2018 Kia Soul Review
Which Soul does Edmunds recommend?
We like the midgrade Soul Plus. It's a bargain yet comes nicely equipped with just about all the features you'll likely need or enjoy, including an automatic transmission and the 7-inch Uvo infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. Its 2.0-liter engine is noticeably more powerful than the base Soul's 1.6-liter engine. Another nice aspect of the Plus is the array of options available. While you could buy a stock Plus for the budget play, just about everything in Kia's upgrade arsenal is available should you want it, including heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats, a Harman Kardon sound system and the latest advanced driver safety aids.
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Long list of standard and optional features
- Attractive cabin with user-friendly controls
- More passenger space than many small SUVs
- Excellent crash test scores
- Unimpressive fuel economy
- All-wheel drive isn't available
- Ride quality can be overly harsh with bigger wheels
- More standard features for 2018
- Part of the second Soul generation introduced for 2014
Most drivers won't need the added power from the Kia Soul Exclaim's turbo engine, but there's no doubt any driver will appreciate it. We were surprised by 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.
The Soul rides a little stiffer than other SUVs, but it's far from being a deal-breaker. Even on long drives you're unlikely to feel fatigued.
There's a lot of plastic throughout the interior, but the panels are nicely grained and feel substantial. Any spots that you regularly touch or rest your elbows on are padded. Really, it's better than most.
The Soul's boxy shape allows it to make the most of all available space. Cargo capacity is better than in most subcompact SUV competitors, though space aft of the back seat is still only so-so. Interior storage could also be better.
Kia exceeds expectations when it comes to technology. A lot of features are built into the touchscreen infotainment system (including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), which is easy to reach and operate. Response time is immediate, and the optional audio system delivers a solid punch.
Most helpful consumer reviews
+ 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
The many positive reviews of this vehicle are absolutely true. When one purchases and owns a car you want it to satisfy many of your specific needs. I am 73 years old, kind of vehicle and tech savvy, and needed something versatile, not too large, fun to drive, and safe. This thing has blown my mind it is so awesomely cool. My wife loves it too. With regard to safety: wrap around side airbags, excellent visibility, amazing brakes, back-up camera, very positive firm suspension, awesome light steering feel. It is just a hoot to drive with eco/normal/sport mode. Regulates shifts.......sometimes 6 spd automatic seems busy......but now understand it and is perfect......car really always feels relaxed not stressed. Can use manual sport shifting that works great.......but not needed, perhaps some downhills? The Plus has 17" wheels so all kinds of grip and road feel....yet so quiet in the cabin. The interior is surprisingly roomy, very comfortable front seats, and yes the back seat with cup holder down and super leg room gives passengers a very comfortable nice ride. Storage for a water bottle in all four doors. The back 60/40 seat folds nearly flat for nice storage room. Also, a subtle fairly large storage tray is located under the back area.......a great touch that helps items be out of view. Upper back concealment tray folds in half and is also easily removable when not needed. The infotainment eUVO 7" diagonal touchscreen and voice control is the best. You must use, learn and practice with it while NOT DRIVING........., but once learned it is ridiculously cool. Bluetooth hands free phone, and voice radio tuning, XM etc. With phone using USB Apple Car Play is awesome........navigation on screen wicked, voice siri texting, using the eUVO app. diagnostics, Parking Minder, Roadside Assist, or My Car Zone info is nice. Auto Climate control Wow. Nice high visibility in parking lots and awesome turning radius. Short wheel base, ride on certain surfaces a little choppy........but so perfect in most all conditions........freeway wonderful. Kia has a small package winner, with all the standard features one could ever imagine. I have owned for a month now and highly recommend as a vehicle to drive and give consideration to. You are likely in for a wonderful surprise.
4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 6M)
This car is a great value for the money. When Kia introduced this car, they seemed to be marketing it toward the younger crowd, but most of them I see on the road are driven by more mature folks, like myself. The reasons are simple: ease of entry, upright driving position, good headroom, comfortable seats, lots of standard features (even in the base model,) decent acceleration, decent gas mileage, decent cargo area, the ability to carry a large cargo load with the rear seats folded, the ability to easily install a roof rack, and the handy, large tailgate. Sure, it's an a no-nonsense econobox, and it certainly isn't flashy, but if it's an economical, comfortable, practical car, (that's fun to drive,) with a good warranty, that you're looking for, this may be your ticket. After a 2+ years of driving, my only complaint with this car has been in the quality of the seat material. The fabric began showing some wear on the side of the driver's seat, where I enter. The dealer has since remedied the problem, and installed new covers on the seat. Aside from this, the vehicle has continued to be quite superior, and exactly meets my needs.
+ 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
The car is inexpensive but doesn't look inexpensive -- especially on the inside! I have the Kia Soul Plus which has the larger nav system, Hardon Kardon stereo, and upgraded trim. I'm very pleased, thus far. It, overall, handles well. The only real complaint I have is that you have blind spots towards the rear of the car. You have to be really careful when changing lanes. I was initially looking at Jeep Renegades because of its unique body styling -- but -- when I saw the Kia (which also has a unique body style) -- I loved it and forgot all about the Jeep.
+ 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
The first time I test drove the Kia Soul, it only took about two blocks of driving before I fell in love with it. The ride is very comfortable, it’s zippy, fairly fuel efficient, and all around fun to drive. I had my first one for about 2 1/2 years when, in a brief case of insanity, I offered the let my husband use it as a trade-in for a car for him. I missed it so much, I began looking for a replacement Kia Soul. Six weeks later, I am the owner of a low-mileage 2018 which has so many new bells and whistles I’ve almost forgotten my first one. I love my 2018 Kia Soul+ even more than the 2014 I had before. This one is here to stay!
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Soul models:
- Forward Collision Warning System
- Warns you of stopped or rapidly slowing vehicles ahead and automatically applies the brakes if you don't respond.
- Lane Departure Warning System
- Warns you when you've started to drift from your lane.
- Blind-Spot Detection System
- Alerts you to vehicles in your blind spot through lights located in the side mirrors.