2021 Kia Soul Prices, Reviews, and Pictures

Overview

With its distinctively boxy design, and spacious cabin, the 2021 Kia Soul puts “fun” into funky and functional. Although the Soul is a subcompact SUV, it has a lot more competition from the Hyundai Kona and the Kia Seltos. Kia gives buyers the option of two gasoline-powered four-cylinders. One is a powerful, 201-hp turbocharged motor. You can also wait for the electric model, which is being reviewed separately. Although Kia calls the Soul an SUV, its lack of all-wheel driving and low ground clearance make it look more like a hatchback. It still has a unique driving style that is entertaining. The 2021 Soul doesn’t have any driver assistance features and is not very fuel-efficient. It’s difficult to beat the ute’s affordability, personality, and Editors’ Choice award.

What’s new for 2021?

Kia has made only a few modifications to the Soul lineup for 2021. All models now come with Rear Occupant Alarm, which informs the driver via various means (such as beeping or sending a text message to his/her phone) when someone is in the back. New shock valves have been added to the GT-Line and X-Line mid-level models. This is said to improve their ride. The EX and Turbo models (previously GT-Line Turbo) get a key fob that has remote start.

Pricing and Which One To Buy

The X-Line model and the GT-Line model are both great options. They start at the same cost and give two different looks to the Soul’s quirky exterior. The X model has a rugged appearance with black plastic cladding, and Undercover Green paint. The GT-Line looks sportier with its own wheel design, body-color trim and bright-red exterior bits. Each comes standard with a suite driver assistance that includes blind-spot monitoring and automated emergency brakes.

Performance, Transmission and Engine

The Soul comes with a base engine of 147 horsepower, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder. It can be ordered with either a 6-speed manual transmission (CVT) or a continuously variable auto transmission (CVT). A Soul X-Line equipped with the CVT took 8.0 seconds to reach 60 mph at our track. However, it feels strong in normal driving. The base engine is a pleasant experience in town and the CVT will choose lower gear ratios to provide more power. Turbo models come with a turbocharged 201-hp four-cylinder and seven-speed automatic transmission. Our test track recorded a 6.4 second 60-mph run.

Fuel Economy and Real World MPG

Depending on which configuration you choose, the Soul can achieve a EPA fuel economy rating of up to 35 mpg on highway driving and 25 mpg in city driving. That’s quite good for a non-aerodynamic vehicle. Although the Soul’s main rivals, the Nissan Kicks or the Hyundai Venue, offer similar highway fuel-economy ratings, both have significant city improvements and are rated at 31 and 30 mpg respectively. Two Soul models were tested on highway fuel economy. The turbocharged model scored 33 mpg. The X-Line model powered nonturbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder achieved 30 mpg.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo

The upright Soul body offers a spacious interior that can hold people or cargo. The Soul’s stylish exterior is complemented by Kia’s youthful cheekiness within. This includes textured door panels inserts and colorful trim. Other goodies include ambient lighting and a smartphone charging pad. Kia owners have the option to customize their vehicle with two-tone paint options, as well as a wide range of interior colors. The tall-roofed ute has enough cargo space to hold seven suitcases. However, the rear seats can be folded flat so we were able fit 20 bags. With its narrower hold and smaller rear seat space, the Venue managed to fit only four bags behind the rear seat, and just 17 when the seats were down.

Connectivity and Infotainment

The standard touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto capability comes with a 7.0-inch or 10.3-inch display and Kia’s UVO interface. Upgrade to the EX or higher to get the larger display; this adds SiriusXM satellite radio and in-dash navigation as well as real-time traffic monitoring.

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