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2013 Kia Soul

Overview
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2013 Kia Soul Review

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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.

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

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.

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
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

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)

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2013 Kia Soul Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 326 Ratings for the 2010 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

this car has been a work horse

By on Saturday, July 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "reliability and dependability"

Cons: "small trunk"

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

"I really like this car other than replacing one set of brakes and tires, this car has had no trouble"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Love it!

By on Wednesday, June 10, 2015

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

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great price, great gas, comfortable"

Cons: "blind spot"

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

"I really love my Soul! I had a Jeep Liberty but it was expensive and a gas guzzler. Trading in for the Soul was great- same amount of room, WAY better gas mileage. Definitely comfortable and I haven't had any issues. Though it is shaped like a box a bit, so blind spots can be iffy. Don't buy if you can't turn your head to double check before merging. But price is definitely great and I love that it's holding its value over the years."

20 people out of 29 found this review helpful

a lot of fun to drive--gets lots of attention

By on Thursday, May 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "value for the money---lots of content and features"

Cons: "no all wheel drive available"

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

"excellent gas mileage ( at least 30mpg average)and very good build quality--except for routine maintenance(oil and filter changes) no repairs were necessary.plenty of power for freeway merging. this car may look small on the outside but I was surprised by the room inside for people and/or packages.uvo /infinity is a great sounding stereo."

13 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Fantastic Car for the Price!

By on Wednesday, May 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

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
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great gas mileage, reliable & roomy."

Cons: "Cheaper interior features"

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

"This has been a great car for me, especially with long distance commutes & vacation drives. On average it's given me 28 - 33 mpg and still does. I like the space it gives as well. Good head space & plenty of room in the back for transporting things. I have really enjoyed owning this & would recommend to anyone in need of a vehicle for a long commute. My only issue with the vehicle is that the interior is a bit on the cheap side. Fabric seems to stain fairly easily & carpet, too. But covers have helped with all of that. It's been well worth it for both the safety features of the car and the great gas mileage & comfortable ride that I get. Really like the blue tooth & Sirius features as well."

9 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Best car in its price range, by far

By on Friday, May 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

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 and at a great price."

Cons: "None"

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

"I bought this car in July of 2012. I have had ZERO issues with this vehicle. I have had 2 other KIAs and liked them, however this is different. I looked at Chevy Sonic, Nissan Versa and Mazda 3. This car had more options and at a better price. 4 wheel disk brakes, cruise, Satellite radio, power windows, and locks. Versa was a shell of a car by comparison. This is also a fun car to drive with great visibility all the way around. I would definitely buy this car again. Plus rear seating head room for 6+ footers."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best value and fun to drive

By on Thursday, April 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

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
10/10

Pros: "Great price, 5 stars for safety, fun to drive,"

Cons: "When I find one I will let you know"

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

"I love this car. To say I am fussy is an understatement. I test drove 23 cars before I decided on one but from the moment I sat in this car I knew it was mine. Comfortable, easy and fun to drive, low maintenance, low repair cost. How could you ask for more? The sound system is amazing. I have not had a single repair or any problems at all in 4 years. Air filter and oil changes are all it has ever needed. That is saying a lot since my driving is up and down hills and stop and go driving.I know that is hard on brakes and tires let alone the engine and drive train. I have recommended this car to several friends and 2 of them have also purchased one."

9 people out of 11 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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