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Up close with Kia's 2020 Niro and Soul EVs

Hey, these are pretty snazzy!
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Kia was not messing around at its LA Auto Show press conference on Wednesday, rolling out vehicle updates and new models left and right.

Gallery: 2019 Kia Niro EV | 5 Photos

The company first showed off its new Niro EV crossover SUV, which offers a 64kWh battery, 200hp, 291 lb/ft of torque and just under a 300-mile range. Kia's CCS DC fast-charging system comes standard and will drop 100 miles of electricity into the battery in just 30 minutes. If you have 75 minutes to kill, the DC charger can refill 80 percent of the vehicle's total energy capacity. A level two (240V) charger can fully charge the system in around 9.5 hours.

Like the other Kias showcased, the Niro EV offers four driving modes that not only change how the vehicle handles but also enable it to recapture energy from the regenerative braking system. It also features a clever Pedestrian Warning System mounted behind the front bumper that makes a cool whirring noise to alert those around the vehicle that it is, in fact, there.

The interior is simply packed with gadgets. That includes a seven-inch color touchscreen/backup monitor, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and the entirety of Kia's Drive Wise driver-assist system. Now, if you splurge on the EX Premium package, that touchscreen will grow by an inch, the six-speaker sound system will become a eight-speaker Harman/Kardon with an amp and separate subwoofer, the steering wheel will be heated and, best of all, the Niro will include mood lighting that pulses and changes in time to music.

Gallery: The 2020 Kia Soul (gas powered) | 10 Photos

But Kia wasn't finished. The company also debuted its 2020 Soul III lineup on Wednesday. In addition to the all-new Soul EV, Kia also debuted two new Soul lines: the GT and the X-Line.

The GT is a sporty, racing-inspired trim package for the Soul, taking over from last year's Turbo model. It is powered by either a 2.0-liter, 147hp, four-cylinder, naturally aspirated engine or a 1.6-liter, 201hp turbocharged I-4 GDI engine. Customers will also have a choice of six-speed manual (with the two-liter engine), seven-speed double clutch (with the 1.6-liter) or an IVT transmission. In fact, all versions of the Soul will be available with these engine and transmission options; however, the GT also offers larger brakes, a sport-tuned suspension and a frame 35 percent stiffer than last year's model.

The X-Line, on the other hand, offers the same engine (albeit naturally aspirated) and optional IVT transmission, but unfortunately it is only 2WD. On the other hand, its "rugged" trim package boasts, among other amenities, body cladding, 18-inch alloy wheels and fog lights. Everybody loves fog lights!

Despite the differences in their outward appearance, these two Soul models share a number of features in their interiors. Those include a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as well as Drive Sense (which is standard), an optional eight-inch Head-Up Display and 640W Harman/Kardon audio system (that's double the output of last year's Soul sound system).

Gallery: Kia's Soul EV at the 2018 LA Auto Show | 9 Photos

As for the Soul EV itself, it shares the same battery size and specs as the Niro EV but offers many of the same interior amenities as the other Souls, including the 10.25-inch infotainment screen, wireless connectivity and Drive Wise.

Additionally, with Kia's revamped UVO telematics system (which enables users to control aspects of the vehicle's operation with their phone), drivers will be able to remotely check on the state of the vehicle's charge, schedule charges and even preheat or precool the cabin before they ever open the door. Plus, if you spring for the Designer Collection trim package, the Soul EV comes equipped with a 10-speaker audio system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, wireless-device-charging capabilities and power-folding, power-adjustable sideview mirrors.

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