2017 Kia Soul Review

Pros & Cons

  • Long list of standard and optional features
  • Attractive cabin with user-friendly controls
  • More passenger space than you might expect
  • Excellent crash test scores
  • Ride quality suffers with larger wheels
  • Unimpressive fuel economy for a car in this class
List Price Range
$11,495 - $20,071

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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 models

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.

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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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Getting in/getting out

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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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

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.


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.


Overall4.5 / 5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2017 Kia Soul.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

We are Soul People
Rodney Hunt,10/05/2017
! 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
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.
I love this car! (as of 12/28/2018 - I STILL DO)
! 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
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.
My Hamster Mobile
4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 6A)
This is a really great car for the price point. Remember that this is an entry level economy car. Keeping that criteria in mind and you will not find a better value considering the 10 year warranty. No other manufacturer is standing by that long to keep your car running tops. The one issue I have found is that the fuel mileage is not as good as it should be for a 1.6L 4cyl. Mine is the 6 speed automatic and I average 27-30 mpg with a mix of driving. If you drive really easy and with great care, you can get the average up to 30-33 mpg. That is a lot less than is shown on the sticker. I can still say that it is very nice car for running around town and will hold quite a bit of storage when the seats are folded down. No regrets on this little car so far. I have 40k on it and it is still going great.
Great compromise
+ 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
Not too big, not too small. Easy to drive and park. Responsive engine. Entertainment center is good with a small but functional touch screen. Good value for the money. Update:. We don't drive it alot. So far we are very happy. Update:. We drive mostly local and less than 8k miles. Been a great car.


Our experts like the Soul models:

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
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2017 Kia Soul

Used 2017 Kia Soul Overview

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

What's a good price on a Used 2017 Kia Soul?

Price comparisons for Used 2017 Kia Soul trim styles:

  • The Used 2017 Kia Soul + is priced between $11,495 and$17,892 with odometer readings between 16166 and72947 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Kia Soul Base is priced between $11,877 and$17,981 with odometer readings between 24017 and83201 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Kia Soul ! is priced between $20,071 and$20,071 with odometer readings between 33057 and33057 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 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 22 used and CPO 2017 Souls listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,495 and mileage as low as 16166 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 2017 Kia Soul.

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

Find a used Kia Soul for sale - 6 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $22,584.

Find a used Kia for sale - 10 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $21,600.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia Soul for sale - 9 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $11,314.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia for sale - 11 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $13,260.

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.

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