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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2018 Kia Soul
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Expert's Rating

3.5Good | Details

MPG

25 City / 30 Highway
Automotive Editor -

The Kia Soul has gained quite a following because of its funky and unconventional styling. However, the crossover is not just about the design – it offers massive interior space, first-rate reliability, well-equipped trim levels, and it's fun to drive.

What's New for 2018

The package structure has been reshuffled, but otherwise the Kia Soul remains unchanged for 2018.

Kia Soul

Choosing your Kia Soul

The Kia Soul offers three engine options, all paired to a front-wheel drive arrangement.

The base-trim gets a 1.6-liter unit that makes 130 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, while a six-automatic can be had for $1,600. EPA estimates for the manual model sit at 24 miles per gallon in city, 30 highway and 27 mpg combined. The automatic does one better in the city but is even on the highway and combined cycles.

However, if the customers want more power and features, they can opt for the Soul Plus, which packs a 2.0-liter engine developing 161 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Despite the larger engine, the Soul Plus returns the same fuel economy as the automatic version of the base model.

Finally, the range-topping Soul Exclaim gets a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine pushing out 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox comes standard. Fuel economy is 26 miles per gallon in city, 31 highway and 28 mpg combined.

Based on that roundup, it shouldn't surprise that the Kia Soul is sold in three trims only — Base, Plus and Exclaim.

Base

The entry-level Soul commands a price of $16,995 (including $895 destination charges) and standard equipment includes 16-inch wheels, tilt/telescopic steering, cloth upholstery, a six-way adjustable driver seat, and a multimedia system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Customers also get Kia's “FlexSteer” steering system, which gives you three different set-ups for the steering feedback — a light Comfort, a heavier Sport, and Normal, which sits between the two.

Except the $450 interior lighting kit, there is no notable optional accessory on the manual variant. However, the automatic model is available with remote start ($425) and a Convenience Package ($1,200) that adds automatic headlights and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Kia's UVO services, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto compatibility and a rear-view camera.

Plus

The Soul Plus carries a price-tag of $21,195 and standard features include heated side-view mirrors, automatic headlights, fog-lights, 17-inch wheels, cruise control and a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with UVO eServices, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

There are three optional packages. The Design Package ($400), Audio Package ($1,500) and Primo Lit Package ($4,500) – yes, there's really a package called the "Primo Lit."

The Design Package adds 18-inch wheels, new paint options, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The Audio Package features an upgraded eight-inch infotainment system with navigation, Harmon Kardon sound system, and smart key. The Primo Lit Package adds leather seats with heating and ventilation in front, heated rear seats, a heated steering-wheel, LED interior lighting, a 4.3-inch instrument cluster display, and driver assistance systems like forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, blindspot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control.

Exclaim

The Soul Exclaim costs $23,695 and includes options on the lower trims plus 18-inch wheels, a 4.3-inch instrument cluster display, leather/cloth seat covers, and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift-knob as standard.

There are two optional packages — the Sunroof Package ($1,000) adds a panoramic sunroof and LED interior lighting and the Technology Package ($3,000) adds most of the elements of the Soul Plus' Primo Lit pack, like blindspot detection system with rear cross-traffic alert, upgraded 8.0-inch infotainment system with navigation, Harmon Kardon sound system, and heated front and rear seats.

CarsDirect Tip

If you are tight on funds, go for the base-level Soul. The Soul Plus offers a myriad of exciting features but can be costly, especially if you buy the Primo Lit optional package. The Soul Exclaim is preferable for those wanting a more entertaining driving experience, but aren't ready for a full-blown hot hatchback like the Volkswagen GTI or Ford Focus ST.

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Best Kia Deals & Lease Offers: May 2019

Kia has reversed course and brought back 0% financing for 66 months on most of its lineup. Previously, the brand shortened interest-free APR to just 48 months. Kia is also... View All Kia Lease Deals »

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