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2010 Kia Soul

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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 New for 2010

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 343 Ratings for the 2010 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

great little car!

By on Monday, May 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great, fun, easily loaded, good driving car"

Cons: "no spare tire, consider 4 or awd"

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

"this car handles wonderfully, I love it! the interior is leather, luxurious enough and well made. lots of good features and sound system. love the mood lights. a/c, heat and all are really good. getting 28mph in town. all I miss is I should have gone for awd because of where I live. Came with Serias radio and I renegotiate it every 6mos. no problems with the car. the hatch back and folding rear seats create a great full space wagon. oH... doesn't have a spare tire and if you use the goo kit it will destroy the tire sensor. that is a major bummer and a doughnut kit is costly."

My 2nd Kia & my daughter & I each have a Soul now

By on Monday, April 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,039

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Excellant interior space and versitility"

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

"From the start I was pleased with the quality of the car and the extras are wonderful. It is a great value as well. Please remember that one Kia dealership is not the same as another. If you are not happy with the treatment you receive, contact another Kia dealership for assistance!"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Cute & simple to drive! LOVE IT!!

By on Thursday, April 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,126

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Wonderful price! Fun to drive!"

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

"I have nothing bad to say about the KIA Soul! Cute & easy drive!! The best I love it is I can talk on the phone & not hold it on my hand!!"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

never again not worth it

By on Sunday, March 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "looked nice new funny commmercial"

Cons: "mechanical poor quality.not even a spare tire"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"wife loved it had to have it . my opinion disposable car no valve .car did not hold up to normal ware wife backed into mail box mail box no damage car lost.factory paint piling dealer says it a water base paint not covered (incredible).next time spend a little more for quality and not on what seems to look good.we even get a ck for mileage from kia"

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Don't buy this car

By on Tuesday, March 08, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,500

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "roomy inside"

Cons: "not well build, engine died"

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

"At 100k miles the engine died, I was 500 miles over so the warranty doesn't cover anything. Its going to cost me almost $4k to replace the engine. I was looking forward to driving this car for 10 years, but it hasn't even been 5, I still owe money on it and have to make this investment. Kia sucks."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Great car for the money

By on Monday, February 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive and quick pickup."

Cons: "carpet is cheap"

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

"If I were looking for an economical small car again, I'd choose another Soul. For a small car it is easy to get in and out of and plenty of leg and head room for a 250 lb. man. Totally reliable. The only complaint with the interior is the carpet. It is more of a fuzzy mat than it is carpet but we use carpeted mats anyway."

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