Buyer's Guide

2022 Kia Soul
Select a Different Model (6 Available): EX
Fuel Economy $ 29 / 35 mpg
Cargo (Std/Max) 24/62 cu.ft.
Seating (Std/Max) 5/5
Horsepower 147@6,200
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2022 Kia Soul MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Generous cargo space
  • Commendable road manners
  • Trouble-free smartphone integration

Cons

  • No AWD option
  • Base model active safety tech available by package only
  • Exterior design not for everyone

Having outlasted the Honda Element, Scion xB, and Nissan Cube, the Soul proved Kia could do boxy just as good as anyone else, if not better. The subcompact crossover made famous by hamsters has come into its own since it debuted in 2008. It's the least expensive way to get into one of the Korean brand's SUVs and comes in six different trims including the off-road inspired Soul X-Line and hot-hatch-aping Soul Turbo.

What's New

  • Updated design Kia badges
  • Soul LX receives an 8.0-inch touchscreen to replace last year's 7.0-inch unit
  • An available Technology package for the Soul LX adds active safety features and swaps steel wheels for alloy ones
  • Soul S, X-Line, and GT-Line trims get a standard 10.3-inch infotainment display with navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, pushbutton start, wireless device charger, and two USB chargers
  • Steel Gray replaces Sparkling Silver in the Soul LX, S, and EX trims' exterior color palette
  • The lineup's manual transmission has been retired

What We Think

The Kia Soul's look—or rather, it's shape—has always been polarizing, but the much evolved third-generation model is almost a different machine than the original model. It's always had lots of interior space both for passengers and cargo, but the 2022 Kia Soul also provides a much improved ride quality over the second-gen model. The car is poised in corners and over uneven surfaces, steering is accurate, and while it's not the most powerful subcompact SUV, it doesn't feel underpowered. The Soul's brakes have good bite and fade resistance, and its active safety features work with commendable polish.

Although not fancy, the Soul's cabin is simple, clean, and comfortable. It effectively kept out road noise until we moved up to 18-inch wheels and even then, it wasn't terrible. We also appreciated the Soul's seamless smartphone integration.

We lived with a 2020 Soul for a year and found it to be an ideal daily driver and errand runner. It's not winning any drag races, but there's a reason the model is one of our top-ranked subcompact SUVs, despite its lack of AWD availability. The Kia's practicality, driving dynamics, and affordability are solid, even if we don't know what to make of its boxy exterior.

Performance and Fuel Economy

Most of the Soul lineup relies on a 147-hp naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four engine, the exception being the Soul Turbo. That top trim gets a 201-hp 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4. The same trims that employ the naturally aspirated engine also get a CVT while the Turbo uses a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. All grades use FWD, as Kia still doesn't offer an AWD option.

Fuel economy for the 2022 Soul is identical to last year's version, 28-29/33-35 mpg city/highway for models with the naturally aspirated I-4 and CVT and 27/32 mpg for those with the turbo-four and automatic. Ratings for the Soul's naturally aspirated I-4 have an edge over the 2021 Toyota C-HR and its non-turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which was rated at 27/31 mpg.

Soul X-Line: Off-Road Adjacent

In X-Line trim, the 2022 Soul looks like it's ready to leave the pavement behind even if it's not necessarily equipped to do so. The grade doesn't receive any additional capability like extra ground clearance, the stouter turbo engine, or AWD, but it does receive a host of cosmetic upgrades like body cladding, X-Line-exclusive 18-inch wheels, and satin silver exterior accents. The trim also gets fog lights, roof rails, and mud guards. And with the third-gen's wraparound headlights, squint a little and the Soul X-Line starts to look a little like a Range Rover Evoque.

Safety Ratings and Features

The 2022 Soul received a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA while the IIHS has yet to publish ratings for the 2022 model. The previous model year Soul was named a 2021 Top Safety Pick by the IIHS, earning primarily Good scores in most categories except for headlights. Trims equipped with either halogen reflector or halogen projector headlights got Poor scores.

Kia calls its suite of active safety technologies Drive Wise and on the base trim Soul LX those features are available only through the optional Technology package. Starting with the X-Line trim, the Soul gets automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic monitoring, lane departure warning, and a driver focus monitor. The range-topping Soul Turbo additionally receives adaptive cruise control, a feature Kia doesn't make available on lower trims.

Cargo Space and Interior Room

Boxiness has its advantages. Consumers may be split on the attractiveness of the Soul's shape, but the design is good for interior space. Against the sleeker Toyota C-HR, the Soul offers more rear passenger legroom and gobs more cargo space.

Cargo space (behind first/second rows):

2022 Soul: 62.1/24.2 cubic feet
2021 C-HR: 37.0/19.1 cubic feet

Legroom (first/second rows):

2022 Soul: 41.1/38.8 inches
2021 C-HR: 43.5/31.7 inches

Technology

The Soul is Kia's least expensive crossover and comes appropriately outfitted with features such as keyless entry and an infotainment system with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, six speakers, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. The adventure-seeking Soul X-Line adds a pushbutton start, wireless device charging, a dual-zone climate control system, and its infotainment system is upgraded with a 10.3-inch touchscreen and navigation.

The Soul S and EX get an eight-way power adjustable driver seat and the EX further receives a sunroof and heated front seats. At the top of the trim lineup, the Soul Turbo is equipped with LED headlights, 10-way power-adjustable driver seat, heated steering wheel, and supplemental Harman Kardon center speaker, subwoofer, and amplifier for the infotainment system.

Recommended Trim

The 2022 Soul is available with six trims this year: LX, S, GT-Line, X-Line, EX, and Turbo. We think the EX trim is the best as it combines convenience features like wireless smartphone charging and dual-zone climate control with niceties like the larger infotainment touchscreen and sunroof. Plus, it's about $4,000 less than the top-grade Turbo model. The 2022 Soul EX stickers for around $25,000.

Other Subcompact SUVs:

2022 KIA SOUL SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
REBATES
Engine Name
Engine: 4-Cyl 2.0 Liter
Transmission Name
Transmission, 6 Speed Automatic with Manual Mode
Trim
EX
Class
Subcompact Utility
Horsepower
147@6,200
Standard MPG
29/35
Body Style
SUV/Crossover
Drivetrain
FWD
Fuel Type
Unleaded Regular
Seating Capacity
5/5
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
100,000
Maintenance Warranty Months
none
Corrosion Warranty Months
60
Powertrain Warranty Miles
100,000
Full Warranty Miles
60,000
Powertrain Warranty Months
120
Full Warranty Months
60
Roadside Assistance Miles
60,000
Maintenance Warranty Miles
N/R
Roadside Assistance Months
60
IIHS Best Pick
0
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$0 0.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models. 01-31-2022
$0 1.9% Financing for a maximum term of 66 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models. 01-31-2022
$0 2.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models. 01-31-2022
$0 3.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 75, 84 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models. 01-31-2022
$400 Kia announces a Bonus Cash on select models for eligible military personnel. 01-31-2022
$750 Kia announces Customer Cash on select models. 01-31-2022