Is the Kia Soul a Good Car?
The 2019 Kia Soul is one of the best compact cars on the market. It features an exceptionally spacious and comfortable cabin, and its build quality is nicer than you’d expect from a vehicle at this price point. The Soul carries one of the lowest price tags in the class while also featuring one of the longest warranties. That said, this Kia gets poor gas mileage, and its base engine is lacking power. However, the available turbocharged engine delivers peppy acceleration.
Should I Buy the Kia Soul?
Not only is the 2019 Soul a well-rounded compact hatchback, it’s also a great value. The Soul gives you one of the roomiest, most refined cabins among compact cars at a budget-friendly price. Shoppers interested in a more powerful engine or additional features can upgrade to one of the higher trim levels without breaking the bank. Still, models like the Hyundai Veloster and Mazda CX-3 are more fun to drive, and they get slightly better fuel economy ratings.
Should I Buy a New or Used Kia Soul?
The 2019 Kia Soul is part of a generation that debuted for the 2014 model year. For 2019, Kia adds a standard 5-inch touch screen with voice recognition and a standard rearview camera. There were no major changes to the 2018 Soul, but the 2017 model underwent a slight exterior design refresh, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto became available. Most other changes for the 2017, 2016, and 2015 model years are minor, so you can go as far back as the 2014 model year to save money on a similar Soul.
We Did the Research for You: 39 Reviews Analyzed
We’ve analyzed 39 Kia Soul reviews, as well as fuel economy estimates, performance specs, crash test results, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.
This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current Soul generation, which runs from 2014 to 2019.
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U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.
How Much Does the Kia Soul Cost?
The 2019 Kia Soul’s base price is a budget-friendly $16,490, which is one of the lowest starting prices in the class. An automatic transmission increases the price to $18,190. The Soul Plus (+) and Soul Exclaim (!) cost $20,490 and $22,990, respectively. An all-electric Soul model – the Soul EV – is also available in select parts of the country. Pricing for the 2019 Soul EV is currently unavailable but should be close to the 2018 price, which starts at $33,950. A tax credit of up to $7,500 is available with the Soul EV.
Kia Soul Versus the Competition
Which Is Better: Kia Soul or Hyundai Veloster?
Performance-minded shoppers should take a look at the Hyundai Veloster. This compact car has a more powerful base engine and more athletic handling than the Kia. The Veloster also has nearly as much cargo space as the Soul and more standard features, including safety and smartphone integration features. Nonetheless, the Soul comes with more passenger space, a higher-quality interior, and a lower base price. The Soul is the winner here.
Which Is Better: Kia Soul or Mazda CX-3?
The Mazda CX-3 is a subcompact SUV with sporty performance and eager acceleration from its base engine. The CX-3 has a better fuel economy rating than the Soul, but this Kia has more interior and cargo space, as well as a lower list price. Both models rank high in their respective classes, so choosing between the two comes down to personal preference.
How Many People Does the Soul Seat?
The Soul has one of the largest cabins in the class, with enough room for four adults to sit comfortably and stretch out (though technically, it can seat five). The front seats are supportive, but the rear seats could use a little more cushioning.
Soul and Car Seats
The 2019 Soul has two sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether anchor on the middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for its ease of use. The lower anchors are buried too deep in the outer seats, but the system is otherwise easy to use.
Soul Interior Quality
Filled with high-quality materials, the Soul has one of the nicest cabins in the class. Cloth seats are standard, while leather-trimmed seats, full leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and power-adjustable front seats are available.
Soul Cargo Space
The Soul’s got you covered when it comes to cargo space, offering more room than most rivals. It comes with 24.2 cubic feet of space with the rear seats in use and 61.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. Keep in mind, however, that the rear seats don’t fold completely flat.
Soul Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation
Standard features include a 5-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, voice recognition, Bluetooth, a USB port, Siri Eyes Free, and satellite radio. Available features include Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a larger 7- or 8-inch touch-screen UVO infotainment system, a Harman Kardon premium audio system, and two extra USB ports.
Soul Engine: Weak Base Engine; Strong Turbo
A feeble 130-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine powers the base front-wheel-drive 2019 Kia Soul. The Soul Plus (+) trim’s 161-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder will give you a little more power and is the best choice for most drivers. The Soul Exclaim (!) has the most powerful engine and is the best pick for spirited driving. It comes with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that delivers 201 horsepower. In some parts of the country, a Soul EV model is available with a 109-horsepower electric motor that is a good choice for drivers who care more about fuel efficiency than power.
Soul Gas Mileage: Not Great
The base 2019 Kia Soul delivers 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, which is below average for the class. With an automatic transmission, the Soul gets an extra 2 mpg in the city and 1 mpg on the highway. The midlevel engine gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, while the turbo-four gets 26/31 mpg.
Soul Ride and Handling: Good All-Around Performance
A composed ride and fairly agile handling make the 2019 Kia Soul a good commuter vehicle. It isn’t as nimble as some competitors, but it can take curvy roads well.
See models and pricing, as well as photos and videos about 2020 Kia Soul. We reviews the 2020 Kia Soul Release where consumers can find detailed information on specs, fuel economy, transmission and safety.
Explore the design, performance and technology features of the 2020 Kia Soul. See models and pricing, as well as photos and videos. The 2020 Kia Soul Review goes to excess the right kinds of excess to preserve its best-of status. Find out if the new 2020 Kia Soul coupe takes a step forward in our first-drive review. See photos and get the story at Car and Driver.
2020 Kia Soul Concept
Reviews, videos, latest news, specs and road tests on the 2020 Kia Soul. Top Gear reviews the Review. Terrific refinement, class-leading technology, and incredible interior quality. Want to know more? Read more.