2014 Kia Soul Review

Pros & Cons

  • Loads of available features
  • attractive cabin with user-friendly controls and ample passenger space
  • long warranty.
  • Harsh ride quality with larger wheels
  • desirable options are buried in expensive packages.
List Price Range
$7,794 - $14,000

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2014 Kia Soul's funky styling and fun-to-drive attitude make it great for city commutes, and its hatchback versatility makes it practical as well.

Vehicle overview

Introduced four years ago, the Soul is one of Kia's best-selling models. We've always liked this small, box-shaped wagon's unique styling and generous level of equipment. The 2014 Kia Soul represents the car's first major redesign. Although it's not a radical change from the original, there are just enough improvements to make the Soul a compelling proposition for budget-minded buyers looking for an alternative to mainstream sedans and hatchbacks.

Although the base 1.6-liter engine's power ratings are down this year, the more powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that most Soul buyers choose is significantly revised. It still makes 164 horsepower, but this engine now delivers more thrust at low rpm, helping the Soul feel peppier during city driving.

The quality of interior materials is better this time around, too, and while passenger room is similar to last year, Kia has carved out more cargo capacity, which now tops out at a crossover-like 61 cubic feet. Optional equipment closely follows last year's Soul, but new items include a panoramic sunroof and an upgraded Uvo eServices package that includes streaming Internet radio capability for smartphone users.

On the whole, the 2014 Kia Soul is more appealing than your average entry-level sedan or hatchback, and it will certainly meet most consumers' daily-driving requirements. Depending on your needs, though, it's worthwhile to shop around a bit in this segment. The 2014 Ford Fiesta's sharper handling will appeal to enthusiast-minded drivers. Or, if you're really serious about fuel economy, you might prefer the 2014 Toyota Prius C.

Other fine choices include the 2014 Chevy Sonic and the original box-shaped wagon, the 2014 Scion xB, which boasts a massive 70 cubic feet of cargo space. If you're looking for more of a crossover, the 2014 Nissan Juke offers funky styling and available all-wheel drive, but it has far less cargo capacity than the Soul. Apart from its roomy interior, the 2014 Kia Soul doesn't have any major advantages over most of these rivals, but it's a well-rounded car that's worth considering if space, style and affordability are high on your priority list.

2014 Kia Soul models

The 2014 Kia Soul is a four-door hatchback with seating for five. It's available in three trim levels: base, + and ! (also known as Plus and Exclaim).

The base model's standard equipment includes 16-inch steel wheels, hill-start assist, rear privacy glass, full power accessories, power-heated side mirrors, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel (with audio controls), a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The Soul+ adds a more powerful engine, 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, cruise control, front seat center console storage with an armrest and a fold-down rear-seat armrest (optional on the base).

There are several optional trim packages to choose from on the Soul+. The Uvo eServices package adds automatic headlights and the Uvo infotainment interface with voice control, Bluetooth audio connectivity, streaming Internet radio capability and a rearview camera (roadside assistance and maintenance reminders will be added to Uvo later in the 2014 model year). You can buy the Audio package in combination with the Uvo package and you'll get automatic climate control; a navigation system with an 8-inch touchscreen display, HD radio and an upgraded Infinity Audio system; speaker lights; and piano-black and satin-metallic interior accents. If you buy the Uvo and Audio packages, you can also order the Primo package, which adds a panoramic sunroof (eliminating the Soul's standard roof rack mounting points), foglights, keyless ignition, leather upholstery, a 10-way power driver seat, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Finally, the Eco package adds fuel-saving features like an automatic stop-start system and low-rolling-resistance 16-inch tires; note that it's not available in combination with any of the above option packages.

The top-of-the-line Soul! builds upon the + model's standard equipment, adding 18-inch wheels, body-colored bumpers, LED daytime running lights, upgraded headlights, foglights, power-folding side mirrors, the 10-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a cooled glovebox and all the items in the Uvo eServices package as standard. The optional Sun and Sound package provides the panoramic sunroof, automatic climate control, navigation system, upgraded Infinity Audio system and speaker lights. If that's not enough, you can order The Whole Shabang package in combination with the Sun and Sound package; it adds xenon headlights (low-beams only), keyless ignition, an upgraded instrument panel, leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats.

2014 Highlights

The 2014 Kia Soul is redesigned.

Performance & mpg

The front-wheel-drive 2014 Kia Soul is offered with two different engines. The base Soul gets a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 130 hp and 118 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard (including a hill-start assist function) and a six-speed automatic is optional. The EPA's estimated fuel economy for the base Soul comes in at 26 mpg combined (24 mpg city/30 mpg highway) with either transmission.

Soul+ and ! models have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that puts out a healthy 164 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only available transmission. Fuel economy with the 2.0-liter engine is an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined (23 mpg city/31 mpg highway). Soul+ models with the Eco package fare slightly better, earning a rating of 27 mpg combined (24 mpg city/31 mpg highway). We've had little difficulty matching these mpg numbers in our testing, but they're below average among small wagons and hatchbacks.

In Edmunds performance testing, a top-of-the-line Soul! went from zero to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds, which is average for a small wagon or hatchback with an upgraded engine.

Safety

Standard safety equipment for all 2014 Kia Soul models includes four-wheel antilock disc brakes, hill-start assist, stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. A rearview camera is optional on the Soul+ and standard on the Soul! model.

In Edmunds brake testing, the Soul came to a stop from 60 mph in 110 feet. While this is a very short distance for the segment, it's noteworthy that our Soul! test car had 235/45R18 tires (an exceptionally large tire size for a car in this class), and Kia Souls with smaller tires may not perform the same.

In government crash tests, the Soul received a top five-star rating overall, with five stars for total frontal impact safety and total side-impact crash safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Soul its highest possible rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. The Soul's seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Driving

With respectable power on tap from the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the 2014 Kia Soul is enjoyable around town and feels satisfyingly quick when merging onto a highway. The engine gets a bit raspy-sounding during hard acceleration, but the automatic transmission shifts smartly and does a good job of holding gears on uphill grades to help the car maintain a consistent speed. We've yet to drive the 1.6-liter base Soul, but we think most buyers will be happier with the gutsier 2.0-liter, especially since it's just as fuel-efficient.

Although the Soul doesn't feel especially sporty, it handles better than you might expect. The steering has a reassuring weightiness to its effort level at highway speeds, and it feels precise when you're driving around turns. The brake pedal has a reassuringly firm feel, too. Unfortunately, the Soul! model loses some of its appeal on long highway trips. Its large wheels and tires contribute to a rough ride, even on relatively smooth pavement. In addition, the Soul's boxy shape results in excessive wind noise at highway speeds.

Interior

With its modern look and expressive styling details, the 2014 Kia Soul's cabin offers a nice balance between form and function. Quality materials make the interior feel more refined than you might expect for a car in this price range.

Gauges and controls are logically located and intuitive to use, and using the Uvo interface to control your smartphone is a snap. In addition to upgrading the sound quality, the optional Infinity audio system includes illuminated trim rings for the speakers that flash to the beat of your music. It's a little gimmicky, but we have a feeling some Soul buyers will find it kind of fun.

One of the benefits of the Soul's boxy design is abundant head- and legroom, even in the backseat. Behind the rear seatbacks you'll find 19 cubic feet of cargo room, which grows to 61 cubic feet with both sections of the 60/40-split rear seatbacks folded down. This is greater than most competitors, but those who need maximum schlepping capacity should consider the Scion xB as it offers a cavernous 70-cubic-foot cargo hold.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2014 Kia Soul.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

2014 Kia Soul, my third Soul!
fhgardner,11/18/2013
4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 6A)
This is my third Soul, having owned 2011 and 2013 Exclaim models (just replaced the 2013 Exclaim model with a new 2016 Soul Plus, leather, power heated and ventilated seats, full glass roof, all the goodies, even heated rear seats!), and they keep getting better and better! Budgetary limitations forced me to purchase the '13 Base A/T in 2013. Have owned it for 30 months and 28,400 miles and it is a dream! No repair issues, just regular maintenance at my dealer. The redesign of the chassis/frame and the suspension system has resulted in a much quieter smoother riding car with a stiffness that is screaming "quality!". The 2016 Soul rides even better and is much quieter. Time has confirmed that my initial positive impressions of the '13 Soul were accurate, nearing the end of another pleasurable ownership period as the lease turn-in is this coming November. Time for another KIA, probably a Sportage this time!!!
2014 kia soul exclaim with whole shabang package
Frank E,11/13/2015
! 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
I purchased this vehicle on Halloween 2015. It was time to upgrade vehicles. Researched over dozen vehicles for months. Finally narrowed search to soul or scion xb. But fell in love with a white soul exclaim with whole shabang package. It was in perfect condition with 13,600 miles. Negotiated hard for 2 weeks. Finally got my price 16,998. It has been a dream to drive no negatives here at all. It's like driving a Korean Bentley lol. Only thing I warn you. If your buying a USED soul or any Kia. Make sure it's from a kia dealer and certified. Otherwise you lose the 10 yr 100,000 mile power train warranty. I bought mine from a mazda dealer. Hope to see you on the road! Update!!! Nearly 5 months of ownership. Still loving my soul !. No issues to report. Have 19119 miles now. Only minor issue is every time you start car up. Navigation always asks for permission needing 2 taps on screen to get you to use navigation or radio. Nothing serious, just little irritating lol. Still recommend this vehicle to those who want great value, space & comfort. Still Loving my Soul 23 months into it! Update, 53,100 on 9/22/18, still nothing negative to report. Update, 9/24/19 66,450 miles car is still operating like a champ. No major issues to mention. Just performing regular maintenance schedule.
Amazing !
doug142,04/27/2014
I was looking for a second car,to save miles on my 14 Scion Tc, I already had 11,000 miles in 6 mos. I saw a commercial for 2014 Souls for $10,900. from a local dealer. I ended up paying $11,300, because I did not qualify for the military discount. I did not even drive it ! The color is amazing, Latte Brown. I had owned one of the first 10 Soul sport models in 09, so I had an idea of what to expect. Boy was I in for a shock ! When I left the dealership I was speechless. The car was so quiet and it drove so nicely. The interior was so upscale, and the features shocked me. Nice stereo, Satellite radio, power heated mirrors, p.windows, p.locks,bluetooth streaming, adj. p.steering ,nice ride.
So many pluses!
SkinnyLinny,05/25/2016
4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 6M)
I had two Honda Elements, but as everyone knows, the Element is no longer made (huge mistake, Honda). Well the Kia Soul took the place of the Element. IT doesn't have the amount of room that the Element had, but it's better looking, better mileage, Quieter, handles better, turning radius is unreal, parking a breeze. The steering wheel is about the same size as our Lexus CT200H, fits like a glove. The doors open very wide and the visibility out the front window is great. Most vehicles have a small front window, not the Soul. Love the fact that I don't have to take the headrests off to have the rear seats fold. It's really nice having a 4 door hatchback (wagon). I bought the bare bones Soul with the 6 speed manual shift. It shifts very, very smooth. Clutch feels Great and the mileage is really great.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2014 Kia Soul features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover14.7%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2014 Kia Soul

Used 2014 Kia Soul Overview

The Used 2014 Kia Soul is offered in the following submodels: Soul Wagon. Available styles include 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 6A), + 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 6A), ! 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 6A), and 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2014 Kia Soul?

Price comparisons for Used 2014 Kia Soul trim styles:

  • The Used 2014 Kia Soul Base is priced between $7,794 and$14,000 with odometer readings between 22982 and127564 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Kia Soul + is priced between $8,486 and$12,495 with odometer readings between 48137 and96878 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Kia Soul ! is priced between $9,800 and$13,590 with odometer readings between 37739 and101745 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2014 Kia Souls are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2014 Kia Soul for sale near. There are currently 28 used and CPO 2014 Souls listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,794 and mileage as low as 22982 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2014 Kia Soul.

Can't find a used 2014 Kia Souls you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Kia Soul for sale - 4 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $24,193.

Find a used Kia for sale - 2 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $17,885.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia Soul for sale - 2 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $20,270.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia for sale - 8 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $12,999.

Should I lease or buy a 2014 Kia Soul?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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