The Soul might just be the most recognizable model Kia makes. The quirky yet boxy small SUV (or hatch, depending on your view) continues to offer an excellent blend of character and practicality in its third generation. Available in multiple flavors, there's a Kia Soul to suit your needs ranging from an excellent commuter car to a sporty Turbo model.
Unfortunately, the Kia Soul still lacks an AWD option. You'll need to opt for the new Seltos if you want a subcompact SUV from Kia with available AWD.
The Kia Soul remains one of the strongest entries in the subcompact SUV class. Blending practicality, agreeable road manners, and attitude, the Soul proves you don't need to spend a fortune to drive something distinctive. All variants provide great ride and handling, giving the driver confidence when the road gets twisty. Surprisingly good body control keeps the Soul from feeling overly tipsy even when pushed. The base 147-hp 2.0-liter I-4 offers respectable performance and never feels lacking. Credit the well-tuned CVT for keeping the engine in the sweet spot.
Should you need more power, the Soul Turbo offers a significant bump in straight-line performance. Kia's 201-hp 1.6-liter turbo-four adds a nice dose of power while maintaining good fuel economy. Just make sure you're OK with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic's clunky operation at low speeds. The Turbo model's sport-tuned suspension improves the Soul's handling without hurting ride comfort too much, even with the standard 18-inch wheels.
Rounding out the Kia Soul's appeal is the interior. Although there are plenty of hard plastics, they feel well put together, especially considering the starting price of under $20,000. Kia's infotainment system remains one of the best thanks to its user-friendliness. Even with the optional 10.3-inch touchscreen, the interface is easy to understand. The boxy greenhouse provides superb visibility and plenty of space for people and gear. However, you get a bit more wind noise because the shape is less aerodynamic.
Two engines are offered on the 2021 Kia Soul, including a 2.0-liter I-4 with 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque on the LX, X-Line, S, EX, and GT-Line models. At the top of the lineup, a 1.6-liter turbo-four rated at 201 hp and 195 lb.-ft sits under the hood of the Turbo variant. The 2.0-liter can be paired to either a six-speed manual or a CVT automatic, while the 1.6-liter is only available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
EPA fuel economy estimates for the 2.0-liter are 25/31 mpg city/highway with the manual or 28/33 mpg with the CVT. The Eco Dynamics model, which is essentially a CVT-equipped base-trim Soul, is the most efficient at 29/35 mpg. Turbo variants don't sacrifice much in the fuel economy front and are rated at 27/32 mpg.
Every 2021 Kia Soul except the base LX grade gets a generous range of standard driver assistance technologies. X-Line and above get standard forward collision warning, front and rear automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, driver attention warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The range-topping Turbo model adds adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection.
The 2021 Kia Soul offers up to 24.2 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats up. With the standard two-level cargo floor in its upper position, capacity shrinks to 18.7 cubic feet of capacity behind the rear seats. Capacity expands to 62.1 cubic feet with the second row folded and removable cargo floor removed.
The 2021 Soul features two versions of Kia's latest infotainment system. On the LX, S, X-Line, and GT-Line grades, the interface features a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a six-speaker audio system. EX and Turbo models get a larger 10.3-inch touchscreen, built-in navigation, and wireless charging. Turbo models also add a Harman Kardon audio system and a head-up display. We've generally been fans of how easy Kia's infotainment systems are to use.
Consider the EX grade because it gets many features found in the range-topping Turbo model (like the large 10.3-inch touchscreen) and nearly every driver assistance feature except adaptive cruise control. Additionally, you get the base 147-hp 2.0-liter I-4 and CVT combo, which is smoother than the optional turbocharged engine while still offering sufficient power.
|$400||Kia announces a Bonus Cash on select models for eligible military personnel.||06-30-2021|
|$0||0.9% Financing for a maximum term of 66 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models.||07-06-2021|
|$0||0% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models.||07-06-2021|
|$0||1.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models.||07-06-2021|
|$0||2.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 75, 84 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models.||07-06-2021|
|$1750||Kia announces Customer Cash on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||07-06-2021|
|$750||Kia announces a Trade-In Assistance program on select models.||07-06-2021|