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.

Reliability

We expect the 2021 Soul will be much less reliable than the average new car. This prediction is based on data from 2020 models. Select the used car model year to see reported issues with those similar past models.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
Research Years * Redesign year
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Overall Reliability Verdict
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
Engine Minor
Engine Cooling
Transmission Major
Transmission Minor
Drive System
Fuel System
Electric System
Climate System
Suspension
Brakes
Exhaust
Paint/Trim
Body Integrity
Body Hardware
Power Equipment
In-car Electronics
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA 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.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2018 Kia Soul owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"In my previous explanation I went over it. It just struggles to get in gear. It doesn't feel safe to drive. When accelerating from a stop the engine revs and jams into gear chirping the tires. That's with barely giving any gas. It constantly hunts for the right gear to be in, once it finally decides it slams into gear shocking the whole car"

Anonymous, (2018 Kia Soul Exclaim 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Slipping transmission

"The dual clutch transmission in this car is horiffic. It's terrible to drive and I completely regret the purchase. Leaving the house in the morning it reverses out of the garage just fine, once in drive it bucks and kicks starting from a stop. It continues to struggle to accelerate from a stop until it's completely warmed up. Once it's warmed up it still slips but not as severely. I've taken the car to two different dealerships and they say it's performing under spec and there's nothing to fix. The car is undrivable. It's a fantastic car otherwise but the poorly executed transmission design and complete indifference from the dealer means this car will be gone ASAP"

Anonymous, (2018 Kia Soul Exclaim 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"The rear glass in the rear hatch would leak when exposed to water,either from rain,or car wash at the top all the way across."

Gary A., AZ (2018 Kia Soul Base 1.6-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"The suspension makes too many squeaks for a new car"

Anonymous, VA (2018 Kia Soul Base 1.6-L 4 Cyl)

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

Cruise control

"Intermittent failure of the steering wheel control button. It wouldn't turn off the CC. I had to touch the brake pedal to disengage the CC system."

Anonymous, (2018 Kia Soul Exclaim 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Keyless entry

"The problem was actually the main battery was not holding a charge, since it is an EV, that caused the entire car to need to be "jump" started until the battery was replaced. The battery was the original factory battery and had failed prematurely."

Anonymous, (2018 Kia Soul EV Electric)

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

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Gps is VERY difficult to set up and program, identify, save and retrieve- shouldn't be that hard. Four different people at dealership tried / all failed."

Anonymous, KY (2018 Kia Soul Plus 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"ABS light appeared on dash. no braking problems. went to dealer. THEY HAD TO CHANGE THE ENTIRE MODULE UNDER WARRANTY. ABOUT $3000.00"

Anonymous, QC (2018 Kia Soul Exclaim 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

A/C compressor

"Stopped working on hottest day of year here. Took one week for appointment, then 1 day more after identifying problem.. Five hour wait in shop to replace compressor and refill with fluid."

Anonymous, NY (2018 Kia Soul Plus 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

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.

What Owners Say

Sunroof

"Sunroof broke while open. Had to drive to dealership and they stored indoors until they were able to close it. It's still broken, waiting for covid to blow over before getting it fixed. Still under warranty."

Anonymous, ON (2018 Kia Soul Unsure 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

Turbo or supercharger

"the turbocharger would engage with difficulty. the dealer took care of the problem asap"

Max W., NC (2018 Kia Soul Plus 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"The transmission when cold developed a really bad shift when starting out that went away once warmed up. As time went on the bad shifting and slipping got worse until it wouldn't move anymore. The dual clutch transmission ended up needing to be replaced under warranty"

Travis S., TX (2018 Kia Soul Exclaim 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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.

Engine Minor

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

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

Exhaust

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

Engine Cooling

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

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.

Drive System

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

Paint/Trim

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

Compare 2018 Models

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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
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