2017 Kia Soul

2017 Kia Soul
2017 Kia Soul

Pros

  • Long list of standard and optional features
  • Attractive cabin with user-friendly controls
  • More passenger space than you might expect
  • Excellent crash test scores

Cons

  • Ride quality suffers with larger wheels
  • Unimpressive fuel economy for a car in this class


Which Soul does Edmunds recommend?

We don't often recommend the range-topping trim, but in the case of the Kia Soul Exclaim (!), it's justified. It's the only model with the peppier turbo engine, and the price increase over the midrange model isn't outrageous. In addition to the increased performance, you also get a nicer cabin and more tech features to wow your passengers.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

The Kia Soul is one of those cars that challenges labels. Is it a hatchback or a wagon or an SUV? It's really a mix of all three, and though this combination has the potential for failure or mockery, Kia put together a car that takes the best that each style has to offer.

Historically, the Kia Soul has been compared to other oddballs such as the Scion xB and Nissan Cube, both of which capitalized on their boxy shape to make the most of interior space. The Scion and Nissan rivals have since been discontinued, leaving the Soul in a class of one. Subcompact SUVs are now gaining popularity and could certainly be considered competitors.

The Soul, however, gets a distinct edge over the competition with its funky style, youthful approach and a peppier turbo engine that debuts this year. Add to that a generous warranty and top safety scores, and the Soul's appeal is strong, no matter your age.

2017 Kia Soul configurations

The 2017 Kia Soul is classified as a wagon, but really it's more like a compact crossover SUV. It is available in three trim levels: Base, Plus (+) and Exclaim (!). The base model comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (130 horsepower, 118 pound-feet of torque) that is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic is optional, and both drive the front wheels only. The Plus receives a 2.0-liter engine (161 hp, 150 lb-ft) and is available only with the automatic transmission. The Exclaim gets a new 1.6-liter turbocharged engine (201 hp, 195 lb-ft) along with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Standard feature highlights for the base Kia Soul include 16-inch alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40-split folding rear seats, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker audio system with USB input and satellite radio.

Stepping up to the Plus trim adds 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, foglights, remote keyless entry, selectable drive modes, cruise control, automatic climate control, center armrests for front and back seats, a 5-inch touchscreen and a rearview camera. At the top of the range, the Exclaim includes 18-inch wheels, keyless entry and ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and upholstery trim, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.

Some features are available on supporting trims as options. Other bundled add-ons include the Audio package for the Plus (a navigation system, an 8-inch display, a Harman Kardon audio system, speaker lights that change with the music, keyless entry and ignition, and two USB ports), the Primo package (panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, a 10-way power driver seat, 8-way power front passenger seat, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, a heated steering wheel, power-folding mirrors, blind-spot monitoring, a lane departure warning system and forward collision warning). The Exclaim is eligible for the Technology package that includes most of the above options along with xenon headlights.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our first drive of the 2017 Kia Soul ! (1.6L 4-cyl. turbo; 7-speed dual-clutch automatic).

Driving

4.5
Most drivers won't need the added power from the Kia Soul's new turbo engine, but there's no doubt that any driver will appreciate it. We were surprised how entertaining and capable this boxy little car is on a twisting road, which translates to a more confident ride for less-than-sporty drivers.

Acceleration

4.0
Right off the line, there's a little hesitation, but power builds steadily up to highway speeds. The turbo engine will be more than enough for most drivers. Sport mode further sharpens response and holds onto gears longer.

Braking

4.0
The brake pedal is appropriately firm and easy to modulate. With more aggressive braking, the car remains poised and controllable. After some hard driving down a long, winding grade, the pedal never softened.

Steering

4.0
The steering effort feels right at all speeds. It lightens up at parking lot speeds and get heavier as speeds increase. There's a good on-center feel to keep you tracking straight on a highway for effortless road trips.

Handling

4.5
The Kia Soul is surprisingly agile, and dare we say, even fun on a winding road. It takes a little getting used to, but you can drive it much harder than you'd expect.

Drivability

4.5
Whether you're stuck in traffic, maneuvering in a tight spot, blasting through some fun roads or cruising down the highway, the Kia Soul is very easy to drive and inspires confidence.

Comfort

4.0
The Kia Soul rides a little stiffer than other SUVs, but it's far from being a deal breaker. We spent the better part of a day in it and never felt fatigued or in need of a break.

Seat comfort

4.0
Despite having only the basic adjustments, the front seats are comfortable after several hours on the road. The rear seats are a little firm and flat by comparison.

Ride comfort

3.5
The Kia Soul's suspension is the same regardless of trim level. The ride quality is stiffer than that of other compact SUVs, but even on really rough roads, it's never objectionable.

Noise & vibration

3.5
Wind and road noise is always present, but it's not so loud that it becomes intrusive. Under more aggressive acceleration, the engine can get a little loud, but it sounds pretty good for a four-cylinder.

Climate control

4.0
The single-zone automatic climate control is easy to use, and once set, rarely needs to be adjusted.

Interior

4.5
There's a lot of plastic throughout the interior, but the panels are well grained and feel substantial. Any spots that you regularly touch or rest your elbows on are padded.

Ease of use

4.0
Primary controls, as well as buttons and knobs for secondary systems, are well labeled and easy to operate.

Getting in/getting out

4.5
The tall doors and slightly taller ride height make getting in and out of the Kia Soul a breeze, even in tight spots.

Driving position

4.0
You sit taller in the Kia Soul than in a sedan, but not quite as high as in a typical compact SUV. It's an excellent compromise that gives you a great view of the road.

Roominess

4.5
The Kia Soul's cabin feels big and spacious, even if you ignore its relatively small footprint. The rear seats are especially spacious, with plenty of head- and legroom for taller passengers. The panoramic sunroof further enhances the sense of space.

Visibility

4.5
The rear roof pillars are pretty thick, but overall outward visibility is excellent. There's no guesswork when backing into a spot, and you won't have to rely too much on the rearview camera.

Quality

4.0
Materials used and construction are slightly better than expected for a car at this price. The top trim with the turbo engine gets even better materials and seat trim.

Utility

4.0
The Kia Soul's boxy shape allows it to make the most of all available space. Cargo capacity is about what you'd expect from a car that blends hatchback and SUV elements, but interior storage could be better.

Small-item storage

3.0
Bins, pockets and cupholders are adequate but not particularly generous or clever. Other vehicles offer more and larger storage areas, as well as thoughtful solutions for phones and personal items.

Cargo space

4.0
Up to 19 cubic feet of cargo room is available behind the rear seats if piled to the top. Capacity increases to 61 cubic feet with the seats folded (but they don't fold flat) — better than most hatchbacks and competitive with some SUVs. A removable bin under the cargo floor accepts smaller items.

Technology

4.5
Kia exceeds expectations when it comes to technology. A lot of features are built into the infotainment system, and they're all easy to find and operate. Response time is immediate, and the optional audio system delivers a solid punch.

Audio & navigation

The optional Harman Kardon audio system sounds great and is easy to operate. Similarly, the navigation benefits from sharp screen resolution and easy-to-read graphics. The mix of physical and on-screen buttons makes switching between systems quick and simple.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Kia Soul.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

I love this car!
Jeff,06/16/2017
This car has most of the things I wanted in a vehicle all put into one. I had been searching and test drove quite a few vehicles and walked away from each disappointed about something. That was not the case with this one. The ride is smooth and the EXCLAIM is very quick. I used to drive a smaller hatchback and got tired of having essentially fall into my car. With the soul, the seats are at waist height and I quite literally just walk into my seat. Just yesterday, I took a friend out in it who owns a truck and he mentioned this very thing. He was saying he has to climb up into his truck and loves that you can just walk into the seat. I said the same thing regarding my golf (as you just read). I also got the Tech Package and I am very pleased with the sound system. It is superb. Definitely not a miss there. The audio controls actually make sense and is very easy to navigate. I test drove some cars that were just way too complicated (looking at you Honda). We don't want complicated while we're driving. I want to push 2 buttons max to get where I want and do what I want. The fuel economy is actually lower than advertised, and that's kind of a bummer. I drive mostly (that's 90%) interstate and am lucky if I break 28 overall. The A/C unit is not what I'd call amazing. There are definitely better A/C units out there. Other than that... very comfortable. Drives great. Turns on a dime (better than my Hatchback did, but the hatchback handled like a dream... cuz it's a hatchback). I am not at all disappointed and would highly recommend it. Also, Kia's warranty kind of tells a story of a company who's not afraid to offer a high warranty because they have faith in their product. Seriously, their warranty is twice as good as anyone else's. Highly recommended.
We are Soul People
Rodney Hunt,10/04/2017
My wife first had a 2010 Soul and traded it on a new new 2012 VW Beetle. We traded that in a year later on a 2014 Soul ! for her and one for me. We really liked those cars but are always looking at others. Traded them in on 2 Chevy Trax, the top model. Then about a year and half went back to to the Souls. One for each of us and we are not going to change. Easy in and out, more elbow room than the Trax and more storage room. Love and use the under floor storage in the back. Don't feel cramped in the seats which are very comfortable. Our trip via car to Las Vegas from Minnesota was very nice. The 200 hp engine in the ! was not taxed by the Rockies. No extreme down-shifting when going up the mountains. Carried all our luggage (and we have a lot because we are gone for 10 days and all our electronics,pills and food. The touch screen radio and navigation and climate controls are easy to use (we are 68 and 70 years old.) Gas mileage around town is consistently 24 to 25 MPG and highway runs 31 or so. Most of the Souls we see on the road or in town are driven by older people who need easy in and out and all the other features.
My first Kia
Joe,08/03/2017
I have a three year lease on a 2017 Soul. I have owned the vehicle for just a few weeks now. In that time I have made the following observations. It is important to keep in mind that this is a base vehicle. I see it filling a niche was owned by the VW Bug, with technology and comfort. My 1.6 130 hp with an automatic transmission is plenty of motor for this car. The mileage is amazing and I love all the technology that tells me about my consumption and range. I find that I drive a bit slower in this vehicle for some reason. Getting in and out are important to me and this is done with ease. I wish the front seat had a few more adjustments but it is fairly comfortable. The Soul is easy to drive and the ergonomics are good. The technology is easy to understand and use for an older driver like me, love the Bluetooth.. This vehicle is easy to park and navigate well in tighter areas. The one real knock on the Soul is that its smaller windows create very dangerous blind spots. If you don't have a warning system and I don't, the passenger side has a huge driver's blind spot. The drivers side is also bad but not as bad. Overall I am delighted with my KIA Soul.
Great ride
Nita,08/17/2017
Car was a rental while on vacation and fell in love with it. Easy to get in and out of and handled like a dream. Gas mileage was good and car was very quiet. Glad I got a chance to drive it and would definitely consider buying.
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2017 Kia Soul video

TRAVIS LANGNESS: I'm automotive editor Travis Langness. And this is the Edmunds Expert Rundown of the 2017 Kia Soul. For 2017, the Kia Soul's biggest upgrade is the new turbocharged engine with stronger power and more performance. You can only get the turbo engine on the Soul's top trim level, but we think it's worth the cost. On top of the increased performance, you also get a nicer cabin and more tech features. Unfortunately, the ride quality suffers with the bigger wheels. And overall, the Soul has unimpressive fuel economy for a car in this class. On the inside, the Soul's got an attractive cabin with lots of user-friendly controls and more passenger space than you might expect from a car this size. It's not typical that we recommend the top trim level. But with the Kia Soul, it's definitely worth the extra cost. You get peppier turbo engine. And the price increase over the mid-range model isn't that big. Bottom line is the Kia Soul is a high-quality, , utilitarian and competitively priced car that we definitely recommend. For more reviews of key competitors, go to YouTube and check out more of the Edmunds Expert Rundowns.

2017 Kia Soul Expert Rundown Review

Looking for a great mix of a hatchback, wagon and SUV? The 2017 Kia Soul might be a good match. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.

Features & Specs

MSRP
$17,700
MPG
25 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
130 hp @ 6300 rpm
MSRP
$19,800
MPG
25 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
161 hp @ 6200 rpm
MSRP
$22,800
MPG
26 city / 31 hwy
Seats 5
7-speed automated manual
Gas
201 hp @ 6000 rpm
MSRP
$16,100
MPG
24 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
130 hp @ 6300 rpm
See all 2017 Kia Soul features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite Soul safety features:

UVO eServices
Assists you with getting help through automatic crash notification and roadside assistance at the push of a button.
Blind-Spot Detection
Alerts you if there's a vehicle lurking in a blind spot or crossing behind you in a parking lot.
Lane Departure Warning
Gives an audible warning if you start drifting out of your lane without signaling.

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
    Good
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

2017 Kia Soul for Sale

Kia Soul 2017 + 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
New 2017
Kia Soul
+
Brown's Manassas Kia
18.9 mi away
MSRP$26,870
Est.Loan: $428/mo
Good Deal!Good Deal!
View Details
Dealer Notes
Check out this great low mileage vehicle! Very clean and very well priced! All of the following features are included: front fog lights, power windows, and 1-touch window functionality. It features a front-wheel-drive platform, an automatic transmission, and a 2 liter 4 cylinder engine. Our experienced sales staff is eager to share its knowledge and enthusiasm with you. They'll work with you to find the right vehicle at a price you can afford. Come on in and take a test drive!

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More about the 2017 Kia Soul

Kia calls it a crossover, others call it a wagon or a hatchback, but whatever you call the 2017 Kia Soul, its shape — kind of a stylized shoe box — catches your eye as its ready-for-anything attitude piques your interest. Generally thought to be aimed squarely at the youth market, the Soul does, in fact, make a pretty good all-around family hauler for shoppers looking for a vehicle that's affordable, practical and roomy, yet strikes a different chord than the average compact hatchback or SUV.

Changes for 2017 include an updated infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a larger touchscreen and additional USB ports, as well as an available power passenger seat and HID headlights. But the biggest news is the new turbocharged engine, available only on the line-topping Soul ! (Exclaim) trim level, which provides a much-appreciated boost in power.

The standard engine for the Soul is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that produces 130 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque. Next up is a 2.0-liter four that puts out 161 hp and 150 lb-ft. And then there's the new 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that cranks out 201 hp and 195 lb-ft. The base engine comes linked to a six-speed manual gearbox, while the 2.0-liter powerplant gets a six-speed automatic transmission, and the turbo drives the front wheels through a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic.

Fuel economy for the 2017 Soul with the base engine and the standard manual transmission is EPA-rated at 27 mpg combined (24 city/30 highway). Opt for the new turbocharged powerplant, however, and the rating jumps a bit to 28 mpg combined (26 city/31 highway).

The five-seater Soul's boxy shape results in a surprisingly roomy interior, but is better suited to four passengers and their cargo. Folded rear seats expand the Soul's load capacity to rival that of most small SUVs. Attractively styled, the cabin features generally high-quality, soft materials; and a variety of trim levels, packages and options allow buyers to personalize the Soul to near-luxury levels.

One complaint about the Soul had been that its lackluster engine performance didn't match its zippy looks. Now, with the addition of the available turbo, that issue has been put to rest. It doesn't elevate the Soul to sport-coupe territory, but it provides plenty of highway passing power and enough punch off the line to satisfy most drivers. The ride might be a bit on the harsh side, but it's no worse than most vehicles in this class. And the recently revamped suspension system does give the Soul excellent cornering ability for a rather tall vehicle.

The Soul's Base trim level comes well equipped, with such features as alloy wheels, air-conditioning and Bluetooth connectivity. The mid-level Soul + (Plus) adds comfort and convenience features, as well as the 2.0-liter engine. The top-of-the-line Soul ! (Exclaim) adds leather-trimmed seats, piano black accents and other luxury touches, not to mention the turbocharged powerplant. Let Edmunds help you find the 2017 Kia Soul that best meets your needs.

2017 Kia Soul Overview

The 2017 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 (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), and 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 6M).

What do people think of the 2017 Kia Soul?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Kia Soul and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 Soul 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 Soul.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Kia Soul and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 Soul featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall4.5 / 5

Driving

4.5 / 5

Acceleration4.0 / 5
Braking4.0 / 5
Steering4.0 / 5
Handling4.5 / 5
Drivability4.5 / 5

Comfort

4.0 / 5

Seat comfort4.0 / 5
Ride comfort3.5 / 5
Noise & vibration3.5 / 5
Climate control4.0 / 5

Interior

4.5 / 5

Ease of use4.0 / 5
Getting in/getting out4.5 / 5
Driving position4.0 / 5
Roominess4.5 / 5
Visibility4.5 / 5
Quality4.0 / 5

Utility

4.0 / 5

Small-item storage3.0 / 5
Cargo space4.0 / 5
Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

Which 2017 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) 2017 Kia Soul for sale near. There are currently 1 new 2017 Souls listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $26,870 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2017 Kia Soul. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $4,107 on a used or CPO 2017 Soul available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2017 Kia Souls you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Kia Soul for sale - 1 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $17,720.

Find a new Kia for sale - 4 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $14,664.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 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.

Check out Kia lease specials