opening and the low liftover height make it easy to load items. A hands-free power liftgate is available.

  • "Cargo capacity is roughly the same, but a wider, lower hatch opening makes it easier to drop grocery bags and overnight gear behind the second row." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The cargo area ranges between 18.7 and 24.2 cubic feet, depending where the configurable load floor is positioned. The 60/40-split rear seats don't quite fold flat, but maximum cargo storage of 62.1 cubic feet is one of the best in class." -- Edmunds
  • "Folding those back seats expands cargo capacity from 24 cubic feet (the same as before) to 62 cubic feet (a little more than before). The doors also open a little wider, and the rear hatch opening is slightly bigger." -- Car and Driver
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