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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Pretty devastated to hear this, but while CR had a predicated highest reliability rating for the 2020 Kia Soul last year, now that its been a year they have now revised that to a bad launch and have declared the 2020 Soul to be on their Worst Used car list as of January 2021. :(
Worst Used Cars
Listed alphabetically by make and model, these 108 vehicles have a record of much-worse-than-average reliability, based on subscriber responses to our Annual Auto Surveys.
ModelYear(s) to Avoid
Forte2017, 2019
Niro Electric2019
Optima2012
Sorento2012-2013, 2020
Soul2020

Edit: April Auto-Guide 2021 Survey Results are out from CR, and they now rate the 3rd generation Kia Soul with its "worst reliability" rating possible. Not good.

136578
 

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With the warranty, and the low price.....It is easy to unload this Korean crap and pick up a Mazda in 4 years/11mo
Little Gem......
 

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Transmission issues are probably a big reason for that. In past years, Toyota had sludging engines, the sticking gas pedal, more recent years engines with high oil usage and the latest Rav4 had transmission issues. Starting with the latest CRV version in 2017, there were a lot of no heat issues, gas diluting and overfilling the oil. The turbo and non turbo I drove had a delay when starting out after stepping on the gas. Others experienced the same. I saw comments that made the heat problem something to do with the small engines not producing a lot of heat. I had a 2016 Ford Escape with a 1.6 turbo that had good heat and it did not have any oil diluted by gas problems.

When I looked into Mazda's the last few vehicles I bought, there were some complaints about vibrations in cold weather, they had problems with some clutch parts poorly made and were supposedly not willing to warranty problems. Previous models had air conditioners that did not work well. Ford has had some transmission problems with some of their Suv's, there always seem to be reviews about automatic transmissions in certain vehicles hunting for the proper gear in certain situations. Not saying GM has not had any problems, I have no interest in them so I did not research them. Subaru's had bucking cvt's I owned one of them and engines with high oil usage. It seem like their reliability has dropped, not sure if it is with certain models or across the board. Mercedes and BMW's are referred to as money pits.

It can be frustrating because onilne can be a lot of unhappy people complaining about problems while the happy ones don't tend to post as much. Another thing is how many problems vs how many sold. I know people who have bought the most reliable brands and had bad luck and people who have bought unreliable brands and had good luck. Here is another resource. CarComplaints.com | Car Problems, Car Complaints, & Repair/Recall Information.
 

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Yep, typical consumer reports, recommend, take back, recommend. I am sure people at that magazine mean well but they are often clueless. Their polls they send out are a joke, I got one and did not care to contribute to their BS. It's like reading google or Amazon reviews, except on those you don't just see numbers or stars but you can actually read the negative reviews and often realize the reviewer hasn't a clue or is upset about something not relevant to the product. I can however see how the transmission recall would make them mark the Soul down legitimately. My gripe is with the magazine overall and I don't ever bother to reference their opinion for anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We just traded a 2011 Ford Fiesta with the junk 6 speed duel clutch for another junk transmission car? Mine is at 5550 miles and so far so good.
Yeah, the IVT seems to be the reason for CR's warning, sometimes having issues at low mileage, loaner not provided but reimbursed, with turnaround that can take a couple weeks. Long warranty at least, but sucks that your brand new car will likely end up with a refurbished replacement transmission if it fails. Haven't seen big issues w/ the DCT reliability in the turbo reported, except reviewer consensus seems to be that the combo of turbo lag and somewhat abrupt shifting of the 7-speed wasn't as nice as the smooth IVT 2.0 combo for every day casual driving.
 

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I always recommended avoiding cars that are the first years (up to 4 years) from introduction of a new major component - engine or transmission.
In today minimal profit margins or new cars manufacturers will rush out new components to recoup quicker their development costs. If that means an increased warrant cost, it's all good, they still save money overall.
That means the owners of those first years will have problems and re-sale value will drop a lot as result of that.
There are well know years with issues, on all cars, everyone needs to do it's research... for older models. For new one, just apply common sense.

This is one of the sites that I check when buy used. Normalize per number of years passed, cars with only 1-3 years don't have yet a good history. This is why I would never trade "up" my 2011 Kia Soul ! for a newer model, in 2012 they changed the engines and transmissions:

PS: I have also another personal rule for second hand car purchases - never buy a turbo engine and/or a CVT transmission (even if is branded as "intelligent"). GDI is another big failure.
I just don't trust them, unnecessary complications IMO. Don't like to be a "beta" tester.
If there are others like me, the demand for second hand cars with turbo and/or CVT is lower, so the resale value will drop.
 

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2021 KIA Soul X-Line Neptune Blue w/Black Top. Vehicle Build Date 10/2020, purchased 12/30/2020.
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After doing some research late last year I almost took the Soul off of my vehicle to purchase list, because of the IVT issue. I was needing two cheap run about vehicles, one for me and the other for my daughter. After digging through forums like this, and the various TSB documents listed on the nhtsa.gov site, I decided if I avoided the 4-17-2020 build before date I would be OK. I bought 2 2021 X-Lines, both built after that date. I hope my gamble pays off. But I also purchased the Platinum warranty on both to hedge my bet!

 

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Yep, typical consumer reports, recommend, take back, recommend. I am sure people at that magazine mean well but they are often clueless. Their polls they send out are a joke, I got one and did not care to contribute to their BS. It's like reading google or Amazon reviews, except on those you don't just see numbers or stars but you can actually read the negative reviews and often realize the reviewer hasn't a clue or is upset about something not relevant to the product. I can however see how the transmission recall would make them mark the Soul down legitimately. My gripe is with the magazine overall and I don't ever bother to reference their opinion for anything.
Yep...bought a 2004 Honda Oddy EXL-RES based on their solid read dots rating...Last Model year....Got to be accurate....Worst car I ever owned....They later revised their bullshit with a lot of black dots.... F CR...
 

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I always recommended avoiding cars that are the first years (up to 4 years) from introduction of a new major component - engine or transmission.
In today minimal profit margins or new cars manufacturers will rush out new components to recoup quicker their development costs. If that means an increased warrant cost, it's all good, they still save money overall.
That means the owners of those first years will have problems and re-sale value will drop a lot as result of that.
There are well know years with issues, on all cars, everyone needs to do it's research... for older models. For new one, just apply common sense.

This is one of the sites that I check when buy used. Normalize per number of years passed, cars with only 1-3 years don't have yet a good history. This is why I would never trade "up" my 2011 Kia Soul ! for a newer model, in 2012 they changed the engines and transmissions:

PS: I have also another personal rule for second hand car purchases - never buy a turbo engine and/or a CVT transmission (even if is branded as "intelligent"). GDI is another big failure.
I just don't trust them, unnecessary complications IMO. Don't like to be a "beta" tester.
If there are others like me, the demand for second hand cars with turbo and/or CVT is lower, so the resale value will drop.
You are unfortunately very right about this. My father was an automotive engineer and he always said avoid the first model year of a new car while they sort out the kinks. He also added avoid the 4th year of the same model for the reason that by that time they did a cost cutting analysis on parts that are holding up too well and can be made cheaper even though they may look the same.
Kia does have an early reporting program on problems to keep up their build quality. Any new models that are launched we have to report any issues found immediately. I have personally seen an item that I found on the new K5s that I found in a car or two and now all the new ones that arrive have a paint marker check mark on that item so the reporting does go right back to the assembly line and is looked after.
 

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You are unfortunately very right about this. My father was an automotive engineer and he always said avoid the first model year of a new car while they sort out the kinks. He also added avoid the 4th year of the same model for the reason that by that time they did a cost cutting analysis on parts that are holding up too well and can be made cheaper even though they may look the same.
Kia does have an early reporting program on problems to keep up their build quality. Any new models that are launched we have to report any issues found immediately. I have personally seen an item that I found on the new K5s that I found in a car or two and now all the new ones that arrive have a paint marker check mark on that item so the reporting does go right back to the assembly line and is looked after.
I have had great luck with 1st Model Years and have owned a few

91 MR2- Still Have it perfection
92 Prelude- fantastic
02 Altima SE= Superb until totaled in late 2011
04 GTO- Indestructible- Favorite car of my life.
20 Soul- TBD So far, so good.
On the other hand
93 Ranger- Pile of ****
 

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I'm going to put this assessment in my "too soon to tell" category.

Also, it's CR. If a bunch of 65+ year olds think the 2020 Kia Soul is a bad used car-- I don't think it will kill the market.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm going to put this assessment in my "too soon to tell" category.
Also, it's CR. If a bunch of 65+ year olds think the 2020 Kia Soul is a bad used car-- I don't think it will kill the market.
I thought that was an exaggeration, but that does appear to be the demo for much of the consumer reliability reviews:
At present, it has roughly 7 million—3.8 million of them print subscribers and 3.2 million of them digital. This is, by magazine standards, a huge subscription base, but the worrisome news for Consumer Reports is that their demographics skew older: The average print subscriber is 65 years old, and the average digital subscriber is 56.
That said, age demos shouldn't affect whats broken or not, but what they won't release until April 2021 issue is the breakdown of exactly which parts most contributed to the verdict.
 

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2020 White EX Soul With Designer Package
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After doing some research late last year I almost took the Soul off of my vehicle to purchase list, because of the IVT issue. I was needing two cheap run about vehicles, one for me and the other for my daughter. After digging through forums like this, and the various TSB documents listed on the nhtsa.gov site, I decided if I avoided the 4-17-2020 build before date I would be OK. I bought 2 2021 X-Lines, both built after that date. I hope my gamble pays off. But I also purchased the Platinum warranty on both to hedge my bet!

What is it about the before 4-17-2020 build date that is significant?
 

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2021 KIA Soul X-Line Neptune Blue w/Black Top. Vehicle Build Date 10/2020, purchased 12/30/2020.
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What is it about the before 4-17-2020 build date that is significant?
According to the TSB SC199 document, Souls that were produced between 11/24/18 – 4/17/20 need the IVT software updated. If they fail a test after the software update then the IVT needs to be replaced. Details in the SC199 document posted in the link.
 

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Yep, typical consumer reports, recommend, take back, recommend. I am sure people at that magazine mean well but they are often clueless. Their polls they send out are a joke, I got one and did not care to contribute to their BS. It's like reading google or Amazon reviews, except on those you don't just see numbers or stars but you can actually read the negative reviews and often realize the reviewer hasn't a clue or is upset about something not relevant to the product. I can however see how the transmission recall would make them mark the Soul down legitimately. My gripe is with the magazine overall and I don't ever bother to reference their opinion for anything.
bwdz: The results are survey driven. CR is not clueless.

Are you innumerate?
 
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