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2020 Kia Soul Gets Funkier, Thanks To A New Unilight Feature

kia soul turbo (2)

The third iteration of the Kia Soul will get a lot funkier as seen in the major changes brought about by its next-generation model. Since going on sale nearly a decade ago, this tiny box became a staple in Kia’s model lineup. In fact, a redesign back in 2014 infused additional features into the hatchback, paving the way for the Kia Soul Turbo in 2017.

Sure, the Soul was part of many “Best Trucks and SUVs” list back in 2017 and 2018 but the competition is getting tough in this segment and it’s time for Kia to bring out the big guns.

Aside from the roofline of the 2020 soul that still looks similar to the current generation, everything else has been altered to create an eccentric new look for the car.

Up front, Kia decided to let go of today’s traditional large headlamps and went instead for a pair of low-mounted units that could almost be mistaken for fog lights. The combination turn signals and LED daytime running lamps (the “unilight”) sit above the grille.

At the back, the D-pillar-mounted taillights now have a three-dimensional appearance and are merged into the liftgate. This just made the Kia Soul more identifiable on the road as it is before without necessarily losing its unique character.

The Soul will offer the same powertrains and platform as the Kona. The entry-level model would have a 2.0-liter inline-four that produces 147 horses. An upgrade would be a turbocharged 1.6-liter, though the output remains shady for now. We’re pretty sure it would exceed the Kona’s 175 horsepower and would instead stand closer to the Soul Turbo’s 201 horsepower.

The base model will be paired either with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox. The Soul Turbo will use exclusively the brand’s seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic. The Turbo would also have distinct features such as the mesh-style grille and center-mounted exhaust outlets.

Photo Source: CarAndDriver

Kia Plans To Introduce Turbocharged Kia Soul Hatchback

kia soul

Kia Soul has been highly popular the past years. Although I am personally not a fan of the bodystyle and there are extreme reactions to it among the auto industry experts, it was certainly one of Kia’s most popular models.

In fact, the only thing more popular than the Soul is the commercials Kia has produced for the incoming hatchback. Aside from the catchy hit songs that they used, the commercials also featured hamsters (which Kia tagged as Hamstars). Can anything be cuter than that?

The latest commercial is now out and it’s full of the same things—catchy song and Hamstars. But what specifically is being talked about right now is the “wink” at the end of the commercial, hinting of the possibility of a turbocharged Soul hatchback.

An overview of the current Soul lineup was also shown at the end of the video. The lineup included the regular gasoline-powered model, the electric model and a “turbo” version. Kia teased that all of these will be arriving just in time for Winter 2016.

We’ve heard rumors that Kia has been planning a turbocharged Soul hatchback for years. So far, this is the first evidence of those plans, and it’s just in time for a change in the Soul’s performance and power.

As for the bodystyle, many experts have always raved about the Soul’s standout styling, roomy interior and useful in-car technology. That’s not to mention that the Soul is nicely priced.

But what it does lack is more power and better performance on the road. The current Soul has either a gas-powered 130-hp 1.6-liter or a 164-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the latter offered only with automatic transmission.

What are we expecting? Kia currently has a 201-hp 1.6-liter turbo four on the Forte5. If that would be used to turbocharge the hatchback, we’re sure it will add a bit of pep, complete with either a manual or dual-clutch auto transmission.

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