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2013 Kia Soul

Overview
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2013 Kia Soul Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.3

When it launched in 2009, the Soul sparked Kia's design revolution, and the 2013 Kia Soul still makes no apologies for its funky looks and brash attitude. Rather, the Soul touts its youthful nature and is proud of its status as a low-cost alternative to hatchbacks and traditional economy cars. Bolstered by vibrant paint choices, well-equipped interiors, Kia's generous warranty and, yes, even those hamster pitchmen, the Soul has been a sales success for Kia. The Soul's design isn't quite as fresh as it was four years ago, but Kia's 5-passenger compact hauler still stands apart from angular rivals like the Nissan Cube and Scion xB with its athletic looks and refined powertrain.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a stylish, youthful car that boasts good fuel economy, lots of versatility, and many features for a low price, the Soul could be your mate.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Soul may look part SUV, but with front-wheel-drive only and minimal ground clearance, its home is the pavement. If you need a compact vehicle that doesn't mind occasionally getting dirty and has the capacity to tow, look to a compact crossover like the Subaru Forester or Ford Escape.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.3
  • 7.1
  • 6.9
  • 7.1
  • 7.9
  • 7.9
How It Ranks

#1

out of 2

Fuel Economy

#1

out of 2

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.6 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 Kia Soul Low/wide front photo What's New for 2013

Changes are minimal for the 2013 Kia Soul a year after it received new drivetrains. Among the differences this year are a revised hood badge, and Bluetooth wireless connectivity and steering wheel-mounted audio controls now standard on base models with manual transmission.

Driving the Soul
2013 Kia Soul Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions The Kia Soul is available in three trims – Base, Plus (+), Exclaim (!) – and offered with two different 4-cylinder engines. Base models use a small 1.6-liter, and all...

other models are propelled by a bigger and more powerful 2.0-liter. The base engine is adequate at accelerating the Soul, and not surprisingly, the bigger engine has an easier time getting this little 5-door vehicle up to speed. The Soul is no speed demon, but it's also not so slow that you'll dread freeway onramps. The recent addition of a 6-speed automatic transmission provides quieter and more fuel-efficient cruising, but needs to downshift sometimes two gears to get the car up inclines or to pass other vehicles. The driver's seat is relatively high and provides good forward visibility. Ride quality is still decent as in past Kia Souls, and sound deadening has improved from more insulation material.
Favorite Features

INFINITY AUDIO SYSTEM
The available 350-watt system is music to our ears, and for those who want visual pizzazz, speaker lights can pulse to the beat for an extra treat.

2-TONE LEATHER SEATING
This optional trim in sand and black gives the Soul's interior a more sophisticated feel, literally and figuratively.

2013 Kia Soul Details
2013 Kia Soul Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The Soul's eccentric exterior flows into the cabin, where bright colors and nifty features abound. At center stage is a large, surfboard-shaped dash module that houses the Soul's audio and climate functions. A 4.3-inch color touch screen display is available and lends more sophistication, as does optional leather seating. Kia dubs the Soul a "lounge on wheels" and has filled it with numerous cubby holes and storage spaces for a multitude of drinks and devices. Among the youth-centric features of the 2013 Soul are lights that envelope the speakers and that can pulsate in multiple colors to music. (This can be switched off as the novelty wanes). Rear legroom is commendable, and cargo room is good.

Exterior
2013 Kia Soul photo

The most noticeable thing about a Kia Soul is its shape, which you might liken to a sneaker on wheels. Unlike boxy cars such as the Nissan Cube and Scion xB, the 2013 Kia Soul has a forward-leaning stance and sloped rear windows and beltlines that lend an athletic stance. Big, trapezoidal headlights give character to the Soul's squat face, while long, vertical taillights do the same at rear on each side of the upward-opening hatch door. Other exterior design features vary by trim. Base models ride on 15-inch wheels, Plus models move up to 16-inch versions, and Exclaim models roll on 18-inch alloys.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base 2013 Kia Soul comes with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine and 6-speed manual transmission (a 6-speed automatic transmission is optional), power windows and door locks with remote keyless entry, and Bluetooth connectivity with steering-wheel-mounted controls for the AM/FM/CD/satellite radio. Plus models add features like a bigger engine, tweeter speakers, and leather-wrapped steering wheel. Top-line Exclaim models add 18-inch wheels, UVO Microsoft-powered infotainment system and Infinity audio, rear camera, power sunroof, 2-tone seating, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Like all new Kia vehicles, the Soul's powertrain is backed by a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Optional Equipment

The Kia Soul can be nicely optioned up, with feature availability varying by trim level. Among the add-ons are heated front seats, a premium audio system with HD Radio, navigation, automatic climate control, and leather seating. An Eco package attains higher fuel economy with low-resistance tires and an engine start/stop system.

Under the Hood
2013 Kia Soul Engine photo

Base models of the 2013 Soul use a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder, while the higher-trim Plus and Exclaim models employ a more powerful 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. Transmission choices are a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. All Soul models are front-wheel drive. We don't recommend trying to win any street races with the Soul, as mighty acceleration is not its forte. For those craving the best fuel economy in their Soul, a new Eco Package available in cars with automatic transmission stops the engine when idling to conserve fuel.

1.6-liter inline-4
138 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
123 lb-ft of torque @ 4,850 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/30 mpg (manual and automatic), 26/31 mpg (automatic with Eco package)

2.0-liter inline-4
164 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
148 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/29 mpg (manual), 23/28 (automatic), 24/29 mpg (automatic with Eco package)

Pricing Notes

The 2013 Kia Soul Base model has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $15,175. A top-of-the-line Exclaim version goes for $20,675 and can reach $24,000 with options. The Soul's starting price undercuts that of the Nissan Cube and Scion xD by several hundred dollars and the Scion xB by about $2,000. Be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what buyers are actually paying for the Kia Soul. The Soul's resale value is expected to be very strong, and as good as or better than the Nissan Cube and Scion xB, depending on trim level.

To find out what consumers are really paying for this vehicle, first select a style to see the Fair Purchase Price| Calculate payments for this vehicle

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2013 Kia Soul Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 265 Ratings for the 2010 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

This is a fun vehicle!

By on Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

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: "fun to drive"

Cons: "none"

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

"The height of this vehicle is great; one gets in and out with ease and when the rear seats are down, there is much room. Very fun to drive; handles great on the winding roads in WV. I see no disadvantage other than not being able to get studded 18" low profile tires for winter travel."

Honestly..a car for just about anyone!

By on Monday, April 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,500

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "VALUE! QUALITY! And not just a warmed over clone!"

Cons: "I'm 60, not the type of person who owns a Soul?"

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

"When Volkswagon cooked up the first series of the "Beetle", it was called "The Peoples Car", and Henry Ford sold his Model A's and Model T's literally like "hot cakes" and just about all of Americans could at long last sell the horse! The KIA Soul isn't quite the everymans car...but on the other hand it close to being an iconic vehicle...and in its Urban Utility Vehicle catagory it has sent several "wanna be" competitors packing their bags and slinking away!"

I love my Soul

By on Saturday, April 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

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
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great on gas, reliable, adorable"

Cons: "hated the fabric on the seats!"

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

"I am a photographer who carries her studio around in her car and I have loved the ease and convenience of doing so in my Kia Soul. It's spacious without being a gas-guzzler and totally reliable. I've had this car for three years and have never taken it in for anything more than an oil change and tire rotation. I wasn't thrilled with the fabric used for the seats of the 2011 Soul, but I know that has since been improved upon."

wonderful car.

By on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,500

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: "FUN, A BLAST TO DRIVE."

Cons: "HUH? THERE ARE NONE."

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

"INCREDIBLE STEERING, GAS MILEAGE = 35-40MPG. (BUT WE DON'T RACE IT) SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL DESIGN. EVERY TIME WE PASS ANOTHER ONE, BOTH DRIVERS GIVE A "THUMBS UP". WHEN PEOPLE SEE THIS CAR, THEY SMILE."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great first car/Good value for what its worth

By on Monday, April 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,071

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very reliable, smooth driving, great price, MPG"

Cons: "Touchy breaks, slow take off"

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

"This is the first car I have bought and owned and I loved it. The engine is very quiet, rides smooth, and a Kia will last you forever if you keep up the maintenance. The only downside I could say about this car is that the breaks are REALLY touchy, no matter what (it gets worse in the rain). The look of the car is unique, something you will have to get used to! Also, if you want to go from 0-60 in seconds, this is not the car for you. The econ button makes for a slow take off (but the MPG are amazing!). Unfortunately I just recently totaled this car (about a week ago). However, I can personally vouch for the good safety ratings. Just minor seat-belt injuries is how I walked away from it being totaled, and even though major damage on the outside the inside hardly gave at all allowing for my injuries to be as minor as they were."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

very happy with vehicle,must sell because of money

By on Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I don't own this car

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: "good price,great style,cleans up perfectly."

Cons: "some exterior blemishes, does not take away"

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

"great sounds,mood lights around front speakers,fantastic cargo and or back seats,very clean no tears or wear, small spare tire with tire jack intact. safety rating with air bags very high. Having to sell because of financial crisis. When I get back in the saddle I will buy another Kia. SAT radio ability,USB site, MP3/CD player,tilt wheel, very low miles, electric windows, color is "alien green" factory original,5 speakers up front,many stash boxes for sunglasses etc,large glove box plus middle console box. Area for cell phone with 4 cup holders in front seat. Driver and passenger lighted vanity mirrors. The list goes on....low mileage 37,000 gets avg 30mpg. Automatic trans. quiet motor,smooth ride,sweet package."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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