The Soul lives in that increasingly gray area between hatchbacks and SUVs. A boxy, upright design gives it abundant interior space and super-easy access. You sit up high in chairlike seats, surrounded by an ample glass area for good visibility. Overall, it feels like driving a small SUV, but one that's lower to the ground. But unlike a true SUV, the Soul is available only with front-wheel drive.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard.
Road Test

The Soul lives in that increasingly gray area between hatchbacks and SUVs. A boxy, upright design gives it abundant interior space and super-easy access. You sit up high in chairlike seats, surrounded by an ample glass area for good visibility. Overall, it feels like driving a small SUV, but one that's lower to the ground. But unlike a true SUV, the Soul is available only with front-wheel drive.

Distinctiveness remains another part of the Soul's appeal. The quirky styling reminds some of a surfer dude with wraparound shades. Special edition color packages add to the levity. There is also a generous list of options, many seemingly more fitting to a luxury sedan than a boxy econocar, including features like a heated steering wheel and ventilated front seats.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
wagon
Transmissions Available
  • 7-speed Sequential
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 1-speed Direct
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • electric (109 hp)
  • 1.6-liter 4 turbo (201 hp)
  • 1.6-liter 4 (130 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 (161 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2017 Kia Soul owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Back window had small water seepage that came into the inside of the glass only on hard rain downpours or car wash. It was a small trickle on passenger side top."

Anonymous, TX (2017 Kia Soul Plus 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"Something rattles in the rear of the cab. Not sure if it's the seat latch or what, but we would rather deal with it than take it back to the dealer."

Barry S., AZ (2017 Kia Soul Base 1.6-L 4 Cyl)

"Rattles come and go and the service people couldn't find the problem. Passenger and driver cannot confirm where the rattle come from."

Anonymous, AZ (2017 Kia Soul)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"A dash light indicated a problem with the abs system. The Kia dealer replaced the sensor which failed. This was covered under warranty so it was no problem."

Anonymous, MS (2017 Kia Soul Base 1.6-L 4 Cyl)
Rotors

"Excessive rusting along the rim of the rotor discs."

David C., NS (2017 Kia Soul Plus 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Pre-mature heavy rust and wear"

David C., NS (2017 Kia Soul 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel injection system

"Engine light coming on repeatedly Hesitation when pressing gas Bucking or shaking at very low or stalled speed"

Anonymous, (2017 Kia Soul Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Check engine light coming on because of the fuel tank cap 15-20 times We are 80% sure it has been resolved"

Anonymous, (2017 Kia Soul Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"Automatic system could not control / prevent heat from constantly running even in summer months with the setting on its lowest (most cooling) number. System was replaced (under warranty) requiring two weeks to order & install (but a rental was provided by dealer / KIA)."

Anonymous, OH (2017 Kia Soul Exclaim 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Heater system

"Heater system kept running even during summer months (cooling set to lowest number yet was ignored by system)."

Anonymous, OH (2017 Kia Soul Exclaim 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"I was driving and had to pull over bc the car would no longer run, had it towed and Kia replaced the engine under the vehicle warranty"

Anonymous, TX (2017 Kia Soul Plus Unsure)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Drivers side front turn signal has a short in it causing the bulb to blow out"

Anonymous, FL (2017 Kia Soul Plus 1.6-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"transmission failed and had to be replaced. was not shifting correctly"

Thomas L., WV (2017 Kia Soul EV 1.6-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Apple CarPlay

"You have to have an Apple Phone in order for the Car Play to work or for you to communicate with your car via blue tooth in order to have your car call someone"

Anonymous, (2017 Kia Soul Base 1.6-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Starter

"Engine would not start after a full charge. I turned out after about a month of trial and error it needed a software update."

Anonymous, NY (2017 Kia Soul Plus Electric)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

"The EV charging system failed twice and had to be replaced twice."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Kia Soul EV Electric)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

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