Nearly a decade after its introduction, the Kia Soul is the only vehicle that remains of a handful of toaster-shaped wagons that once included the Honda Element and Scion xB. Despite the fact the basic design has barely changed through two generations, Kia's most practical small car still looks like nothing else on the road.
For 2019, the Soul's standard equipment list grows with the addition of a 5.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with integrated backup camera and automatic headlights.
Powertrain options start with a 1.6L engine that makes 130 hp and 118 lb-ft of torque in LX trim. EX models trade that for a 2.0L good for 161 hp and 149 lb-ft, and SX Turbo trims get a 1.6L turbo motor that makes 201 hp and 195 lb-ft. Non-turbo models come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission, and the Turbo uses a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
The Soul occupies a little slice of marketplace real estate between compact hatchbacks and small crossovers, lacking only AWD to line it up against models like the Honda HR-V, Ford Ecosport and Chevrolet Trax. But then a FWD-only lineup seems to work fine for the Nissan Kicks and Toyota C-HR, both of which could fairly be cross-shopped against the Soul in spite of their smaller cabins.
LX trim's standard kit includes stuff like a windshield wiper de-icer, USB input, height-adjustable driver's seat, air conditioning, power windows, power-adjustable heated side mirrors and keyless entry.
EX trim replaces the LX's 16-inch steel wheels with 17-inch alloys and adds heated front seats, heated steering wheel, and cruise control. EX models can be optioned with a premium package that brings leather seating, power driver's seat, blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. EX Tech trim gets HID headlights, ventilated front seats, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert and lane departure warning.
SX Turbo adds a sport suspension and 18-inch wheels and a tech package further adds LED fog lights, upgraded stereo and navigation.
The Soul Electric carries over for 2019; you'll find details in a separate buyer's guide entry for that version.
Fuel consumption estimates are 9.4/7.8 L/100 km (city/highway) for the 1.6L engine, 9.5/7.8 with the 2.0L and 9.1/7.7 for Turbo models.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed