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2010 Kia Soul

Overview
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2010 Kia Soul Review

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With the arrival of the 2010 Kia Soul and 2009 Nissan Cube, the original Scion xB becomes the progenitor of a bona fide little sub-segment defined by funky practicality. Surely, there's a good chance the Soul and Cube wouldn't be here today - in this country, anyway - if not for the success of the original box on wheels. While the Nissan Cube is more reminiscent of the smaller, first-generation xB, the Kia Soul is a more direct competitor to the latest xB. Does the Soul's mix of style, value and technology make it the right choice for you? Keep reading to find out.

You'll Like This Car If...

Versatility and affordability are admirable qualities in a car, but they sound so boring. The 2010 Kia Soul wraps both in look-at-me styling, creating a vehicle that combines niche appeal with well-rounded practicality.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for zip, you'll have to look elsewhere (outside the category, really). A four-speed automatic transmission doesn't help matters, and the Soul's highway mpg rating of 30 mpg (31 mpg for the smaller, less powerful base model) isn't anything to write home about.

What's Significant About This Car?

The arrival of the Kia Soul puts an end to Scion's near monopoly on economical, versatile, boldly styled cars aimed directly at the younger set.

Driving the Soul

Driving Impressions The 2010 Kia Soul is interesting to look at, roomy for people or cargo and offers an impressive array of audio and connectivity features. Less notable is the way it...

drives: like a run-of-the-mill economy car. It isn't particularly slow (although we haven't driven a base model with the smaller engine) or ill-handling, but the driving experience doesn't live up to the car's otherwise playful demeanor. The five-speed manual transmission doesn't offer the kind of car-driver connection you might want from a manual, and the four-speed automatic is at least one speed shy of flexible. Would the driving experience keep us from buying a 2010 Kia Soul? Absolutely not. Around town and on the highway, the 2010 Kia Soul is as easy and as comfortable as some of today's better compact cars. Just don't expect it inspire you to take the fun way home.

Comprehensive Audio System
The 2010 Kia Soul base model might be hampered with small steel wheels and a lack remote keyless entry, but Kia saw fit to make sure every single Soul has a full-featured AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat/Aux/USB audio system. That's cool.

iPod Bin
The 2010 Kia Soul has the best iPod station we've seen (outside of another Kia or Hyundai): an open bin, in plain view and within easy reach, with readily accessible power and connection ports.

2010 Kia Soul Details
2010 Kia Soul photo Interior

The first thing new Soul owners show their friends are the available speaker lights in the front door speakers, which pulse to the beat of the music or cycle softly with adjustable intensity. Far more important in the long run are the Soul's overall interior design and quality, which we find especially impressive for a car that starts under $14,000. One of our favorite features is the front-and-center iPod bin, detailed further in the Favorite Features section of this review. The 2010 Kia Soul sport is offered exclusively with a very red-themed interior, our favorite part of which is the red glove box interior that makes it easier to see what's inside. Not surprisingly, the tall, boxy 2010 Kia Soul is a roomy and versatile little car.

Exterior
2010 Kia Soul photo

We like the simultaneously sporty, quirky and utilitarian look of the 2010 Kia Soul. We like it much better, of course, with the range-topping 18-inch five-spoke wheels than the base model's 15-inch covered steel wheels. The entry Soul is also hindered by black door handles and mirrors in contrast with body-color pieces across the rest of the line. At the opposite end of the price spectrum, the 2010 Kia Soul sport is distinguished visually by unique front and rear fascias and side sills.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

For a Lincoln less than $14,000, the 2010 Kia Soul offers a 122-horsepower four-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, power windows and locks, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat/Aux/USB audio system and an impressive list of standard safety equipment that includes six airbags and electronic stability control.

Optional Equipment

Check all the option boxes and your 2010 Kia Soul will include a 142-horsepower engine, four-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch alloy wheels, front fog lamps, moonroof, upgraded audio system, leather-covered steering wheel and shift knob, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise control and Bluetooth phone connectivity. The Soul sport gets a sport-tuned suspension, unique front, rear and side styling elements, metal-finish pedals and interior accents, and a red/black interior color scheme.

Under the Hood

Although the base model 2010 Kia Soul features a smaller 1.6-liter engine that's paired only with a five-speed manual transmission, Kia doesn't anticipate selling too many. And we probably wouldn't buy it, either. Most 2010 Kia Souls will feature a 2.0-liter engine, offered with a four-speed automatic or the five-speed manual.

1.6-liter in-line four
122 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
115 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/31

2.0-liter in-line four
142 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
137 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/30

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2010 Kia Soul Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 284 Ratings for the 2010 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Great car

By on Wednesday, August 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Height, passenger space, warranty, stereo"

Cons: "no pull down arm rest/cup holder in backseat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned my Soul for two and a half years and still enjoy my car so much that I wanted to reach out and place this review. The warranty leaves me secure. I really enjoy the stereo. There is a lot of passenger room. I am 6' 1" and my back is not like it used to be so getting in and out of most cars can be tough but I don't have this problem with the height of the Soul. I still have strangers stop me to ask how I like my car and I am pleased to say it's been a joy to drive."

12 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Like this vehicle very much

By on Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Pros: Easy to drive, comfortable seats, economical, good power to get into traffic, basic maintenance keeps everything running very good, sound system very good Cons: Suspension is very rough if sitting in the back seat, cup holders not the best design, red on black display (information) very hard to read, button to make call to easy to hit when turning the steering wheel. However, after test driving a 2014, most of these issues have been corrected so we are buying another Soul."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

most reliable vehicle i have owned

By on Saturday, July 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 107,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Best car for the price, fun to drive."

Cons: "road noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great handling and acceleration. Comfortable, versatile, and roomy. significant road noise at high speeds."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Cute & fun to drive! Interior is a pain! =\

By on Friday, July 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"The Kia Soul is alot of fun to drive. Handles really well. SO much room in the Soul. Seats lay down for convenience. Gas mileage is alright. Carpeting & upholstery is a nightmare! Everything sticks to the carpet. Hard to sweep up. Seats show every litte stain. There is no such thing as "spot" treatment. Have not found an easy way to clean up holstery. It is recommended to clean the whole seat instead of spot treating."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Great value

By on Tuesday, July 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Price, styling, mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought this car brand new and have loved it since the first day. Great mileage, handles nicely, comfortable front and back seating. All around a great car at a fair price. Would definitely buy another Soul!"

8 people out of 10 found this review helpful

This car is a diamond in the rough.

By on Monday, June 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I love my Kia Soul. Period! The styling makes me look 30 years younger than my 78 year-old body. I have had zero problems with it and it gives me all the performance I need. The only negative i can think of is the visibility is poor at the right rear/side post."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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