Kia Soul

Kia launched its Soul model in 2009 as a fun and exciting improvement to the industry’s economical class of vehicles. The hatchback wagon offers the automobile industry a creative approach to a somewhat uninteresting lineup of budget-friendly cars.

More on the Kia Soul
Kia Soul Origins

Kia expanded its lineup with the addition of the Soul hatchback wagon for the 2010 model year. The South Korean automaker builds the Soul on the Rio platform with a unique body and full customization options. With the introduction of the Soul in 2009, Kia appealed to a broader market that valued economical prices but secretly longed for a dash of panache.

The quirky styling and competitive pricing of the Kia Soul makes it a hit among budget-conscious buyers who desire a dash of unique style. Everything about the Kia Soul screams unique, right down to its four trim levels: base, +, !, and Sport.

The introductory vehicle comes in 11 colors and sports quirky names like Alien and Dune. The price speaks to many car buyers, as well as enthusiasts, desiring a little speed with the Soul Sport model, which accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds.

In 2011, Kia added notable upgrades. The 2012 Kia Soul contains a more powerful engine, massive styling updates, advanced technology, and a new six-speed transmission.

About the Kia Soul

Kia makes the economy car more desirable with the Soul model. The value for the car is impressive, and its whimsical design appeals to buyers looking to express their uniqueness with their car. Many economical cars offer low prices, but they seem to avoid excitement. Kia shifts this stigma with the Soul.

The Kia Soul’s boxy design is ideal for carrying large items, even though it only offers moderate cargo space at best. The fuel economy tests below average for a car of its size and performance.

The model also receives an overall score of four out of five stars in government crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awards the Kia Soul a rating of ""Good,"" its highest accolade, for its performance in frontal offset, side-impact, and roof-strength tests.

Kia Soul Features

The success of the Kia Soul continues in 2012 as Kia makes some notable improvements to enhance the model. The exterior styling displays an upgrade, and the interior boasts new features such as a telescoping wheel, optional heated seats, and a navigation system. Mechanical upgrades top off the improvements with the addition of a more powerful direct-injection 1.6-liter engine and 22 more horsepower for the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. Additional performance features included new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.

The 2012 Kia Soul is a practical, yet stylish vehicle with a long list of standard features. The model comes in three trim levels: base, +, and !. The base hatchback includes a 138 horsepower, 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine; 15-inch steel wheels; air-conditioning; a 60/40-split folding rear seat; a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; a four-speaker sound system with satellite radio, auxiliary audio jack, and iPod/USB audio interface. Buyers can opt for the automatic transmission, which comes with keyless entry, rear privacy glass, and Bluetooth connectivity, among other options.

The Soul + features heated mirrors, storage bins, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and interior metal-like trim. With the Audio upgrade, additions include automatic headlights, a rearview camera, an Infinity sound system, HD radio, an Uvo interface, and tricolor speaker lights.

The Soul ! includes the standard features of the lower trims with 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, LED daytime running lights, a sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, upholstery in a houndstooth pattern, and the Audio Package. Additional options include leather upholstery, heated seats, a navigation system, and automatic climate control.

The Soul + and Soul ! enjoy performance upgrades with the 164 hp, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. The Soul ! offers an automatic transmission only.

Kia Soul Evolution

Kia introduced the whimsical trim levels with the 2010 models; they include base, +, !, and Sport models. The car presents a long list of standard equipment with the ability to customize style and performance. The Soul Sport added on a sport-tuned suspension, two-tone red-black interior, and exterior trim details.

The 2011 Kia Soul adds rear disc brakes to replace the 2010 rear drums, which helps to smooth the ride. Some other minor additions improve the exterior and interior as well.

For the 2012 model year, Kia eliminated the Sport trim and enhanced the car’s performance with a more powerful engine, a new six-speed transmission, and minor changes to the suspension. Revised steering also contributes to the car’s performance. In addition, the vehicle boasts numerous style upgrades to the interior and exterior.

Though longevity is a concern, rave reviews and increased sales keep the Kia Soul in forward motion. With an impressive list of standard features, competitive pricing, and unique characteristics, the Kia Soul is here to stay.

Select a Kia Soul Year

2012 Kia Soul

Compact, Hatchback


A few changes have been made to the 2012 Kia Soul. The major change is the increased engine power and fuel efficiency. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine now puts out 135 horsepower, an 11 percent increase from last year, and the 2.0-liter engine produces 160-horsepower, a 13 percent increase from last year. Technologies have been added such as gasoline direct injection and a new Infinity sound system. The exterior has been refreshed for the 2012 model year.

ESTIMATED RESALE: $10,221

MPG
23-30
Seats
5

2011 Kia Soul

Compact, Hatchback


Minor changes come with the 2011 Soul: the exterior door handles are now the grip-type, plus on ! and sport models, heated side mirrors are available. Inside, rear-seat headrest height adjustment and illuminated window switches are standard, blue and green have been added to the speaker lights, and new options include automatic climate control, leather seats, cargo cover, and pushbutton start.

ESTIMATED RESALE: $9,350

MPG
24-31
Seats
5

2010 Kia Soul
ESTIMATED RESALE: $8,703

MPG
24-31
Seats
5

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