2011 Kia Soul Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Kia Soul Wagon

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Kia Soul Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.6 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 122 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 26/31 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2011 Kia Soul

  • The 2011 Kia Soul brings hipster styling and a fun-to-drive nature to the realm of the practical hatchback.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Loads of available features; highly customizable; user-friendly controls; ample passenger space; surprisingly fun to drive; low price; long warranty.

  • Cons

    Limited cargo room versus competitors; noisy and busy highway ride; unrefined manual transmission.

  • What's New for 2011

    The Kia Soul receives a few improvements for 2011, with new rear shock absorbers and standard rear disc brakes (replacing last year's rear drums) being the most notable. Other minor changes include new door handles, push-button start, a trip computer and heated outside mirrors.

Gas Mileage


  • 26
  • cty
  • 31
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

18 months... the paint!!

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Soul 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

So I've owned my Kia Soul for 18 months, still love driving it, maintenance is a no brainer, however, while washing it today I noticed a fine rusting (white car) on most panels, even the major plastic pieces!! I will be calling Monday for an appointment, I just am putting it out there for others to watch for, I live in Florida so no winter conditions here, no road salt etc. I will update after it gets looked at. Others have posted with paint issues, better safe I guess. The only problem with the car to date is the brake light switch at the pedal failed and it took the dealer 5 days to get me in to replace the switch, which of course was a warranty repair. So no brakes for 5 days

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

You don't drive the soul;

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Soul 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

Bought my base model Kia Soul in late May, 2011 and have put 8,800 miles on to date. Good value and fun to drive. Lots of room inside. The car is nimble and the brakes excellent. Biggest problem is driving it like a sports car, and forgetting that the vehicles around me can't stop as quickly under yellow lights.Gas mileage averaging 27.5 local, and 29.5 on trips Shape is unusual and draws comments and curiosity. Like the fact I can find it in a parking lot, because it doesn't look like a lot of other cars. ( I am a 68 year old male). This is my third Kia, if I count the 1992 Ford Festiva, which was made by Kia. Can't beat the value for the money. Quality and dependability good.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Excellent value

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Soul 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

I bought my Kia on 8/01/11 and have put over 2700 miles on it. I have averaged 31 mpg on every tank of gas and am extremely pleased with my purchase. From the moment I purchased this car it has been easy to just get in and take off driving. Me and my three kids love it and they have plenty of room to stretch out and be comfortable. I never thought about owning a Kia until this car came out and I like the design and roominess inside. The price is excellent at only $13500 and the 10/100,000 mile warranty makes it even better. If you are looking for a quality automobile for a great price and standard features of higher priced cars look no further than the KIA SOUL as you will not be disappointed

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Very good value

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Soul 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

My daughter purchased this this vehicle 3 weeks ago -- base with 1.6L and 5spd. I have driven it about 500 of the 2500 miles so far. On a trip from Michigan to Pennsylvania, we achieved 36.2 mpg over 600 miles. AC was on part of the time and there were two persons and back was loaded with cargo. I drove the posted speed of 70 most of the way and 65 in PA. Interior dash and controls are very nicely designed. I much prefer it to my 2008 Scion xB. Vehicle is very spacious, handles well, and is very practical. Driving position is ideal for shorter person, but room for large driver as well. Extensive safety features for a car in this price range. Purchase was painless at dealer.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

A great little run about

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Soul 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

My wife & I traded our 2004 Dodge Caravan SE on a base model Soul. We bought the Caravan used in 2009 when we discovered the day before our twin sons were born that a rear facing car seat did not fit behind the driver's seat of our 2006 Matrix and still allow me enough room to drive. Last year we purchased a new 2009 Kia Sedona on clearance for a great price as our primary family vehicle. Because of our great experience with the Sedona, we decided to look at the Soul for an around town run about, primarily for my wife. We went with the base 1.6/5-Speed to maximize economy and value. With the owner loyalty rebate we paid less than $13,000, this little car is a fantastic value & fun!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Amazing little machine

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Vehicle: 2011 Kia Soul 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

One month and a thousand miles now, and I couldn't be more pleased. The Soul has exceed my expectations....a high level of refinement, quiet engine, smooth clutch and shifter, good stereo, and very comfortable seats. It's a delight to drive, the little 1.6 litre mill is quite happy at low RPMs resulting in AMAZING mileage that way exceeds the EPA rating. I've filled up four times so far, about 80% around town driving, and averaged right at 35 MPG! 31 was the low fillup, 37.1 the best. A really sensible car for tooling around town.


Full 2011 Kia Soul Review

What's New for 2011

The Kia Soul receives a few improvements for 2011, with new rear shock absorbers and standard rear disc brakes (replacing last year's rear drums) being the most notable. Other minor changes include new door handles, push-button start, a trip computer and heated outside mirrors.


Whether or not the boxy-styled cars that straddle the line between SUV and hatchbacks are a passing fad or the shape of things to come remains to be seen. Just by the very nature of their squared-off silhouettes, they offer rather remarkable space and practicality, but the aesthetics typically leave much to be desired. The 2011 Kia Soul can be counted among these boxes on wheels, but it sets itself apart with more intriguing styling and fewer harsh corners.

Like the competition, the Kia Soul offers a long list of features and customization options. It also parts with convention with funky trim names like Soul + and Soul !. No, those aren't typos: The plus sign and exclamation point are indeed the trim levels. Features like an illuminated speaker surround that pulses with the music are certainly novelties aimed at the youth market, but the Soul also has some practical appeal. An affordable price and generous warranty are two of its more prominent attributes.

Kia's engineers also managed to infuse the Soul with peppy engine performance (at least on the upper trim levels) and sporty handling. Together, they make the Soul a surprisingly fun-to-drive small car that's still a cinch to maneuver around tight city confines in relative comfort. On the highway, last year's Soul had a choppy ride quality, but the new rear shock absorbers should at least partially remedy that problem.

We rate the 2011 Kia Soul highly among the overtly boxy competition that includes the 2011 Nissan Cube and 2011 Scion xB. Both can accommodate more cargo than the Kia with their rear seats stowed, but the Soul scores points for having the most attractive design in our eyes. There are a few more conventional choices as well, such as the 2011 Honda Fit and the 2011 Mini Cooper Clubman; they, too, have sharp styling, athletic handling and surprising cargo versatility. But the Kia Soul gets just about everything right. And for that, we think it's worth adding to your short list.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Kia Soul is a four-door hatchback/wagon available in base, +, ! and Sport trim levels. Standard equipment includes 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a trip computer, a tilt steering column, cloth upholstery, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a four-speaker stereo with CD/MP3 player, satellite radio and USB and auxiliary audio jacks. The Soul + adds a bigger engine, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, keyless entry, power-adjustable outside mirrors, tinted rear windows, a height-adjustable driver seat, metallic interior trim, Bluetooth, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and two additional speakers.

A sunroof, foglights, floor mats and an upgraded audio system are optional on the Soul +. They're included on the Soul !, along with 18-inch wheels, heated outside mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and two-tone upholstery. The Soul Sport is similar to the Soul ! and adds a sport-tuned suspension, a red and black two-tone interior, metal pedals and unique exterior trim details. The sunroof is optional on the Sport.

Buyers can opt for the Premium package on Soul ! and Sport models, which adds leather upholstery, heated front seats and keyless ignition. Other stand-alone options include a body kit, a cargo cover and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Powertrains and Performance

The base 2011 Kia Soul is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that produces 122 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque put to the ground by a five-speed manual transmission. Higher trim levels receive a 2.0-liter inline-4 that makes 142 hp and 137 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual is standard, and a four-speed automatic is available as an option. In performance testing, a Soul Sport with the manual went from zero to 60 mph in a respectable 8.8 seconds.

The EPA estimates the base Soul's fuel economy at 26 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 28 mpg in combined driving. The 2.0-liter engine is estimated at 24/30/26 mpg for either manual or automatic transmissions.


Standard safety equipment for all 2011 Kia Soul models includes four-wheel antilock disc brakes with brake assist, active front head restraints, stability control, traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags.

The Kia Soul has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash-testing procedure. Its 2010 rating (which isn't comparable to 2011 ratings) was a top five-star rating for frontal and side crash protection for both front seat occupants and four stars for side-impact protection for rear passengers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Soul its highest score of "Good" in its frontal offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.

In recent Edmunds brake testing, a Kia Soul ! came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, which is about average for cars in this class.

Interior Design and Special Features

While the Kia Soul's interior is a model of practicality, there are plenty of youthful design touches and colors to spice things up. A podlike center stack protrudes from the dash, placing simple audio and climate controls within easy reach. Optional special upholstery and two-tone color schemes add a modern feel to the cabin, something missing in much of the Kia's competition.

There's no shortage of space inside, with high-mounted seats providing plenty of legroom for even the tallest passengers, while the tall, boxy roof line offers ample headroom. Luggage space behind the rear seats amounts to 19 cubic feet. Folding these seats flat kicks that figure up to 53 cubes. This is marginally less than the Honda Fit, several feet shy of the Nissan Cube and well short of the Scion xB's 70 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Kia Soul, particularly the Sport model, feels nimble and well-planted in high-speed turns. Steering has a numb on-center feel and an odd nonlinear effort, though. Around town, the Soul is pleasantly comfortable. With a change to the rear shock absorbers, we expect the highway ride to be less choppy than in the previous model years. While the optional 18-inch wheels and tires are certainly attractive, they can also cause excessive noise and some harshness over major bumps.

The Soul's base engine struggles to get the vehicle underway, but since it's only offered with a manual shifter, we're inclined to think most shoppers will gravitate toward the 2.0-liter engine and its automatic transmission. This engine is at home around town and in traffic, thanks to a solid amount of low-end torque and an eagerness to rev. The manual shifter is direct enough, but the throws are long and the clutch take-up is vague.


Talk About The 2011 Soul

2011 Kia Soul Discussions See all Started By

I was shopping in early July for a Kia Soul. Looked at the new ones and they don't have CD players in them at all. Just the MP3, etc. Ended up getting a 2011 Kia Soul with a CD player and MP3. Sound q...

Last week of Jan, leased a 2014 Base Soul with auto. Residual was 63% and money factor of .00181, sale price of $16,313 plus tax, lic. etc. Price was through Costco buyers program. No other incentives...


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