2015 Kia Soul Review

Pros & Cons

  • Loads of available features
  • attractive cabin with user-friendly controls and ample passenger space
  • long warranty
  • excellent crash test scores.
  • Harsh ride quality with larger wheels
  • so-so fuel economy
  • desirable options are buried in expensive packages.
List Price Range
$7,988 - $13,595

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2015 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

Take a look at the 2015 Kia Soul and you might think that this car not all that easy to categorize. Is it a hatchback? A wagon? Some sort of tiny SUV? All of the above? Whatever you may decide on, know that the Soul's assets appeal to both the head and the heart.

On the practical side, the Soul offers a generous array of amenities, both standard and optional. The Soul's cabin is a comfortable and user-friendly environment, with roomy accommodations and intuitive controls. Kia's Soul will be a friendly companion for errand running, too, as its boxy shape provides a surprising amount of luggage and cargo space. The Soul's low price also means this Kia offers lots of value, and there's also a lengthy warranty to provide peace of mind.

Those with less practical priorities for their vehicle will still likely be drawn to the car's distinctive-looking sheet metal, which presents an upbeat alternative to the Soul's more generic-looking competition. This is certainly true if you compare it to traditional subcompact cars like the 2015 Ford Fiesta or Chevrolet Sonic. The Soul is also a funky alternative to compact hatchbacks like the 2015 Mazda 3 or a budget-friendly substitute for smaller SUVs such as Kia's own Sportage or the Nissan Juke. Compared to the Scion xB, the Soul strikes us as the fresher and more desirable vehicle.

In a way, this spectrum of possible competitors speaks to the versatility and undeniable charm of the Edmunds "B" rated Kia Soul. Regardless of what you might compare it to, it's a solid pick for shoppers seeking a budget-friendly runabout brimming with spaciousness, value and, perhaps most importantly, personality.

2015 Kia Soul models

The 2015 Kia Soul has four doors and seating for five. It's available in three trim levels: base, + and ! (the latter two trims are also known as Plus and Exclaim).

The base model's standard equipment includes 16-inch steel wheels, roof rack mounting points, rear privacy glass, full power accessories, three-mode driver-selectable steering settings, 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 and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface. Keyless entry and cruise control are optional.

The Soul+ adds a more powerful engine, 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, cruise control, a 12-volt power outlet in the cargo area, a cargo cover, upgraded cloth upholstery, a fold-down rear-seat armrest and a front seat center armrest with storage.

Available on the base and Soul+, the Uvo eServices package adds automatic headlights, foglights (base only) and a rearview camera, along with the Uvo infotainment interface that features geo-fencing, speed alert, voice control and streaming Internet radio capability.

When equipped with Uvo eServices, the Soul+ is eligible for a pair of packages. The Audio package adds automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, simulated leather cabin trim, piano-black and satin-metallic interior accents, a navigation system, an 8-inch touchscreen display, HD radio and an upgraded Infinity audio system with speaker lights and a subwoofer. The Primo package (requires the Audio package) adds a panoramic sunroof (eliminating the Soul's standard roof rack mounting points), foglights, keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat with two-way power lumbar support, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, LED interior lighting and a heated steering wheel.

An Eco package, available separately on the Soul+, adds fuel-saving features like an automatic stop-start system and low-rolling-resistance 16-inch tires.

The top-of-the-line Soul! builds upon the + model's standard equipment and the Uvo eServices package, then adds 18-inch wheels, body-colored fascia accents and bumpers, LED daytime running lights, power-folding side mirrors with integrated LED turn signal indicators, an eight-way power driver seat with two-way power lumbar support, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, further upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, simulated leather cabin trim and chrome interior accents.

The Soul!'s Sun and Sound package provides a panoramic sunroof, automatic climate control, LED interior lighting, the navigation system, 8-inch touchscreen display, HD radio and the upgraded Infinity audio system. The Whole Shebang package (requires Sun and Sound package) adds xenon headlights (low beams only), keyless ignition and entry, an upgraded instrument panel, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats. The Umber package adds special leather upholstery.

2015 Highlights

For 2015, both the base and + trim level Kia Soul models are available with the Uvo eServices package, which now includes a rearview camera and telematics features like geo-fencing, curfew alert and speed alert. There is also a new "Umber" interior package with upgraded leather upholstery.

Performance & mpg

The front-wheel-drive 2015 Kia Soul is offered with two different engines. The base Soul gets a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 130 horsepower 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 city/30 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 (23/31). Soul+ models with the Eco package fare slightly better, earning 27 mpg combined (24/31). On our Edmunds driving evaluation route, a Soul! returned 27.9 mpg, which is much lower than other compact cars we've tested and actually on par with compact SUVs.

In Edmunds performance testing, a 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 2015 Kia Soul models includes four-wheel antilock disc brakes, hill-start assist, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. A rearview camera is standard on the Soul! and included on the other trims with the optional Uvo eServices package.

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 large, 18-inch tires. 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 and small-overlap frontal-offset impact tests. The Soul also earned a "Good" score for the side-impact, roof-strength and head restraints and seats (whiplash protection) tests.

Driving

With respectable power on tap from the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the 2015 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 2015 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 compact wagons and on par with many smaller SUVs. Note that the Scion xB is even more spacious, however.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2015 Kia Soul.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Inferno Red Plus Mostly Delights
Ian Dogole,05/17/2016
+ 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
Update (5.26.2019) - Beware the A/C drainage hose. It is made too narrow and can clog, causing the windshield to fog up in seconds. This caused a few dangerous driving situations for me. My local dealer said that many Kia Souls had come in with this problem. It took them 5 minutes to clear it. You can get this done at the same time as an oil change. In the late summer of 2015, my 2000 Honda CR-V, which had performed flawlessly for 15 years, began to have some issues and I commenced searching for its successor. I was set on purchasing a 2015 Honda Fit, but in August the model and color (red) I wanted wasn't available in Northern California, so I considered my Plan B - a Kia Soul. I had started to notice these quirky-looking, boxy vehicles after the redesign and I was quite attracted to the refreshed look. The reviews across numerous sites were mostly very favorable and I decided to visit Kia of Marin for a test drive. I immediately noticed how solid the vehicle felt and similar to the CR-V, I really liked the sensation of sitting high vs. the Fit, which has a lower profile. Overall, I was very impressed and when I inquired about the availability of an Inferno Red Plus, the dealer was able to get one in 2 days. What really cinched the deal was Kia's $2,000 discount and the availability of a 1.9% financing deal for 66 months with no money down. Bottom line - I drove out in a new Soul Plus for less than 19K, including tax and license. Seems like a great value. Driving experiences - After 5,000 miles here is what I have learned: First, I had a few negative early impressions, which have moderated or reversed over time: 1. Blind spot on the passenger side - Due to the rather thick pillars where the tail lights reside, I had to get used to a significant blind spot, which requires me to position the side mirror in such a way that I can see a car in that blind spot and I do a visual check every time I make a lane change to the right. On the driver's side, I have no problem. I don't like the blind spot, but I deal with it. 2. No CD Player - As an older driver accustomed to having CD's in the car, this was going to be a deal-breaker for me but I decided to open my mind to using a flash drive and plugging into the USB port. Good move! I don't miss the CDs and the clutter at all and I can put so much music on a flash drive. It's really a no-brainer. 3. No spare tire - That's just silly and this "kit" they provide is a joke. Pay the $250 or so for the spare tire assembly unless you love repairing them on the side of the road. 4. Back seat doesn't lay flat when folded down and falls about 6" short of the front seat. As a percussionist with lots of drums and other gear, I thought this would really suck for me, but it was a false alarm. I get all of my instruments into the vehicle with no problem and I use the "gap" between the seats to store skinny items like cymbals, mic stands etc. Driving - The Soul drives smoothly and confidently and I don't experience the "vague" steering that many reviewers have noted. It handles curves just fine and gets up hills (many in Marin County where I live) without undue effort and doesn't roll back when stopped on a hill, which is a revelation. Breaking is good enough and power is more than adequate with the 2-liter engine. Gas Mileage - This is a weak point of the Soul as my combined mileage is less than 22 in Eco mode, not the bogus 26 MPG claimed on the sticker. However, since I monitor the MPG on every trip, if I stay on the freeway, the car will return roughly 31 MPG. It's on the side streets and hills where it falls back to about 18 MPG. Stereo System - Since I didn't get the upgraded audio package, I settled for replacing the front component speakers and the rear coaxial speakers with new Hertz speakers and the sonic experience improved dramatically. Comfort - I would give this 5 stars if it weren't for the annoying positioning and hard materials of the headrests. The headrest feels really uncomfortable when I lean into it. The seats are very comfortable and I feel like I have plenty of room as a driver and I know passengers feel quite comfortable as well. Other - All the doors and the rear gate open effortlessly, making it a breeze for me to get all my gear in and out of the vehicle. Beware of the key fobs. I didn't like the idea of carrying 2 bulky key fobs in case I misplaced one and the dealer had no suggestions for how to get a simple spare key made. After countless calls to Kia and to locksmiths who wanted to charge up to $200 to make one for me, I found a local locksmith who used a Lexus blank to make me a spare that I can put in my wallet which opens the doors and starts the engine ... for $35. I highly recommend this option if you are like me and never want to be locked out. Overall, this is a very fun car to drive and a great value to boot, especially if you can wait for a year-end deal. It's quirky, but I can't think of a better option in this price range.
The most rewarding therapy I've ever had!
Sandra Clayton,11/06/2015
+ 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
I was in my car 3 hours a day, some times more. In bumper to bumper traffic, I was losing my mind in my boring Corolla. I was getting big time depressed, and I have an elderly father who has a hard time getting out of a car. I researched and decided if they could get me out of my lease, I would take the loss. Best decision ever! The only thing I didn't get that I wanted was a sunroof, but realized that the extra expense wasn't worth it for how little I would use it. Cars higher off ground so I can see better and get in and out better. I love the back up camera, won't get a car now without one. They showed me how you could pull the bottom of the trunk out to maximize space, not that I need that much. I really hated having a huge trunk, I like having the window at the back of the car so I feel like I have better sight thru the back. The other thing I must have is to be able to listen to my books when I'm stuck in traffic. And it has TWO chargers so I can charge my IPod and phone at the same time. If it came with a refrigerator and microwave, I may never leave. Acceleration isn't the greatest, but it gets the job done. I always have a problem with seat comfort no matter what car I drive. I think it's my long torso. The Soul has an adjustable seat that inflates. It took a while but I found the right adjustment. I've always put a seat cushion behind my back before, not now.
Great fun at a reasonable price
Tim Parker,11/25/2015
+ 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
I shopped for a Soul a year ago and ended up buying a Honda Civic instead. No knock on the Civic, but it just wasn't the right car for me, and I found myself still looking. I came back around to the Soul. Kia had special financing, and the dealer was offering a better deal than I could find a year ago, so I took the plunge and bought the 2016 Soul+ with the Audio/Nav package. Wow! I'm so glad I bought it! I love the extra driving height and extra headroom. There's more room in the back seat. There's more cargo room. It's fun to drive. Acceleration is good with the 2.0 liter engine. Handling is good. Pro reviewers talk about "numb" steering but I don't notice it. It drives and handles fine. That said, it's not a sports car so don't buy this if that's what you want. It has lots of creature comforts like a great audio system that thumps you in the chest if you want it to, but can be tamed if desired. The nav system works well. I didn't think I wanted it, but now that I have it I use it often. I like the climate control system. I have it set and never need to touch it. It keeps the cabin comfortable no matter what the outside temp is. It has a large touch screen that is easy to use and pretty intuitive. You can check Kia's site for a full breakdown of features. For me the important thing is the features it has all work together to create a fun and comfortable driving experience. I've only had it a month so I can't comment on long term durability, but so far there's not a squeak, not a rattle, everything works flawlessly, and the materials and workmanship are first rate, especially for a vehicle in this price range. A+ for the Soul!
One year with my 2015 Kia Soul !
John Holliday,02/01/2016
! 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
I have driven the Soul for a year now for 7000 miles. The Audio amplifier failed and was replaced. The drives door seal split open from getting in and out Was replaced and 6 months later has split again. I really like the car except for the headrest which is much too close to my head when driving. I cannot adjust it enough to make it comfortable. That one item may keep me from buying another if Kia doesn't correct it. According the forums, I am not the only one with this complaint. I have replaced the original tires with Bridgestone Driveguard run flat tires. They are great. Kia service has bean very good! Another year, now at 13,00 miles with no problems other than having to buy a new battery. Now three years old with a little over 16,000 miles. No problems with anything. It is a good car for seniors, plenty of room, easy to get in or out of and my rollator fits in the back with very little effort. I would be tempted to replace it with another Soul, new turbo engine, safety items, even folding mirrors. I have mastered the headrest proble by reclining the back a little..

Features & Specs

See all Used 2015 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 2015 Kia Soul

Used 2015 Kia Soul Overview

The Used 2015 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 2015 Kia Soul?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Kia Soul trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Kia Soul Base is priced between $7,988 and$11,025 with odometer readings between 39465 and106792 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Kia Soul + is priced between $8,972 and$13,595 with odometer readings between 41871 and94905 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Kia Soul ! is priced between $9,844 and$12,995 with odometer readings between 30339 and117696 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 2015 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) 2015 Kia Soul for sale near. There are currently 23 used and CPO 2015 Souls listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,988 and mileage as low as 30339 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 2015 Kia Soul.

Can't find a used 2015 Kia Souls you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Kia Soul for sale - 8 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $7,957.

Find a used Kia for sale - 2 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $15,143.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia Soul for sale - 5 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $13,324.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia for sale - 7 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $23,291.

Should I lease or buy a 2015 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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