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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 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
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 337 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

Highly recommend this car.

By on Sunday, January 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, handles well, great in snow."

Cons: "Could use more luggage space."

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

"I downsized from a 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 to my 2011 Kia Soul Sport and I've not regretted this move. It has great gas mileage, great take off and it handles very well. I have a five speed standard and wouldn't drive anything else. This is a comfortable car, easy to handle and fun to drive. If you are looking for a comfortable, efficient, and fun car, I highly recommend this vehicle."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Love Love Love this car!

By on Sunday, January 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,700

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: "roomy, good gas mileage for the size"

Cons: "no arm rest, reverse in a manual is differentt"

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

"In comparison to many cars in the price range of the Soul(Chevy Spark, Mazda M2, Toyota Yaris) this car handles the best and actually worth it's value! I have driven both an automatic and 6spd Kia Soul, and the minute I test drove my 2013 Kia Soul with the 6spd manual transmission I was sold! Extremely roomy, peppy engine, responsive transmission with a clutch that shifts easier than any other manual I have driven, and limited road noise. Both the driver and the passengers have ample room to get comfy on long drives. The trunk even has enough room for 5 passengers to fit their luggage in!"

Spacey, fun, and worth the money

By on Saturday, January 09, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price, fun to drive, great gas mileage, fun"

Cons: "trouble shifting at highway speeds, road noise"

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

"Bought this car from family (luckily they wanted to sell it right as I decided what car I wanted) for trade in value. Car is and has been maintained with great care, drives as if it is brand new. Purchased the car at 50k miles and in the last nine months I have put on almost 25k for my occupation and it has stood the test far better than I expected. The car has needed no considerable repairs since family bought it new, and has only needed to receive basic maintenance. Driving this vehicle takes some getting use to as the 4 cylinder engine can be under powered at times, but once you get used to the engine, it will always respond. For short trips/city driving the car is excellent, it turns nearly on a dime, is quick to accelerate/decelerate and is tiny enough to fit into small spaces and not be obtrusive. Gas mileage may not be great in today's market, but it's nothing to sneeze at, as I average 25-27 mpg daily (including both in-town and freeway, 30+ freeway alone) Problems I've had with the vehicle have been slight, but noticeable after enough time. The vehicle sometimes has trouble shifting in to high gears when at highway speeds (increasing from ~65 - ~85). It does shift, but at times it can be clunky. Road noise is a pretty consistent problem with this vehicle, especially at highways speeds, causing occupants to talk louder or music to be up higher than it needs to be. The vehicle could have used a few different upgrades taht feel like they should have been included, but unfortunately were not. i.e. Tire sensors, distance to empty, oil life tracking, avg gas mileage etc The only displays are the odometer/trip counter and the radio display. The car could have definitely been improved with a few more extra features that feel like they would have been intuitive in a car touted as being full featured, but were left off at the drawing board."

Excellent small utility vehicle

By on Saturday, November 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,600

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Cute, fits into small parking space, good on gas"

Cons: "wish it has a back up camera"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Bought the car used in 2012. Purpose was to drive the 12 miles to and from work and haul some things that wouldn't fit in the trunk of the Honda. It has served me well. Recently rear brakes have been replaced, both front struts in the past year, all 4 tires are new. No repairs other than those stated have been needed. Oil has been changed regularly by garage where we purchased it. There are some minor dings, nothing significant. The car still looks very nice."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

the only problem is that it has no lumbar

By on Wednesday, November 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
1/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"great gas milege but very uncomfortable on the driver side and passanger side. Once we bought coushins to sit on it was ok."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

I have had a blast driving this car.

By on Sunday, November 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "styling, ride, fun factor"

Cons: "gas tank is too small"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I looked at the Soul for 2 years before buying a plus. It has been from south Florida to Ohio and Kentucky in the dead of winter and had no problem. On the open road it would run at 80 to 85 mph all day long."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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