The Kia Soul is a compelling alternative to compact sedans and SUVs. It’s small on the outside but feels roomy inside. Its practical, boxy design gives it a cheerful personality. The third-generation model is new for 2020. Its exterior may look familiar, but Kia has improved the Soul’s fuel economy and added advanced safety features.
Alerts
There is 1 recall on this vehicle. Learn More.

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.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
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.
NA
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 Kia Soul is a compelling alternative to compact sedans and SUVs. It’s small on the outside but feels roomy inside. Its practical, boxy design gives it a cheerful personality.

The third-generation model is new for 2020. Its exterior may look familiar, but Kia has improved the Soul’s fuel economy and added advanced safety features.

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
  • CVT
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 1.6-liter 4 turbo (201 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 (147 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2020 Kia Soul owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Totally stoped on the expressway. Had to be towed to dealer. They replaced the transmission"

Anonymous, FL (2020 Kia Soul EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Was having some problems with my IVT (hesitation and odd shifting). Took it to KIA to have them check it out. Originally they said it was normal but I figured okay, I'll just drive it until it fails, I know what a failing transmission feels like as I've had more than my fair share go on previous vehicles. While I was there, decided to have them perform an oil change since it has almost been a year and they recommended it. Before the oil change was finished one of the servicemen there came and said, "Well,we just heard back from KIA and we're just going to replace it." Gave me a rental car and said it would be about a week. Left my car on a Thursday and they called me on Tuesday morning to say it was ready. Actually a rather painless procedure. Mileage was 3200 when it went"

Anonymous, (2020 Kia Soul GT-Line 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Cvs wouldn't shift darter 10000 miles. Kia replaced transmission but it took 2 months. I got a loaner car and was reimbursed for 2 months of car payments. Love car otherwise."

Anonymous, NJ (2020 Kia Soul LX 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

Locks and latches

"The sunglasses compartment above the mirror would unlatch itself when we went over bumps. The dealership replaced it but only after a very long wait for a replacement part."

Anonymous, CA (2020 Kia Soul LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Seat belts

"The seat belts don't always retracted fully. They will dent the door frame and cause the door to not close all the way."

Anonymous, (2020 Kia Soul EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"Noticed about 3mo after purchase. To save power the engine turns off at long stops. When easing off the brake and stepping on the gas after it has done this, there is a squeal or friction-sounding noise. we took it in to the dealership service department and they replicated it, but said there is no fix for it and that it doesn't do any harm. This seems unlikely to me. Something must be rubbing against something else to make that noise, and I don't want to hear that in a brand new car."

Anonymous, CA (2020 Kia Soul LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

"The wind noise just makes it so loud inside the cabin that it's hard to hear other occupants and you have to turn up the radio so loud to hear it over the noise."

Anonymous, OK (2020 Kia Soul GT-Line 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Premature brake wear

"The brakes crunched when I pressed down on the peddle."

Anonymous, (2020 Kia Soul EX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaking

"I felt the brakes grab and a crunching noise when I pressed down on the brake peddle. The vehicle came to hard stop."

Anonymous, IL (2020 Kia Soul LX 2.0-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

External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"I cannot connect my IPOD. The dealer could not do it and said the IPOD it did not play on the KIA, but the instruction booklet indicated that it should play."

Anonymous, CA (2020 Kia Soul Unsure Unsure)
Software update fixes

"Linked to the sensor problem."

Anonymous, TN (2020 Kia Soul GT-Line 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

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.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"Car continues to pull to the right. We had it in for service 3 times. Each time they say they have fixed it but the problem continues."

Anonymous, FL (2020 Kia Soul LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"When shifting from a higher gear down into second gear, it sometimes gets stuck. I have to downshift to first and then back up to second at times."

Anonymous, (2020 Kia Soul LX 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"Check engine light has come on three times. Cause unknown"

Anonymous, CO (2020 Kia Soul X-Line 1.6-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Engine Cooling

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

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.

Engine Major

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

Climate System

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

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.

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.

Exhaust

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

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