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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

8.5 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
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 262 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

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."

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

Great little car for work or liesure

By on Wednesday, March 26, 2014

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

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Perfect little car for little car needs"

Cons: "Other than sirius radio, reception needs power."

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

"This little car is very dependable and excellent for work or just running around. Good gas mileage. Plenty of room for 4 people and plenty of storage space. Fun to drive. Doesn't feel small on the inside and easy to park in tight places. Lots of safety air bags."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

best car for the price.

By on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000

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
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "for the money best car ever."

Cons: "for the size it should get better gas mileage."

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

"I love this car. It fits five full grown adults easily. With the backseats down it will fit a full recliner. It's a perfect height to get in and out of without either stepping up or lowering down. It is solid and doesn't sound like a tin can when you shut the doors. The only down side is I think it should have much better gas mileage. I'm only getting 26/28. But for the money this is one of the nicest cars I have had. If I buy another car it will probably be another soul. But I would also upgrade to the better sound system."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Very dependable and economical

By on Wednesday, March 05, 2014

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "The cockpit is very "user friendly for the driver"

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

"This care have proven itself for the past 3 years I have it. I haven't had any major mechnical problem with it during this time.The interior is very durable and it looks very nice after all the years of wear."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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