2013 Kia Soul Review
The 2013 Kia Soul has ample passenger space, a long warranty and an impressive standard features list, but many other cars in the class are more fun to drive.
The 2013 Kia Soul offers 1.6- and 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engines. Car reviewers like both, but many favor the 2.0-liter engine because it’s the more powerful of the two. The Soul has a standard six-speed manual transmission and an optional six-speed automatic transmission, but test drivers say that neither makes the Soul very fun to drive. The automatic transmission is smooth most of the time, but test drivers find it struggles when the engine needs more power for passing and climbing hills. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 25/30 mpg city/highway on the base model, which are poor ratings for the class. Though the Soul’s steering isn’t as engaging as its rivals’, test drivers say it is accurate and like that the Soul is very easy to park. They add that the Soul’s brakes are strong.
Since it’s inexpensive, the 2013 Soul does have its fair share of cheap plastics in its interior. However, reviewers are impressed that the Soul has so many standard features for its price. Standard amenities include USB and auxiliary ports, Bluetooth and steering-wheel mounted controls, which are optional on many small cars. Reviewers like that the Soul’s interior controls are easy to use with or without the optional infotainment system. Test drivers also praise the Soul for its spacious front and rear seats, which are comfortable for adults.
- "Like the Scion xB and Nissan Cube, Kia's funky urban box combines quirky, hip styling with practical passenger and cargo space. Soul is a bit more stable and relaxed in highway driving compared to some subcompacts, but its fun-to-drive character might shine through best in urban driving." -- Consumer Guide
- "The 2013 Kia Soul might be inexpensive, but this certainly doesn't mean it's cheap. Even for the entry-level model, you get solid build quality, a peppy direct-injected engine and an audio system that boasts satellite radio and an iPod hookup." -- Edmunds
- "Overall: Fun, roomy, useful, but squirrely on rough roads." -- USA Today (2012)
- "Kia's entry remains our choice in the boxy little hatchback segment, facing off as it does against the Nissan Cube and Scion xB." -- Car and Driver (2012)
Other Cars to Consider
Like the Kia Soul, the Scion xB also has a boxy exterior that stands out in the class. The xB has an impressive list of standard features, including a premium stereo that would be optional on most small cars. The xB also has plenty of passenger space and more overall cargo room than the Soul.
If the Soul’s low price appeals to you but its exterior styling doesn’t, consider the Hyundai Accent. It’s available as both a sedan and hatchback.The Accent has comfortable front and rear seats, good fuel economy and good cargo space for a subcompact.
Details: 2013 Kia Soul
The 2013 Kia Soul hatchback has three trim levels: base, Plus and Exclaim. The base model has a four-cylinder engine and a manual transmission, while the Exclaim has a more powerful four-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission. For the 2013 model year, the Soul gains standard Bluetooth, as well as steering-wheel mounted Bluetooth and audio controls. The Soul was refreshed for the 2012 model year and received powertrain updates, so this overview uses research and reviews from the 2012 and 2013 model years.