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GREEN CHOICE

Kia Soul

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.

Reliability

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, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2020 Kia Soul has been recalled 1 time by NHTSA. View Recalls
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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 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.

Compare 2020 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.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
ENGINE
Apr 13, 2021
A damaged engine may stall, increasing the risk of a crash. In addition, oil may leak onto hot exhaust components, increasing the risk of a fire.
Summary:
Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Soul, and 2021 Seltos vehicles equipped with 2.0L Nu MPI engines. The piston oil rings may not have been properly heat-treated, which may result in engine damage.
What should you do:
Kia will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace the engine, free of charge. In addition, Kia will deploy Piston Ring Noise Sensing System (PNSS) software. The recall began June 11, 2021. Owners may contact Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542. Kia's number for this recall is SC209.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 21V259000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 147249
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