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2018 Kia Soul

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
7 photos

Kia Soul highlights

Customer rating

Pros

  • Plentiful standard and optional features
  • User-friendly and attractively styled interior
  • Lots of passenger space
  • Excellent crash test scores

Cons

  • Unimpressive fuel economy
  • Ride quality can be overly harsh with bigger wheels

Mileage (EPA estimate)

24 city, 30 highway, 27 combined

Pricing for current inventory

(no current inventory)

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Fun and funky, the 2018 Kia Soul is also affordable and practical

Is it a wagon? A hatchback? Kia says it’s an SUV. Whatever you call it, the 2018 Kia Soul is a distinctively styled, feature-packed, affordable and practical way to get around town. It’s available in three trims — base, mid-range Plus (+) and top-end Exclaim (!) — each with its own four-cylinder engine.

The Soul comes standard with a lengthy list of features that includes a six-speaker audio system with USB input and Bluetooth. The mid-range Plus (+) adds Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ smartphone integration, and options packages that include a full suite of driver assist systems, such as automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. Even a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats are available, surprising for an entry-level car. The Exclaim (!) trim stands out thanks to its turbocharged engine, making it surprisingly fun to drive.

Aside from the looks, which aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, about the only downside to the Soul is fuel economy that trails similarly sized and priced cars. The base and Plus (+) only get an EPA-estimated 27 mpg combined score. Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov.

All Kia Soul years

What is new for the 2018 Kia Soul?

  • Automated Cruise Control, Power Seat(s), and Rear Seat Heaters features are now available as options on select trims.
  • The + trim now comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment.
  • The ! trim now comes with Cloth Seats as standard equipment.

2018 Kia Soul trims

Curious how Kia Soul trims differ? Use our side-by-side vehicle comparison to see the differences and similarities

Base:

  • 130-hp, 118-lb-ft of torque 1.6L
  • Rear Defroster
  • Cloth Seats
  • Power Mirrors
  • Traction Control
  • Side Airbags
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Alloy Wheels
  • Manual Transmission
  • View our Kia Soul inventory

+:

  • Includes all features available on the Base
  • 161-hp, 150-lb-ft of torque 2.0L
  • Cruise Control
  • Rear View Camera
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto

!:

  • Includes all features available on the +
  • 201-hp, 195-lb-ft of torque 1.6L
  • Leatherette & Cloth
  • Smart Key
  • Turbo Charged Engine
  • View our Kia Soul ! inventory

Kia Soul photos

5 reasons to buy the 2018 Kia Soul

What We Like

Funky style: It’s impossible to talk about the Kia Soul without mentioning its design. Tall and boxy, the Soul is instantly recognizable, and widely regarded as a cute and fun alternative to the multitude of compact SUVs on the road today. Kia has wisely iterated on the basic design it introduced for the 2010 model year, giving the little Soul a timeless quality. While it may not be universally loved, there’s no question style is a big factor behind the Soul’s success.

Utility and flexibility: Unlike a lot of style-driven vehicles, the Soul’s boxy shape actually enhances its utility. There’s plenty of headroom thanks to the high roofline, even for tall drivers and passengers. Behind the rear seats, there’s decent cargo space, and if those rear seats are folded, it expands to near-cavernous proportions.

Driving fun: The turbocharged Soul Exclaim (!) is obviously the most fun to drive of the Soul trio, but even the mid-range Plus (+) is sporty and surprisingly agile. Without an all-wheel drive system to accommodate, the Soul is lower to the ground than more traditional SUV competitors, giving it a lower center of gravity and enhancing its agility.

What Needs Improvement

Fuel economy: We do wish that the Soul’s fuel economy was more in line with its mission of affordable transportation. While the EPA-estimated 27 mpg

combined score isn’t bad, it trails contemporary competitors like the Honda HR-V and Toyota CH-R. Surprisingly, the more powerful turbocharged engine gets the best fuel economy, with an EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined score.

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

The 2018 Kia Soul is a small car that is easy to drive and has a lot of room for passengers. Customers like that it has good fuel economy and has a lot of driver assistance features.
4
Excellent

RepairPal gave the Kia Soul an overall reliability rating of 4 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Excellent. This rating ranks Kia Soul 3rd out of 8 among Subcompact SUVs.

View RepairPal's full rating of the Kia Soul

Kia Soul features and specs

Base 2WD 4D Wagon

Standard Features

  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Cloth Seats
  • Manual Transmission
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Side Airbags
  • Traction Control
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Cloth Seats
  • Cruise Control
  • Rear View Camera

Drive Wheels

Front Wheel Drive (2WD)

Engine size

1.6L

Horsepower

130

Torque (ft-lbs)

118

Engine type

Gas

Fuel capacity

14.2

Wheelbase

101.2"

Overall length

163"

Width

70.9"

Height

63.5"

Leg room

F 40.9"/R 39.1"

Head room

F 39.6"/R 39.5"

Front tires

P205/60HR16

Rear tires

P205/60HR16

Seating capacity

5

Transmission

Manual 6

2018 Kia Soul FAQ

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