2018 Kia Soul

MSRP $17,800 - $22,900

Ranked #1 in Wagon

7.7

Overall Rating

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2018 Kia Soul Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 26, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The flashy Kia Soul may not be appealing to everyone in terms of exterior design but overall as a package, it is a cracker of a deal. The 2018 Soul gets three engine options and three gearbox choices. The base engine lacks any soul and offers mediocre gas mileage while the 2.0-liter inline-4 engine is midway between the base and the turbocharged engine. While the turbo-four engine mated with the dual-clutch gearbox makes the Soul a fun-to-drive wagon despite its looks suggesting otherwise.

2018 Kia Soul

The safety ratings and the 'Top Safety Pick+' award from IIHS with an above-average reliability rating is the badge of honor that the Soul wears with pride. The cabin space and practicality that Soul offers are also very competitive in their class. The compact car class is fiercely competitive and has rivals like Toyota Corolla that has a solid track record for being reliable, easy on the pocket, and a practical ride. With that said, let's find out in our review how Kia Soul proves itself and stacks against the competition.

2018 Kia Soul Latest Updates

  • Nov' 17, 2021 : Battle of the Cousins: 2022 Kia Soul vs 2022 Hyundai Kona Read More »
See detailed review »

Pros

Commodious cabin

Spacious cargo area

Top safety ratings

Fuel-efficient and punchy turbo-four engine

Cons

Base engine is anemic

Desirable features are optional

Bigger wheels have unforgiving ride quality

Low gas mileage from base engine

What's New?

The base trim's convenience package gains UVO infotainment along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto .

The base trim's convenience package also gets automatic climate control.

Higher trims get a few feature addition in their optional package and a new exterior color option.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$17800

bodystyle

4dr Wagon

passenger capacity

5

top speed

90 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

97 cu.in.

horsepower

130 hp @ 6300 rpm

torque

118 lb.-ft. @ 4850 rpm

transmission

6 speed Automatic

dimensions

wheelbase

101 in.

length

163 in.

width

71 in.

height

64 in.

curb weight

2942 lbs.

ground clearance

6 in.

capacity

passenger volume

101 cu ft.

cargo volume

49.5 cu ft.

towing capacity

8900 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.3 sec.

zero to 100 mph

17.6 sec.

rolling start 5-60 mph

6.6

standing 1/4-mile

15.4 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

177 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

30/27/30 mpg

highway range

426.0 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

10 yr./ 100,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ 100,000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$17,800 onwards

+$20,400 onwards

!$22,900 onwards

Colors and Styles

2018 Kia Soul in Carribean Blue color
Carribean Blue

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.5

Engine and Performance

7.3

Fuel Economy

7.0

Interior

9.0

Exterior

8.5

Safety

8.0

7.7

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.7

Overall Rating


The 2018 Kia Soul comes with a few feature shuffling and addition in its optional packages and a choice of new Wild Orange exterior color (which you see in the picture below). The 2018 Soul got a $100 price bump and starts at $16,200 while it goes up to $22,900 for the top-end Soul Exclaim trim. For the price range, there are three trim options and each trim gets a different powertrain and gearbox combination, the details of which we have talked about in the 'Engine and Transmission' section.

2018 Kia Soul Side View

Moving inside the cabin, the first thing you would realize is the space and the headroom on offer. The cabin quality remains acceptable in lower trims but gets better as you climb the trim ladder or add the optional packages. For more details on the optional package read our 'Features' section. That said, the 2018 Kia Soul is a wagon but falls under the compact car segment thus rivaling Honda HR-V, Fiat 500L, and Toyota Corolla iM.


7.5/10
Features

7.3/10
Engine and Performance

7.0/10
Fuel Economy

9.0/10
Interior

8.5/10
Exterior

8.0/10
Safety


2018 Kia Soul Features

7.5/10

The 2018 Kia Soul wagon is offered in three trims namely base, Plus(+), and Exclaim(!). The base trim starts at $16,200 and has both manual and automatic gearbox options with power coming from the 1.6-liter inline-4 engine. The base trim is barebones and if going for this trim you would need to get the Convenience package that adds automatic headlights, UVO infotainment interface with a 7-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rearview camera, and automatic climate control.

2018 Kia Soul Three-Quarter Front View

Moving up you have the Plus(+) trim that costs $20,400 and is powered by a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine which is offered only with the automatic transmission. This trim adds a few more features and all the features of the above Convenience package. While Plus(+) can also be had with the Audio package that adds an eight-speaker Harman & Kardon sound system, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, keyless entry and ignition, etc.

2018 Kia Soul Side View

Another package available is the Primo Lit package that adds power-adjustable front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, power-folding outside mirror, driver-assist features, sunroof, etc. The top most Exclaim(!) trim starts at $22,900 and comes with all the features of the Plus(+) trim minus the features from the Primo Lit package.

Trims Base Plus (+) Exclaim (!)
MSRP (Manual) $16,200 N/A N/A
MSRP (Auto) $17,800 $20,400 $22,900
Features 130 hp, 1.6-liter inline-4 engine Adds or upgrades to 'Base' Adds or upgrades to 'Plus (+)'
  16-inch alloy wheels 161 hp, 2.0-liter inline-4 engine 201 hp, 1.6-liter turbo inline-4 engine
  Height-adjustable driver's seat 17-inch alloy wheels 18-inch alloy wheels
  Rear privacy glass 7-inch touchscreen w/ Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
  Six-speaker sound system Automatic climate control Keyless entry and ignition
  60/40-split folding rear seats Foglights Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  Air conditioning Rearview camera Upgraded interior trims w/ a mix of fabric and leather upholstery

We Recommend:

The top trim with the turbocharged engine could be the default choice for enthusiasts but for a wider audience, we recommend picking the mid-level Plus(+) trim. This trim gets a bigger and more powerful engine and a host of features that are otherwise optional on the base trim and a few that aren't available on the top trim. Other than that the bigger engine of the Plus(+) trim is also as fuel-efficient as the base engine thus making it a win-win proposition.

2018 Kia Soul Engine and Performance

7.3/10
"The 2018 Kia Soul is fun to drive, with uplevel models exuding a hint of sportiness. Among its four powertrain options are a lackluster base engine, an animated turbocharged engine, and an all-electric Soul EV that’s available in select markets." - Cars.usnews.com

2018 Kia Soul Engine and Transmission

The 2018 Kia Soul offers three engine options one for each of its three trims. The base trim is powered by a 1.6-liter inline-4 engine mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic and putting out 130 hp and 118 lb-ft of torque. The next-in-line Plus(+) trim gets a bigger 2.0-liter inline-4 engine that puts out 161 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque and comes mated to only a six-speed automatic gearbox. While the top-end Exclaim(!) trim is powered by a cracker 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine that puts out a tall 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. This engine is mated to a slick-shifting seven dual-clutch automatic gearbox. 

uq2018 Kia Soul Engine

Among the three engine options, the turbocharged one packs in the most punch and the best fuel economy figures. The base engine on the other hand not only lacks punch but also returns mediocre gas mileage. The mid-level 2.0-liter inline-4 engine is the best of both worlds with the right mix of power and efficiency.

Models 2018 Kia Soul 2018 Honda HR-V 2018 Toyota Corolla iM 2018 Fiat 500L
MSRP $20,400 $20,470 $19,590 $20,995
Engine 1.6-liter inline-4 1.8-liter inline-4 1.8-liter inline-4 1.4-liter turbo inline-4
Transmission 6-speed automatic CVT CVT 6-speed automatic
Power 130 hp @ 6300 rpm 141 hp @ 6500 rpm 137 hp @ 6100 rpm 160 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque 118 ft-lbs @ 4850 rpm 127 ft-lbs.  @ 4300 rpm 126 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 184 ft-lbs. @ 2500 rpm

All the rivals are priced close to each other but only the Fiat 500L comes with a turbo-four engine right from the base trim. Thus being powered by the turbocharged engine the Fiat 500 L puts out the best power and torque figures. 

2018 Kia Soul Acceleration

The base engine of the 2018 Kia Soul helps it scoot from 0-60 mph in 8.2 seconds and cover the quarter-mile in 16.4 seconds. The turbocharged engine on the Exclaim trim of the Kia Soul is the highlight here that goes from 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds and covers the quarter-mile in 15.0 seconds flat. 

Models 2018 Kia Soul 2018 Honda HR-V 2018 Toyota Corolla iM 2018 Fiat 500L
0-60 MPH (sec) 8.2 sec 9.6 sec 9.1 sec 9.0 sec
Quarter-mile (sec) 16.4 sec 17.4 sec 17.2 sec 17.0 sec
Engine 1.6-liter inline-4 1.8-liter inline-4 1.8-liter inline-4 1.4-liter turbo inline-4

As for the rivals, even the more powerful and turbocharged Fiat 500L can't beat the Kai Soul in either of the runs. The Fiat 500L is fastest among the rivals but remains behind the Soul by 0.8 seconds in the 0-60 mph run and by 0.6 seconds in the quarter-mile run.

2018 Kia Soul Ride and Handling

Being a wagon the first impression of the Kia Soul is of a lousy handling breadbox on wheels. But take the 2018 Soul for a spin and you would realize how easy to drive it is with sorted dynamics. The steering of Soul is light and makes it easy to twirl and maneuver in city traffic. Urban dwellers will also love this along with the small footprint of the Soul thus making it a perfect drive for them. 

2018 Kia Soul Driving

Increase the speed and the steering of the Soul weigh up well giving you the much-needed confidence to have some fun with the small wagon. The suspension setup on the other hand is a bit of a disappointment as the ride quality is stiff especially with the 18-inch wheels. Although increasing the speed dismisses most bumps and undulation with ease. While the stiff suspension ensures better high-speed stability and reassuring panic brake stops. 

2018 Kia Soul Braking

The 2018 Kia Soul under panic braking can stop from 60-0 mph in 114 feet which is among the best in the segment. The Soul gets an 11.0-inch disc at the front and a 10.3-inch disc at the rear. The brakes of the Soul is its strong point exhibiting good bite and composed stopping even under hard braking.

Model 2018 Kia Soul 2018 Honda HR-V 2018 Toyota Corolla iM 2018 Fiat 500L
Brake pads Front (in) 11.0 11.5 11.7 12.0
Brake pads Rear (in) 10.3 11.1 11.0 10.4
Curb Weight (lbs) 2,942 2,902 3,031 3,254
60-0 MPH (ft.) 114 125 131 119

Among the rivals, the Kia Soul took the least distance to stop from the 60-0 mph while the closest is the Fiat 500L that took 5 feet more to stop from the same. But one point to note here is that the 500L gets bigger front brakes and is heavier by approximately 300 lbs. compared to the Soul.

2018 Kia Soul Fuel Economy

7.0/10

The 2018 Kia Soul powered by the base engine has an EPA estimated gas mileage of 25 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 27 mpg combined. While the same engine with the automatic gearbox sees an increase of one mpg in the highway gas mileage. The bigger 2.0-liter inline-4 engine powered Soul returns 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. While the turbo-four engine powered Soul returns 6 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Thus the turbo-four remains the most fuel-efficient engine option for the Soul wagon.

Model 2018 Kia Soul 2018 Honda HR-V 2018 Toyota Corolla iM 2018 Fiat 500L
MPG (city) 25 28 28 22
MPG (highway) 30 34 36 30
MPG (combined) 27 31 31 25
Fuel Capacity (gallons) 14.2 13.2 14.0 13.2

In this comparison, the Toyota Corolla iM is without doubt the most fuel-efficient car. It returns 28/36/31 mpg in city/highway/combined respectively which is 3 mpg more in the city, 6 mpg more on the highway, and 4 mpg more combined compared to the Soul wagon.

2018 Kia Soul Interior

9.0/10

"The 2018 Kia Soul has a standout interior. High-quality materials, spacious seats, and a massive cargo area are among its highlights." - Cars.usnews.com

2018 Kia Soul Seating and Comfort

Due to its boxy design, the cabin of the 2018 Kia Soul feels roomy. The tall boy design gives you a higher than usual ride height which is in between a hatchback and an SUV. Upfront the dash is simple and the material used around the cabin is of acceptable quality. Moving up in the trim level the cabin material quality does improve by a considerable amount. That said, the visibility outside the cabin is overall excellent and the available rearview camera helps overcome the blind spot caused by thick rear pillars.

2018 Kia Soul Front Cabin View

The seats of the Kia Soul offer a decent amount of comfort but power adjustment and heating and ventilation are optional on the base and standard from the Plus and higher trims. Although the ride quality of the Soul isn't plush but the front seats won't tire you out when sitting for long hours in them. That said, the rear bench could do with some more cushion and feels a bit more firm than the front ones. Seating for five is what the Soul claims but unless you seat three very skinny folks at the back four occupants can only be at ease in the Soul.

Model 2018 Kia Soul 2018 Honda HR-V 2018 Toyota Corolla iM 2018 Fiat 500L
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)(In.)   39.6/ 55.5/ 40.9 39.5/ 56.8/ 41.2 39.7/ 54.3/ 41.7 40.7/ 57.3/ 40.0
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg)(In.)   39.5/ 54.7/ 39.1 38.3/ 54.5/ 39.3 37.5/ 54.1/ 32.7 38.7/ 54.6/ 36.7

The cabin space of the Kia Soul is among the best and at par with the rival Honda HR-V. The legroom and headroom in both rows of the Soul are generous while the shoulder room is a bit lacking in the front row compared to the HR-V.  

2018 Kia Soul Side Cabin View

Interior Features

  • Height-adjustable driver's seat
  • 60/40-split folding rear seats
  • Available power-adjustable front seats
  • Available automatic climate control
  • Available upgraded fabric upholstery
  • Available leather-wrapped steering wheel

2018 Kia Soul Infotainment System

“Kia’s infotainment system continues to be one of the best because it’s easy to use and logical.” -Motor Trend

The base model of the 2018 Kia Soul wagon gets a six-speaker stereo with USB ports, Bluetooth, satellite radio, etc. Moving to the higher trims you can either add a 7-inch or an 8-inch touchscreen that runs on the UVO infotainment system. Both the units offer smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2018 Kia Soul Infotainment

The 7-inch touchscreen is optional on the base trim while the 8-inch unit is optional on the Plus(+) trim. While optional for the top-end Exclaim(!) trim is the premium Harman & Kardon sound system with LED speaker lights to take the party on the road. Other optional features that are part of the Audio package include satellite radio, navigation, more USB ports, etc.

2018 Kia Soul Cargo Capacity

The 2018 Kia Soul offers a generous 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space. The rear seats can be folded in 60/40-split to accommodate odd or bigger size cargo.

2018 Kia Soul Cargo

Being boxy in shape the cargo area is well-shaped and with the rear seats folded it can be expanded to 49.5 cubic feet.

Model 2018 Kia Soul 2018 Honda HR-V 2018 Toyota Corolla iM 2018 Fiat 500L
Standard Cargo Capacity (ft³.) 18.8 24.3 20.8 22.4
Maximum Cargo Capacity (ft³.) 49.5 58.8 20.8 68.0

In this comparison, the Honda HR-V has the biggest boot of 24.3 cubic feet that is 5.5 cubic feet more than what you get in the Kia Soul.

2018 Kia Soul Exterior

8.5/10
"Now in its second generation, the Kia Soul still has the functionally blessed proportions of the original, though the details have matured in this second edition." -  The Car Connection

2018 Kia Soul Dimension and Weight

The 2018 Kia Soul was last redesigned in the year 2014 and then it received a mild refresh just last year so there are no changes to the exterior design and dimensions of the Soul this year. That said, the Kia Soul is the smallest car in the Kia lineup and it seems like the design engineers were given a free hand to make it look stylish and funky and not a boring breadbox on wheels kind of wagon.

2018 Kia Soul Front View

The Kia Soul is a tallboy and stands 63.5-inches in height. It has a smaller footprint though and measures only 163-inches in length and has 101.2-inches of wheelbase. Although to make the cabin roomy and the outer stance more proportioned Kia does give the Soul 70.9-inches of width and 5.9-inches of ground clearance.

Model 2018 Kia Soul 2018 Honda HR-V 2018 Toyota Corolla iM 2018 Fiat 500L
Curb Weight (lbs) 2,942 2,902 3,031 3,254
Length (in) 163.0 169.1 170.5 167.0
Width (in) 70.9 69.8 69.3 70.2
Height (in) 63.5 63.2 55.3 65.3
Ground Clearance (in) 5.9 6.7 5.5 4.7
Wheelbase (in) 101.2 102.8 102.4 102.8

Compared to the rivals, the Kia Soul is the tallest and widest car here. While the Corolla hatchback is the longest (7.5-inches longer than the Soul) while the Fiat 500L and the HR-V have the longest wheelbase among all (1.6-inches more than the Soul).

2018 Kia Soul Three-Quarter Rear View

Exterior Feature

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Available automatic headlights
  • Available foglights
  • Available 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Available sunroof

2018 Kia Soul Safety

8.0/10

Even though the 2018 Kia Soul misses out on advanced driver-assist and safety features in the base trim yet it managed to grab the top honors of 'Top Safety Pikc+' from IIHS. Further, the IIHS gave the 2018 Soul the highest rating of 'Good' in five out of six parameters. The NHTSA in the same line gave the 2018 Soul a perfect score in overall safety rating with a perfect score in front and side crash test while in the rollover mitigation test it was given four out of five stars. 

2018 Kia Soul Safety

Safety features:

  • Side-Impact Door Beams
  • Front and Rear Crumple Zones
  • Available adaptive cruise control
  • Available rear cross-traffic alert
  • Available forward-collision warning w/ automatic emergency braking
  • Available lane-departure warning

2018 Kia Soul Competition

2018 Kia Soul Vs 2018 Honda HR-V

The Honda HR-V is the direct competitor of the Kia Soul when it comes to cabin space and overall practicality being offered in a small car. Both the cars offer almost similar cabin space but the longer HR-V has more cargo space to offer compared to the Soul. Another similar aspect of both cars is that both of them get good safety ratings.

2018 Honda HR-V

That is where the similarity ends. When we talk about the powertrain the HR-V gets only one while the Soul has three on offer thus giving more choice and flexibility to the user. That said, the turbo-four engine of the Soul gives it an upper hand over the HR-V in terms of performance on offer. Thus making Soul a more compelling choice between the two.

2018 Kia Soul Vs 2018 Toyota Corolla iM

The 2018 Toyota Corolla just like its sedan sibling isn't special in terms of engine, performance, or cabin. What it does offer are better reliability, high gas mileage, and a fuss-free ownership experience. But wait the Kia Soul also has an above-average reliability rating with a much better proposition to offer its customer against the Corolla hatchback.

2018 Toyota Corolla iM

The Soul has peppy engine options and a more spacious cabin with better quality material used inside. The exterior dimensions of the Soul are compact compared to the much longer in length Corolla hatchback thus it is easier to drive the Soul in the city.  That said, the Corolla also remains uninspiring to drive compared to the Soul. Thus our pick would again be the Soul over the Corolla hatchback here.

2018 Kia Soul Final Verdict

The 2018 Kia Soul is an appealing car. It has three engine options that cater to a large set of audience. It has a spacious cabin and thanks to its tallboy design it offers a commanding view of what's ahead and a generous amount of headroom in both rows. The safety ratings of the Soul are class-leading but the advanced driver-assist features limited to the higher trims and optional package is a bummer. That said, for urban dwellers, the Kia Soul is a perfect companion that can handle mundane grocery runs and fun drives over the weekend with equal zest.

 


FAQs on the 2018 Kia Soul:

What is the price of the 2018 Kia Soul?

The 2018 Kia Soul MSRP ranges from $16,200 to $22,900.

How many recalls have been there so far for the 2018 Kia Soul?

So far there have been no recalls for the 2018 Kia Soul.

How reliable is the 2018 Kia Soul?

The 2018 Kia Soul has a reliability score of 83 out of 100 and a predicted reliability rating of 4 out of 5 from J.D.Power. Thus the 2018 Soul has an above-average reliability rating.

Does the 2018 Kia Soul get a rearview camera?

The 2018 Kia Soul offers the rearview camera as an option.

Is the 2018 Kia Soul SUV or a car?

The 2018 Kia Soul is a four-door five-seater wagon.