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2010 Kia Soul

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2010 Kia Soul Review

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With the arrival of the 2010 Kia Soul and 2009 Nissan Cube, the original Scion xB becomes the progenitor of a bona fide little sub-segment defined by funky practicality. Surely, there's a good chance the Soul and Cube wouldn't be here today - in this country, anyway - if not for the success of the original box on wheels. While the Nissan Cube is more reminiscent of the smaller, first-generation xB, the Kia Soul is a more direct competitor to the latest xB. Does the Soul's mix of style, value and technology make it the right choice for you? Keep reading to find out.

You'll Like This Car If...

Versatility and affordability are admirable qualities in a car, but they sound so boring. The 2010 Kia Soul wraps both in look-at-me styling, creating a vehicle that combines niche appeal with well-rounded practicality.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for zip, you'll have to look elsewhere (outside the category, really). A four-speed automatic transmission doesn't help matters, and the Soul's highway mpg rating of 30 mpg (31 mpg for the smaller, less powerful base model) isn't anything to write home about.

What's Significant About This Car?

The arrival of the Kia Soul puts an end to Scion's near monopoly on economical, versatile, boldly styled cars aimed directly at the younger set.

Driving the Soul

Driving Impressions The 2010 Kia Soul is interesting to look at, roomy for people or cargo and offers an impressive array of audio and connectivity features. Less notable is the way it...

drives: like a run-of-the-mill economy car. It isn't particularly slow (although we haven't driven a base model with the smaller engine) or ill-handling, but the driving experience doesn't live up to the car's otherwise playful demeanor. The five-speed manual transmission doesn't offer the kind of car-driver connection you might want from a manual, and the four-speed automatic is at least one speed shy of flexible. Would the driving experience keep us from buying a 2010 Kia Soul? Absolutely not. Around town and on the highway, the 2010 Kia Soul is as easy and as comfortable as some of today's better compact cars. Just don't expect it inspire you to take the fun way home.

Comprehensive Audio System
The 2010 Kia Soul base model might be hampered with small steel wheels and a lack remote keyless entry, but Kia saw fit to make sure every single Soul has a full-featured AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat/Aux/USB audio system. That's cool.

iPod Bin
The 2010 Kia Soul has the best iPod station we've seen (outside of another Kia or Hyundai): an open bin, in plain view and within easy reach, with readily accessible power and connection ports.

2010 Kia Soul Details
2010 Kia Soul photo Interior

The first thing new Soul owners show their friends are the available speaker lights in the front door speakers, which pulse to the beat of the music or cycle softly with adjustable intensity. Far more important in the long run are the Soul's overall interior design and quality, which we find especially impressive for a car that starts under $14,000. One of our favorite features is the front-and-center iPod bin, detailed further in the Favorite Features section of this review. The 2010 Kia Soul sport is offered exclusively with a very red-themed interior, our favorite part of which is the red glove box interior that makes it easier to see what's inside. Not surprisingly, the tall, boxy 2010 Kia Soul is a roomy and versatile little car.

Exterior
2010 Kia Soul photo

We like the simultaneously sporty, quirky and utilitarian look of the 2010 Kia Soul. We like it much better, of course, with the range-topping 18-inch five-spoke wheels than the base model's 15-inch covered steel wheels. The entry Soul is also hindered by black door handles and mirrors in contrast with body-color pieces across the rest of the line. At the opposite end of the price spectrum, the 2010 Kia Soul sport is distinguished visually by unique front and rear fascias and side sills.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

For a Lincoln less than $14,000, the 2010 Kia Soul offers a 122-horsepower four-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, power windows and locks, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat/Aux/USB audio system and an impressive list of standard safety equipment that includes six airbags and electronic stability control.

Optional Equipment

Check all the option boxes and your 2010 Kia Soul will include a 142-horsepower engine, four-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch alloy wheels, front fog lamps, moonroof, upgraded audio system, leather-covered steering wheel and shift knob, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise control and Bluetooth phone connectivity. The Soul sport gets a sport-tuned suspension, unique front, rear and side styling elements, metal-finish pedals and interior accents, and a red/black interior color scheme.

Under the Hood

Although the base model 2010 Kia Soul features a smaller 1.6-liter engine that's paired only with a five-speed manual transmission, Kia doesn't anticipate selling too many. And we probably wouldn't buy it, either. Most 2010 Kia Souls will feature a 2.0-liter engine, offered with a four-speed automatic or the five-speed manual.

1.6-liter in-line four
122 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
115 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/31

2.0-liter in-line four
142 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
137 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/30

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2010 Kia Soul Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 327 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

Love this car!!!

By on Saturday, August 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000

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

Cons: "Radio screen hard to read"

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

"I am a 66 year old female I have never enjoyed driving a car as much as my Soul. I have bad knees and I find it easy to get in and out of. My husband is over 6 foot and he sits very comfortably. Sure it rides a little rough sometimes but it is a small car. I would recommend this to everyone."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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"

7 people out of 13 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."

22 people out of 32 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."

15 people out of 22 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."

12 people out of 22 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."

10 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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