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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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Buying this car?

2013 Kia Soul Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 310 Ratings for the 2010 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

I love my little truck. I don't miss my fullsized.

By on Sunday, March 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Lots of room, easy controls, fun to drive."

Cons: "Gas mileage could be a little better."

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

"I use my Soul for everything from delivering pizzas for my restaurant to pulling my small utility trailer for whatever reason. I downgraded from a full size 1/2 ton pickup. With my 9x5 utility trailer, I have no need for a truck anymore. Gas mileage is better (even with the trailer loaded with 1200# of stone). Very reliable & easy to maintain. I can haul 3 other tall (6'3") people plus driver, with plenty of legroom, and still pick up $200 worth of groceries. Great for elderly as the ride height is just below standing height. Easy controls. Everything is very easy to reach. Great for small to medium families."

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Kia Soul. Very happy/satisfied

By on Saturday, February 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,500

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

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

"Love the style, comfort, MILEAGE, handling. Only reason of thinking of trading it in is that it is white. I want a color since now I see all the colors and I want a tan or yellow one."

Great car!

By on Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price, good mileage, suprisingly roomy"

Cons: "cup holders are marginal"

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

"Has been very reliable & fun to drive. Fits 4 adults comfortably. Get about 26 mph in town & 32 on interstate."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Good little car

By on Thursday, February 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Rides good , great radio uvo speakers are ok"

Cons: "bigest con is value and the 2015 are not cool"

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

"Kia needs more incentives Looking at 2015 and all they got is $500 on a lease a lot of better cars out there for less, I guess we will wait and see as Far as the Soul fun car we owned 2, kind of the city cruiser but fun to drive any where people still ask what is it Brakes grab a lot gas mileage 28 highway 21000 car lucky to get 13000 less then 14000 miles"

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

I love my Kia Soul

By on Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000

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: "great price, fun to drive, limited edition"

Cons: "Isn't AWD"

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

"I really love my Kia Soul. It has been very reliable. I would keep it, but, I need something more powerful. Looking for an AWD for traveling up to my camp."

Great Car for The Money

By on Sunday, February 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Price, Included Features"

Cons: "Interior plastic"

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

"Okay, I loved the hamster commercials but that is not what convinced me to buy my Kia Soul. My old car was getting to the point where it required a trip to the mechanic every month and I decided enough was enough. I went to the local KIA dealer and drove the model I eventually purchased. I was impressed at how the car performed. It has a peppy little engine and features that I really liked. It came with Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, stability control, abs and comfortable seats. This car performs well in winter, it grips the road and instills a feeling of confidence to the driver. The controls are simple to operate and the controls are all lit up in an eye soothing red for night time driving."

11 people out of 19 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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