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2019 vs. 2020 Kia Soul: What’s the Difference?

  • The Kia Soul hatchback is fully redesigned for 2020.

  • A new base engine is more powerful and more efficient than the outgoing base engine.

  • A new look and new tech make the 2020 Soul a big upgrade.

The Kia Soul has a well-deserved reputation as being a small box that’s big on value. Its boxy profile makes it very practical with a roomy interior and a funky look that really makes it stand out. The Soul is all-new for the 2020 model year with a host of upgrades that take a great compact crossover and makes it even better. Let’s take a look at the differences between the 2019 and 2020 Kia Soul.

2019 Kia Soul vs. 2020 Kia Soul exterior


The new Soul retains its boxy shape, but it’s fully redesigned. It has a sleeker look and looks more upscale and more modern than the 2019 model. The new third-generation model has slim headlights in the front and boomerang-shaped taillights in the back with LEDs all around in the higher trims. The new Soul is also two inches longer and one inch shorter than the outgoing model giving it a bit more of a sporty look. That also means it has bigger door openings, which make it easier to get in and out of. See the 2019 Kia Soul models for sale near you

The new Soul is also available with two interesting appearance packages on top of the standard model called X-Line and GT-Line. The Soul X-Line has an off-road aesthetic with plastic cladding and round fog lights, but doesn’t come with any mechanical improvements to add off-road performance. The GT-Line gives the Soul a sportier look with different front and rear fascias, red accents and special wheels. See the 2020 Kia Soul models for sale near you

2019 Kia Soul vs. 2020 Kia Soul interior


The interior of the Soul is another good example of a good thing getting better. Sine the new Soul is a bigger car, it has a slightly roomier interior. Both the 2019 and 2020 models are surprisingly good family cars with roomy back seats, plenty of headroom for everyone and some nice cargo space to boot.

As for interior design, the 2020 Soul looks more modern and techy than the outgoing model. The new Soul is available with lots of multicolor interior ambient lighting that pulse to the beat of the music that’s playing. The 2019 Soul has a similar feature available, but the 2020 model adds more lights.

2019 Kia Soul vs. 2020 Kia Soul mechanicals


The 2019 and 2020 Soul have the same turbocharged engine available, but different base engines. They’re also both available with a manual transmission with the base engine, but the automatic is more fuel efficient in both.

2019 Kia Soul Engines

  • 1.6-liter inline four; 130 horsepower, 118 lb-ft of torque; up to 26 mpg city/31 mpg hwy

  • 2.0-liter inline four; 161 hp, 150 lb-ft of torque; 25 mpg city/30 mpg hwy

  • 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four; 201 hp, 195 lb-ft of torque; 26 mpg city/31 mpg hwy

2020 Kia Soul Engines

  • 2.0-liter inline four; 147 hp, 132 lb-ft of torque; up to 29 mpg city/35 mpg hwy

  • 1.6-liter turbocharged inline four; 201 hp, 195 lb-ft of torque; 27 mpg city/33 mpg hwy

The two non-turbo engines in the 2019 Soul were a little redundant and Kia has simplified the engine lineup for the new third-generation model. The new base engine might be less powerful than the old 2.0-liter engine, but it delivers better performance than the outgoing base engine while also achieving better fuel economy. The good turbocharged engine remains the same in both models, which gives the Soul a really nice boost in performance without sacrificing too much fuel economy.

It’s worth noting that every Soul is front-wheel drive and there’s no all-wheel-drive system available despite that option becoming increasingly popular in this segment.

2019 Kia Soul vs. 2020 Kia Soul tech

Features and Technology

There’s lots of tech available in the 2020 Soul that you can’t get in the 2019 model. Some of that newly available tech includes a head-up display, a 10.25-in infotainment system and wireless charging. A few things available on both model years include a panoramic sunroof, Harman/Kardon premium audio and a long list of safety tech like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and forward-collision avoidance assist.

2019 Kia Soul vs. 2020 Kia Soul pricing


The Soul got a price hike for the 2020 model, but it’s still very affordable. The 2019 model has a starting MSRP of $16,490 and the 2020 Soul starts at $17,490. The price ceiling on the high end is much higher on the 2020 Soul than it is on the 2019 car. The range-topping 2020 Soul GT-Line Turbo starts at $27,490 and the top trim of the 2019 Soul starts at $22,990.

2019 Kia Soul vs. 2020 Kia Soul conclusion 


The Kia Soul’s evolution into its third generation retains everything we love about the outgoing model like its funky look and strong value while introducing new features and a new look that make Kia’s boxy little crossover even more appealing. The outgoing Soul is still a fantastic value, but if you have a few extra bucks to upgrade to the 2020 model, we recommend it. Find a Kia 2019 Kia Soul for sale or Find a 2020 Kia Soul for sale

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  1. Did I read this right… they have different interior colors other than that awful black???? That is 
    one of the main reasons ive never bought a soul because of the interior…

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Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy Metro as his only car for a year and regrets nothing.

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