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The base Soul gets a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 138 horsepower mated to either a six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic. Fuel economy estimates are as high as 35 MPG. The most basic Soul also gets power windows, locks and mirrors, air conditioning, 15-inch wheels, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth, and a four-speaker audio system with Sirius satellite radio and a USB input with iPod integration.
The + trim adds a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 164 horsepower, 16-inch alloy wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel and more interior storage. The top ! gets a standard automatic transmission, 18-inch alloy wheels, power sunroof, LED lights, eight-speaker premium audio system, backup camera and Kia's UVO voice recognition system.
See our picks for best crossovers in the CarsDirect Crossover Buying Guide.
The Scion xB is similarly tall and boxy with more cargo room, but isn't as powerful or frugal as the Soul. The Nissan Cube also has boxy looks and cavernous interior, but its automatic transmission only has four speeds. The Honda Fit isn't a head-turner like the Soul, but has a flat load floor and better handling. The Kia Rio also skips the tall box shape for a sportier drive and a nicer interior.
There's a reason the Soul manages to sell about 10,000 units a month – more than just about every subcompact competitor in this country. It appeals to a lot of buyers with its fuel-efficient engines, comfortable seating position, versatile cabin and interesting looks. It may be known as the "hamster car" by kids, but buyers in this segment should call it a "must drive."
The top-rung ! turns the Soul into a stylish and relatively posh subcompact. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels fill out the wheel arches, while a six-speed automatic is standard equipment. Also included are body-colored bumpers, power folding outside mirrors, auto-off headlamps, Kia's UVO system with Infinity audio, a backup camera, HD radio, power sunroof and fog lights. The Premium Package adds keyless entry and start, leather seats which are heated in front, dual-zone automatic climate control and a touchscreen navigation system with satellite traffic and weather.
The mid-level + brings more power with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder. A six-speed manual is standard. Other features include 16-inch alloy wheels, center console storage, heated mirrors with turn signal indicators, tweeters in the inside pillars, covered mirrors in the sun visors, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and a front armrest. Options include the six-speed automatic transmission, power sunroof, Infinity audio system with subwoofer, auto-off headlamps and an Audio Upgrade Package with Kia's UVO voice recognition system and a backup camera. The ECO package also adds a stop-start system and low-rolling resistance tires to improve fuel economy.
Even the base Soul comes well-equipped for the segment, leaving few items on the options list. Standard features include a 1.6-liter four-cylinder, six-speed manual transmission, 15-inch steel wheels, power windows, locks and mirrors, Bluetooth, six-speaker audio system with USB input, privacy glass, height-adjustable driver's seat, tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel and steering wheel controls for the cruise control and audio functions. Opting for the six-speed automatic transmission opens up the ability to order cruise control and alloy wheels.
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|Build & Price|
2014 Kia Soul$15,600 | 5,389 mi
2013 KIA SOUL$10,995 | 28,798 mi
2013 Kia Soul$12,986 | 33,143 mi
2013 Kia Soul$14,868 | 39,623 mi
2013 Kia Soul$14,900 | 31,850 mi
2013 Kia Soul$15,449 | 35,897 mi
2013 Kia Soul$15,500 | 10,492 mi
2013 Kia Soul$15,726 | 14,762 mi
2013 Kia Soul$16,888 | 13,104 mi
2013 Kia Soul$16,888 | 20,267 mi
2013 Kia Soul$16,986 | 14,582 mi
2013 Kia Soul$16,989 | 19,976 mi
2013 Kia Soul$17,888 | 26,447 mi
2012 Kia Soul$9,790 | 63,279 mi
2012 Kia Soul$12,985 | 27,060 mi
2012 Kia Soul$12,998 | 31,762 mi
2012 Kia Soul$14,550 | 43,076 mi
2012 Kia Soul$17,968 | 8,677 mi
2011 Kia Soul$12,378 | 70,903 mi
2011 Kia Soul$12,598 | 34,736 mi
2011 Kia Soul$12,987 | 33,654 mi
2011 Kia Soul$12,998 | 33,083 mi
2011 Kia Soul$13,387 | 48,317 mi
2011 Kia Soul$13,988 | 58,762 mi
2011 Kia Soul$13,994 | 57,211 mi
2011 Kia Soul$14,628 | 40,151 mi
2011 Kia Soul$15,463 | 29,190 mi
2010 Kia Soul$10,000 | 50,932 mi
Spacious and looks funky, but lacks fuel economy and is more expensive.
Big on style and space inside with compact exterior, but is slow and has dated technology.
More flexible inside and sportier to drive, but lacks visual excitement.
Sportier with better interior quality, but loses crossover-like space and easy entry/exit.