Kia Soul Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.48/5 Average
396 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

With its funky styling and spunky four-cylinder power, the compact Kia Soul is aimed at mainstream economy-car shoppers who want something different. Indeed, the boxy Kia hatchback is avant garde in its approach, boasting a swept-back exterior design with sporty angles and a neat cabin filled with distinctive shapes and vibrant colors. It gives Kia an injection of, well, soul to complement its well-earned reputation for competence and value.

Current Kia Soul
Introduced for 2014, the second-generation Kia Soul comes in three trim levels: base, + and !.

The base Soul gets a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 130 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard (including a hill-start assist function), and a six-speed automatic is optional.

Soul+ and ! models have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 164 hp and it comes only with the six-speed automatic. EPA combined fuel economy estimates range from 26-27 mpg, the latter with the optional Eco package.

The base Soul's standard features include 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity and an audio system with a CD player, satellite radio and an iPod/USB interface. The Soul+ adds 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and front and rear center armrests. The Soul! features 18-inch wheels, body-colored bumpers, LED daytime running lights, power-folding side mirrors, a power driver seat and the Uvo eServices package (infotainment interface with voice control, Bluetooth audio connectivity, streaming Internet radio capability, a rearview camera and automatic headlights). Option highlights include a panoramic sunroof, automatic climate control, a navigation system, an upgraded audio system, keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery and heated front and rear seats.

In reviews, we've been impressed with the Soul's interior materials' quality, user-friendly high-tech features and generous passenger and cargo space. Underway, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is satisfyingly quick whether bopping around town or merging onto a highway. The automatic transmission is on point with its well-timed and swift gearchanges. We haven't sampled the smaller engine but assume most buyers would be happier with the equally fuel-efficient but gutsier 2.0-liter mill. The Soul handles curvy roads well, thanks to its well-weighted, precise steering and composed attitude. Unfortunately, the Soul's boxy shape results in excessive wind noise at highway speeds, and the Soul! model has a somewhat rough ride due to its larger wheels and tires.

Used Kia Soul Models
The first-generation Kia Soul was produced from 2010-'13. Trim levels consisted of base, +, ! and Sport.

The base Soul had a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 122 hp; it was available only with a five-speed manual. The upper trims got a 2.0-liter four with 142 hp. It also came with the five-speed manual as standard, but a four-speed automatic was optional.

Standard features on the base Soul included air-conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control, Bluetooth and a four-speaker sound system with satellite radio and an iPod/USB jack. Moving up through the trims brought alloy wheels, premium audio, power-folding sideview mirrors, a sunroof, automatic climate control and a two-tone interior.

For 2012 a number of important improvements took place, notably more engine output, new six-speed transmissions and revised steering. The base Soul's 1.6-liter four made 138 hp and could be paired to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The other Souls' 2.0-liter four cranked out 164 hp. The Soul + had the same transmission choices as the base model, while the Soul ! was automatic only. That year the Soul's styling was slightly updated inside and out and a number of new technology options, such as a navigation system, debuted as well.

In reviews, we noted that the Soul's cabin offered a nice balance between form and function, while the available two-tone houndstooth upholstery gave the Soul more flair than its rivals. Gauges and controls are well-placed and easy to use, even when fitted with high-tech options like the voice-controlled Uvo infotainment system that allows you to control your cell phone, iPod and more with voice commands. A major benefit of the Soul's boxy design is the abundant head- and legroom, even in the backseat.

As with the following generation, the 2.0-liter engine is the one to get, especially since fuel economy is on par with the smaller engine. In terms of handling, the Soul doesn't offer the sort of zippy nature provided by some other small cars, but it isn't a soft snooze-mobile either. The ride quality is pretty agreeable, though models fitted with the admittedly sharp-looking 18-inch alloy wheels can feel harsh over bad pavement.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 396.00
  • Easy in and out - 2013 Kia Soul
    By -

    CD players are not available after 2013. We have a huge collection and that was desirable to us. The main driver has a paralyzed left leg, and getting in and out easily was our top priority. Very pleased.

  • Best Car Ever. - 2010 Kia Soul
    By -

    This vehicle is the best choice you can possibly make when it comes to buying your next urban/short-to-mid distance traveling. It is cheap, maximizes utility, is strong enough to handle the competition, is efficient gas-wise, is stylish, and is among the most durable cars ever made by Kia. The ONLY gripe about this vehicle is that the interior vinyl scratches easily as heck. Be sure to buy some vinyl protection/repair material. I suggest Meguiar's Accent Coating.

  • First Experiences - 2010 Kia Soul
    By -

    Got Special Edition 2 with 18" wheels and low profile tires w/TPMS, orange w/racing stripe, sunroof, upgraded stereo, steering wheel controls, bluetooth, sport suspension. Very happy after two weeks. Got 29.2 MPG on first fill-up in mostly suburban street driving. Have ridden 4 people, backset riders said were very comfortable. Ride is tight as expected with sport suspension. Car is quiet- no high road noise as have read in other reviews, even at 65-70 mph. Soul looks to be good balance of sportiness, fuel economy, and cargo/passenger utility w/ top drawer warranty. In short, it does a lot of things pretty well at a very reasonable price.

  • Best car for the money!! - 2013 Kia Soul
    By -

    I've owned my 2012 Soul+ for a little over a year and have 17K miles on it and can't say enough about it. I love the Infinity sound system upgrade I got and would highly recommend it. It's pretty peppy which I like so I guess I can't complain too much about the fuel economy. I'm a large person at 6'2" and 350 pounds and this is the most comfortable vehicle to get in and out of I've ever had. I'm someone who loves to buy a new car every year (Sometimes even more frequently) but this car I will definitely be hanging on to for many years to come. I don't see how you can beat this vehicles options and warranty for how cheap they are. What a value!!

  • No Regrets but some minor improvements - 2010 Kia Soul
    By -

    I got this car to upgrade from my ford focus. I remember seeing the soul in the commercial awhile back and kept saying i really like that car and the more i saw the commercial the more I wanted this car. Finally I saw the Soul at the dealer outside displayed wit all the doors open. I always said I would never get a car in red but the soul was awesome in red and plus it was the sport edition which was perfect. regrets in getting the soul, the car had a unique look a lot better then a cube and scion (those cars a horrible looking). Soul is just right with exterior design and also interior comfortable to drive in. Everyone keeps telling me the car is just right for me.

  • Great for the $ - you will love it - 2010 Kia Soul
    By -

    I was going to wait til I had at least 1000 miles on the odometer, but couldn't wait. As a 53 yr old woman, this is my first non-American made auto...better warranty, price and style than anything else around for the money! I should have bought two!! I was hooked on the Alien, was able to get a great price, including the sunroof/fog lamps. It's my "little mean green machine" So far, after 7 days, it's great for what it is. Fits the very tall to the overwide comfortably. This may be for the younger crowd, but there were more people my age buying the Soul!!

  • Finally Got the Kia Soul! - 2014 Kia Soul
    By -

    It was worth the wait.

  • Kia Soul u gotta luv it - 2010 Kia Soul
    By -

    Just bought my Soul Sport Black (Shadow) with the sun roof. I luv the car and everything it comes with. The bluetooth is just great and the sound system rocks. You must remember the price of this car (I paid 18,900) and everything that you get, what a deal. It rides great and I have no problems with it.

  • Love my Soul - 2010 Kia Soul
    By -

    I love my "Little Big" Soul. It looks small but has great room inside. I love the fact it is "different" looking than most cars on the road. Handles great.

  • The Ghost... - 2010 Kia Soul
    By -

    My husband & I chose this car on a whim We first noticed the leather seats & color, later found out it was a special edition "Ghost". After learning about the 100 mile/10 yr warranty & Kia reputation plus safety record we said lets do it & bought it. My hubby drives it & all his buddies are impressed with how much room it has and the look. He carries his tools, golf clubs very comfortably. We like the features its fully loaded, bluetooth, sunroof, awesome stereo, etc. Drives great, he uses for work & has to drive often to sites for work, gas has been pretty good, it's smaller tank than our Equinox, but mileage is fair. The ride is smooth & it's a fun car for us 40+ folks.

Kia Soul Reviews By Year:
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