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Hi all, I'm in the market weighing options, and curious what trim Kia Soul you purchased, what most appealed to you about that trim over others, and if you cross shopped any other vehicles?

Seems there's quite a bit of competition out there for this niche, including a refreshed 2021 Nissan Kicks (whose Jatco CVT still kicks the bucket?), an HRV with its interesting magic seats, and the sporty looking Hyundai Kona which just gets a refresh for 2022 and has similar powertrain options to the Soul.

Thoughts?
 

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2020 LX, cherry black
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I purchased a 2020 LX back in September. My biggest competitors were the Nissan Kicks and Hyundai Kona.

I test drove the Kicks first. After test driving the Soul, it was immediately knocked out of the running. The interior of the Kicks is garbage-- hard plastic everywhere.

I never test drove the Kona but it really came down to money in the end. The base model Soul and Kona are so similar but the Soul is roomier and hands down a better deal so the Soul won.

If I'd been able to spend more money I would have probably gone with something like a Subaru Crosstrek. A higher trim Soul or Kona (even with awd) would not have been in the running for me. With the exception of the GT, the higher trim Souls are the same car as the LX with some cushy additions that don't actually make them fundamentally better vehicles. I'd rather spend more money on a low trim of a better car than spend my money on bells and whistles.
 

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We didn’t look at many vehicles, mostly used ones which were much more expensive when they were new because at the time (18months ago) we wanted:

A small car but ideally with a rear tailgate instead of a sedan as the trunks in those are small and have a badly shaped opening.
Apple CarPlay
Reversing camera
Blind spot monitor
At least 3 years of warranty

these were our minimums but it was hard to find a small used car that had that set, so we decided to look new.

So no that we were looking new ideally we would also like:

Rear cross traffic alert
Automated collision braking
Auto headlights
Auto wipers
lane keep assist
And it would be nice if I liked the look of it.

While wanting to spend as little as possible it was really hard to find a car that had all these very latest safety features as a lot of new small cars are old models and manufacturers seem to like putting these things in larger models and not even as standard...

The Soul S checked every single box except auto wipers. I would have liked keyless entry/go on the EX as well as its climate control and larger touch screen (although frankly the base one is clear and fine on CarPlay) but it was too much extra money percentage wise and on what was already a more expensive than intended purchase, and where do you draw the line? After all I would then start wanting the LED headlights and probably a better radio but then the price moves up into a zone where a more premium built/finished car becomes a possibility.
So I decided to be really strict and just get what we needed with no additional conveniences/niceties.

Even got a 10/5 year warranty, love how it looks in white, it has masses of space inside and the tall roof really makes it feel airy and SUV like, the trunk is big enough for day to day shopping and if we fold the seats down we can put some pretty big stuff in from Home Depot and ikea just as long as nothing is too long.

It’s great on gas, cheap to service.

The lane keep assist works fine on the highway, the forward collision doesn’t activate too often (as in it has never needed to hit the brakes but I have gotten the warning buzzer 3 times in 18months but that’s ok). The blind spot monitoring, cross traffic and reverse camera are great.

it even gets a top safety rating!

The steering is good, too light but changes direction well, and the brakes are not grabby and easy to modulate.

And even though we only paid a little under MSRP for it back then as it was the new thing, it was still a great deal as there is nothing with that feature set and benefits even close to that price.

Nothing is perfect, especially when it comes to economy cars so the negatives are:

The headlights are beyond crap unless you get the LEDs ones on the top model.
There is a lot of road noise
The ride quality is poor even though we don’t have low profile tyres as the overall tyre size is small.
The engine has enough power that the car doesn’t feel dangerous and will keep up with and pass traffic no problem, but no more and you have to work it hard if you want to really make progress due to a lack of torque as there is no turbo on what is otherwise a small 4cyl.
The interior plastics are low quality (as in the main black textured stuff, but at least they brighten it up with some nice silver, not chrome, trim especially on the door cards.
The base radio sound quality is just ok.

Its a great car for day to day use locally. I wouldn’t want to go on a really long road trip with it unless I had to as the noise and ride would be tiring. But that’s the case with most small cars unless you buy something premium like a Mini but that’s a lot more money...

Overall I am extremely pleased with it, I still love how it looks, enjoy driving it and think it’s still a great deal today.
 

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Seems solidly built at 10K miles
Cabin is nice, materials are good at it's price point
Seats are comfortable, if you are small and not wide in any sense of the word
Stereo is wretched
Tech is pretty good/Apple and android work well
Wind noise on highway, but not too bad considering it is the shape of a cement block
GT Steering wheel is AWESOME.. I love it
Paint quality on mine is very good...Excellent paint job.
Wheels are very nice, tires are quality, quiet and smooth
Handling is great, strong point on the GT. You forget you are driving a little econo cement block shaped car.
Motor, in my opinion is a weak point. Loud and weak is how I would describe it. Around town, it is great....On the highway, when it comes time to pass....It sounds like it is going to explode and you are reminded it is a tine 4 banger.
Loud at Idle..
Tons of room under the hood to work on it...I guess because the motor is so small
Absolute most convenient well placed Oil dip stick- Almost placed and marked for DUMMIES on purpose.
CVT or what Kia says to fool people into thinking they have something special "IVT" is Ok. It is arguably better than the 2 I have had in Nissans. But, they had the 3.5 L VQ so I could live with them.
Back end is a dirt vortex.
Little Mud guards from Kia need to be a little larger, they look good but do not do ****.
Kia dealers are absolute annoying liars- AND the lies never stop. (KIA OF HERMITAGE)
That all said, my wife loves it...I like it....And would not want it to be my DD. I prefer my 10 yr old Altima SR.
It is a good value for the money...Lets see how the motor and tranny hold up over the next couple years.
 

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The Soul is hard to beat for the price and the roominess inside. I have a 2016 Soul but that has been passed to another family member and I needed or wanted AWD for the snow I live in so I got a Mazda CX3 in 2019. The new CX30 is nice also. Still love the Soul and at the price would be hard to beat the new ones.
 

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2021 Soul EX Build Date 11/20
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I compared it to a Subaru Impreza hatch, Honda civic hatch and VW Golf. I had a 2009 VW GTI. I went with the Kia because it was the best value and roominess, and corners just about as well as the GTI. I expected the drop in performance (50 hp difference) but the Soul moves along enough for my needs.

It is my understanding that the VW Golf is not being sold in the US after this year. Unless i bought another GTI, i was not going to get the same performance, but the GTI was beginning to have issues (headliner was sagging, rust on the tire wells, needed new brakes, and my mechanic was recommending i replace the chain tensioner [though no issues yet, it is a common failure on the 2009 GTI] before it possibly failed and the engine needed to be replaced) and for what it would cost to fix those issues, it made sense to buy a new car, but I was not willing to spend $30k for a second car we use on weekends to run errands or camping trips. Plus cheaper to insurer than the GTI.

My wife has the Telluride and she loves it, and she is not generally someone to love a car.

We have had no issues with our dealer and we recommend them (Bridgewater Kia).
 

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OK, well I'm writing from a dated perspective (I bought my cars [I have two Souls] 8 1/2 years ago), but I will add my two cents:

First: shopping for a replacement car for my wife in 2012 after the 2007 Ford Focus we bought new was destroyed by a knucklehead in a Chevette. Yeah, a Chevette. It was a good car and it only had 50k miles on it. I got a reasonable payout on it so off we went. My wife wanted a small car that was automatic, easy to drive and park, reasonably roomy and easy to get in/out of. My only requirement since I wouldn't be driving it was that it was economical to operate and reasonably cheap to buy. We looked at every small car on the market at that time and eventually narrowed it to the Honda Fit and Kia Soul. Honda wouldn't deal, so I ended up getting a good deal on the Soul and that was that. Still have the car today with about 80k miles on it.

Mine: I drive about 30-40k miles a year for work, much of that commuting, so I wanted: cheap to operate, manual transmission, reasonable fuel economy, reasonably comfortable, cruise control, power windows and door locks were a requirement. And something with a good warranty that I could hopefully kill, as this was going to (hopefully) be my last commuter until I retired. I bought my Soul for $12k and change with all that stuff except cruise, which I added by swapping steering wheels. I still have my car and it has 162k miles on it. The only other car I considered was the Impreza, as I am too big to fit into the Honda Fit comfortably which was the car I liked but sloping door openings smash my head all the time. The Soul is like driving a boxy SUV. I also liked the Scion Xb but it was out of production I think by that point and too expensive anyway.

As a bonus I get paid by Kia for their MPG fiasco on both cars and have got about $3k back so far I think.

I would say that the Soul is the best you can do as a whole on small cars, at least back then. It's not the best at anything - the seats are hard, they're noisy, the fuel economy is so-so - but they are second or third best at just about everything, and when you take that as a whole combined with the price tag it's really hard to beat. I bought mine to kill it and so far haven't succeeded :)
 

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Hi all, I'm in the market weighing options, and curious what trim Kia Soul you purchased, what most appealed to you about that trim over others, and if you cross shopped any other vehicles?

Seems there's quite a bit of competition out there for this niche, including a refreshed 2021 Nissan Kicks (whose Jatco CVT still kicks the bucket?), an HRV with its interesting magic seats, and the sporty looking Hyundai Kona which just gets a refresh for 2022 and has similar powertrain options to the Soul.

Thoughts?
I purchased a Toyota RAV4 hybrid 2020 in April for $31,000. My 05 Toyota Tacoma bit the dust in December, so I purchased a 2020 Soul LX used w/8,500 miles paid $16,800 for it OTD. Can't believe the performance and gas mileage I'm getting for about half the price. To me there's no comparison, I kick myself not looking at the soul first! 2020 Kia Soul Prices, Reviews, & Pictures | U.S. News & World Report
 

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Soul 2014 to 2019. Space for long tall people, including the back seat! Great cargo space when the back seats are folded down. Lots of glass real estate to admire the countryside. Terrific handling on windy, canyon and mountain roads. These four factors sell the Soul.

No CVT transmission. ....big sigh of relief....

2.0 litre engine has extra for passing on positive inclines.

Great headlights with automatic levelling (now all the better with aftermarket LEDs).

A little noisier than what I have experienced elsewhere. Both engine and road noise. But bearable.

Better than average dealership care and service from what I have read.


I am trying to think now.... what did go wrong with the Kia Soul? Ah yes. One thing in the 5+ years we have owned it. The rear hatch latch. It was under warranty and the dealership replaced it at no charge. Would have been an easy, inexpensive fix if I had done the repair.

I am reasonably pro-active with the maintenance. Does that explain in part our success to date?

The SUV crossovers are not real off-road vehicles but would have higher clearance than the Soul. That might be helpful on some unfinished roads or in deep snow.
 
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2020 Kia Soul LX
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I liked the Subaru Crosstrek and the Honda HRV. The Soul was @ $5k less than the Honda and @ $7k less than the Crosstrek. With good snow tires AWD is not necessary. The Soul handles better than either the Honda or Subaru but the ride is rougher. I guess it boils down to the money I saved on the Kia will pay for the gas to drive it for the next 70k to 100k miles (current gas prices).
 

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I liked the Subaru Crosstrek and the Honda HRV. The Soul was @ $5k less than the Honda and @ $7k less than the Crosstrek. With good snow tires AWD is not necessary. The Soul handles better than either the Honda or Subaru but the ride is rougher. I guess it boils down to the money I saved on the Kia will pay for the gas to drive it for the next 70k to 100k miles (current gas prices).
I owned an orange Subaru Crosstrek 2013 new until 4/2020. Living in Florida it was ungodly hot because it was made for ice & snow, no window tint just color glass! Being 70 it was a struggle to get into and out of the car the seats were also way too hard, but it was very easy to find in the parking lot due to the color. The manufacture always bragged about it being environmentally friendly (recyclable), paint was so soft you could scratch the paint surface just by washing it. If you raised the hood you could see the edge of the fender going into the engine bay the primer paint color which bothered me to no end. After 65,000 miles my car was in for a recall to replace the valve springs, which meant removing the engine and cylinder heads. It was never the same after that, it started losing coolant so I traded it in.
 

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I found the US News Auto Rankings information to be helpful when I was "car shopping" - 20 Best Subcompact SUVs for 2021 | U.S. News & World Report

The Soul is close to the top and gives me what I really wanted most: the higher driving position and better visibility. I was only looking at the smaller subcompact SUVs due to a tight fitting garage.

Got no complaints so far.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
I found the US News Auto Rankings information to be helpful when I was "car shopping" - 20 Best Subcompact SUVs for 2021 | U.S. News & World Report
Thanks, I did like the Denim trim of the Venue with the white roof, and even though all the plastics are hard, I thought it was well laid out. Soul seems more upscale though, at least how you can potentially configure it. I'm thinking I might wait to test drive the 2022 Kona, as supposedly its coming any day now so I can back-to-back it w/ a Soul.
The manufacture always bragged about it being environmentally friendly (recyclable), paint was so soft you could scratch the paint surface just by washing it.
I remember reading about that, particularly the orange paint was especially prone to chipping and the like. Bummer. What is cool though is that they now offer a 2.5L from the Forester, but the Soul infotainment seems nicer than what Subaru currently offers.
 

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used to own a 2016 Soul SX 2.0L - Caribbean Blue
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I hope you don't mind me interjecting, as many long time members know me as an owner of three Kia's two of them Soul's (2012 and 2016).
However, to give a different perspective to this subject and fair comparison, I now own the #2 model on that top 20 list, a CX-30, so if you have any questions with regards that model, I would be pleased to answer them.
 

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2020 LX, cherry black
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Hard plastic isn't a big problem if you get a new car every five years but for those who keep their vehicle as long as they can, it makes a huge difference. You end up with a dozen rattles that can't be fixed and a material that handles sun damage much much worse.
 

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We bought the EX, if you compare features to price my wife and I thought it was the best deal and we're very happy with it. We checked out Mazda, Honda and Subaru finding the Soul to be the most for the money and that warranty is also a big seller after owning a 2011 Ford Fiesta that fell apart on us.
 

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Hi all, I'm in the market weighing options, and curious what trim Kia Soul you purchased, what most appealed to you about that trim over others, and if you cross shopped any other vehicles?

Seems there's quite a bit of competition out there for this niche, including a refreshed 2021 Nissan Kicks (whose Jatco CVT still kicks the bucket?), an HRV with its interesting magic seats, and the sporty looking Hyundai Kona which just gets a refresh for 2022 and has similar powertrain options to the Soul.

Thoughts?
Look at the Kia Seltos suv. About 23gs for price.
 

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I owned an HRV before this and moved to the soul gtline turbo. Way prefer the power in this car and it ticked all the boxes for me. Cross shopped suburu crosstrek (poor mpg), hyundai veloster N (too small), Mazda 3 and cx3 (no power... though that was before the turbo came out) and Honda civic hatch. It was a toss up between last year's civic fully loaded with a heavy discount, or the soul fully loaded at the same price (after negotiations). Picked the soul because it was way more upscale inside a d more unique to the eye.

Didn't even glance at the Nissan, I'm a little worried about their Financials and honestly the car is generic and ugly as sh#t compared to the juke.
 

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Hi all, I'm in the market weighing options, and curious what trim Kia Soul you purchased, what most appealed to you about that trim over others, and if you cross shopped any other vehicles?

Seems there's quite a bit of competition out there for this niche, including a refreshed 2021 Nissan Kicks (whose Jatco CVT still kicks the bucket?), an HRV with its interesting magic seats, and the sporty looking Hyundai Kona which just gets a refresh for 2022 and has similar powertrain options to the Soul.

Thoughts?
Hi. I have a 2020 GT-line Soul, and LOVE it. I tested the Honda Civic and the Hyundai Kona before deciding on the Kia. It is roomier (by far) than either of the other two, and is nearly as roomy as my wife's
Subaru Outback. Ride is good, and HANDLING of the GT is FAR BETTER than I would have expected. With stickier tires, this thing could really fly around corners.

In retrospect, I suspect the Hyundai Kona I drove had badly over-inflated tires, because it rode really harshly, but it's only advantage over the Soul was 4WD. I believe that the Soul is better in EVERY other regard.
 
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