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Andrew Davis
Automotive Editor - August 22, 2018

2019 Kia Soul OVERVIEW

The quirky five-door 2019 Kia Soul carries on largely unchanged, with the same trio of gasoline engines and in pure-electric Soul EV form (covered elsewhere). Beyond being a bit odd for attention’s sake, the Soul’s boxy body gives it the ability to seat up to five or carry 50 cubic feet of cargo. And with up to 201 horsepower on tap, this anti-crossover has pace to match its space.

What's New for 2019

A five-inch touchscreen with a backup camera display, automatic headlights, and voice recognition capabilities are now standard on all Souls, and a new color – Inferno Red – joins the Base’s palette. As these changes aren’t cheap, Kia has raised Soul prices across the board.

Kia Soul

Choosing your Kia Soul

The primary difference between Soul trim levels is their available engine and transmission combinations. All Souls feature direct-injection inline-four-cylinder engines with front-wheel drive, though each is different and only the Base Soul have a manual transmission.

The six-speed manual is mated to a 1.6-liter inline-four with 130 hp and 118 pound-feet of torque, with the combo earning EPA fuel economy ratings of 24 miles per gallon city, 30 mpg highway, and 27 combined. A six-speed automatic tranmission that boosts fuel economy to 26/31/28 mpg (city/highway/combined) is available for $1,700.

The same automatic is included in the mid-level Plus trim, only it’s bolted to an embiggened 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 161 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque. This combination achieves 25/30/27 mpg, according to the EPA.

The best of both worlds is available in the Soul Exclaim. Kia slapped a turbocharger on the 1.6-liter motor and hooked it to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, creating a combo that ups the Soul’s output to 201 hp and 195 lb-ft and keeps EPA numbers at 26/31/28 mpg – the same as the automatic-equipped Base model.


The Base 2019 Kia Soul starts at $17,430 (all prices include the $940 destination charge). As stated before, even this most basic of Souls has a five-inch touchscreen to complement the six-speaker audio system, its Bluetooth, and Siri Eyes Free connectivity, voice recognition capability, and steering wheel controls. Speaking of the wheel, it’s mounted on a tilting and telescoping column and can have its input “sharpness” adjusted to three different levels via what Kia calls “FlexSteer.” There are 16-inch wheel, four exterior paint colors, but the six-way manually-adjustable driver’s seat, 60/40-split-folding rear seat, and the rest of the interior are strictly black tricot cloth.

Opting for the automatic transmission ($1,700) doesn’t mean completely surrendering gear-changing duties, thanks to its “Sportmatic” secondary gate that lets drivers “bump” fore and aft to change gears without a clutch pedal. It also adds two exterior paint color choices, a two-tone gray interior option, and the Base Convenience Package ($1,200). That includes Kia’s UVO infotainment system with an upgraded seven-inch touchscreen display, HD Radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, and throws in an automatic HVAC system with “Cluster Ionizer” for good measure.


The Soul Plus, at $21,430 to start, is only $1,100 more than a Base with its Convenience Package (the contents of which are standard now), which is a fair deal for the engine upgrade alone. The new body-color bumpers and chromed grille surround are certainly a bonus, too. But the Plus – as its name implies – is so much more.

There are now 11 paints, three interior colors, and many more packages to choose from. The Designer Collection Package ($400) allows for the choice of unique exterior colors, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

The Audio Package ($1,500) includes a Harman/Kardon audio system, the UVO system with an eight-inch touchscreen, navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, a smart key system with push-button start, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, dual center console USB charging ports, leatherette coverings for the dash, and black accents. However, the system is held back by inexplicable speaker lights that pulse with the music being played.

The Primo Package ($4,500) requires the Audio Package and includes includes safety features like auto-leveling headlights, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. It also includes niceties like a sunroof, leather seats, heated, ventilated, and power-adjustable front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, LED interior lighting, and a 4.3-inch TFT color LCD Display cluster.


What the $23,930 Soul Exclaim loses to a loaded Plus in equipment and electronics it gains in unique styling features and performance. What truly separates the Exclaim from the other Souls is the turbocharged inline-four and the additional 40 hp and 45 lb-ft of torque.

Color choices drop to five – all paired to black cloth and leather seat trim with orange accents – but they're now applied to a body with unique sporty touches like a black front and rear bumper with red accents, LED fog lights, and twin chrome exhaust tips. Also included is the Soul Plus Audio Package’s gear plus power-folding heated exterior mirrors with turn signal indicators.

As far as option packs go, the Exclaim has two: the Technology Package ($3,000) contains everything in the Soul Plus Audio Package and what can be had of the Primo Package, minus the panoramic roof and interior LED lighting, as those are now sold separately as the Sunroof Package ($1,000).

CarsDirect Tip

A 2019 Kia Soul Exclaim with every option rings the register at $27,930, or $500 more than its better-equipped but less sporty Plus sibling. So, if you’re looking at getting a Soul with all the gear in and on it, it comes down to choosing between speediness and the electronic safety suite. As all Souls come decently equipped, there’s no suffering involved when sticking with the manual-equipped Base.

Get your price on a Kia Soul »

Best Kia Deals & Lease Offers In August

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