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2013 Kia Soul

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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 344 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

dont buy one

By on Monday, July 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "its wheels"

Cons: "its Kia"

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

"we bought this kia soul brand new thinking it would get grate mpg is what the sticker sed (no) its more like winter 17 mpg summer 27 mpg max and that's with premium Gas regular gas way worse the tail gate is already starting to rust and were told its not covered under warranty they tell us we need to wash it more we wash it every week the transmition shifts funny (like don't shift right ) they say just drive it till it stops working so much for warranty .I just looked up KBB on it and $6300 with only 61000 Miles on it with only 61 not good only 4 years old . I say don't buy one it is a throw away car"

great little car!

By on Monday, May 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great, fun, easily loaded, good driving car"

Cons: "no spare tire, consider 4 or awd"

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

"this car handles wonderfully, I love it! the interior is leather, luxurious enough and well made. lots of good features and sound system. love the mood lights. a/c, heat and all are really good. getting 28mph in town. all I miss is I should have gone for awd because of where I live. Came with Serias radio and I renegotiate it every 6mos. no problems with the car. the hatch back and folding rear seats create a great full space wagon. oH... doesn't have a spare tire and if you use the goo kit it will destroy the tire sensor. that is a major bummer and a doughnut kit is costly."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

My 2nd Kia & my daughter & I each have a Soul now

By on Monday, April 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,039

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Excellant interior space and versitility"

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

"From the start I was pleased with the quality of the car and the extras are wonderful. It is a great value as well. Please remember that one Kia dealership is not the same as another. If you are not happy with the treatment you receive, contact another Kia dealership for assistance!"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Cute & simple to drive! LOVE IT!!

By on Thursday, April 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,126

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: "Wonderful price! Fun to drive!"

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

"I have nothing bad to say about the KIA Soul! Cute & easy drive!! The best I love it is I can talk on the phone & not hold it on my hand!!"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

never again not worth it

By on Sunday, March 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "looked nice new funny commmercial"

Cons: "mechanical poor quality.not even a spare tire"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"wife loved it had to have it . my opinion disposable car no valve .car did not hold up to normal ware wife backed into mail box mail box no damage car lost.factory paint piling dealer says it a water base paint not covered (incredible).next time spend a little more for quality and not on what seems to look good.we even get a ck for mileage from kia"

8 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Don't buy this car

By on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,500

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "roomy inside"

Cons: "not well build, engine died"

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

"At 100k miles the engine died, I was 500 miles over so the warranty doesn't cover anything. Its going to cost me almost $4k to replace the engine. I was looking forward to driving this car for 10 years, but it hasn't even been 5, I still owe money on it and have to make this investment. Kia sucks."

6 people out of 14 found this review helpful

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