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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
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 319 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

GREATEST, SAFEST, FUNEST CAR EVER!!!!!

By on Monday, April 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

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: "She gets up and goes!! Comfortable safe reliable"

Cons: "none except no light in glove box"

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

"I LOVE MY KIA SOUL SPORT. SO FUN TO DRIVE AND VERY CUTE. MY LIL RED CAR IS THE BEST. VERY HIGH SAFETEY RATINGS TOO!!!!!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Value is unbeatable and better mpg than stated

By on Saturday, April 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,390

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price, fun drive, great looking."

Cons: "Turning off a/c to climb mtn slacks the "drag"."

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

"This car is well worth the money. I average 32+ mpg and that is with a daily paper route and 1 and 1/2 mile mountain climb to get back home. If I am total highway/trip 39.5. It has the perfect amount of room and easy access with the four doors and my 6'4" hubby sits in back comfortably."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

very good on gas and travels good country or city.

By on Friday, April 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,700

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "gas and looks"

Cons: "I'm getting what I paid for and stylist too."

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

"Love my car! The looks are sweet (white) Gas mileage is about 29. I live in the country and have had no problem getting around in snow, ice or dry. Great little car."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

good for economy

By on Sunday, March 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,500

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "reliable, good fuel economy, agile"

Cons: "ugly body style"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

custom paint

"Great daily driver. Actually handles and accelerates very well. (Manual) more room than appears, other than "trunk" space."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

custom paint

Great Little car

By on Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Accessibilty, interior comfort, sportiness"

Cons: "Probably not made for cross-country touring."

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

"Buyers of this car are very young or very old. I'm old. I thought my Ford Focus was a small car - this one is 30 inches shorter overall. And seems vastly larger inside. It doesn't happen often, but even large and tall people sit comfortably in the back seats. Plenty of room for people and luggage, groceries, etc. Ease of entry and seating are important at my advanced age - this car is the best. It sits low; you sit upright. 8 airbags means I'm probably safe, too. IT drives like a sports car and parks so easy. Great little car."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Was the best "new" and lasting vehicle we owned.

By on Sunday, March 15, 2015

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
Not Rated
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "This awesome gas-saving mobile is da' bomb!!!"

Cons: "At 52 YO, I coulda' used heating seats lol"

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

"The limits placed on describing our positive experience via IT is shameful. My husband and I decided to buy a "new" vehicle for the first time in, who knows. We LOVED our Kia Soul. My husband died April 5th, last year. I still love this ever dependable vehicle but,...need to let our sweet 'soul', go."

2 people out of 2 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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