2018 Kia Soul Problems and Complaints


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2018 Kia Soul Wagon Problems, Issues, Complaints, Recalls, and Which Year to Avoid

Updated on: May 4, 2022

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

The Kia Soul was launched with a different approach to contemporary mainstream automobile designs, and the brand has kept up the good work to date. The quirky-looking wagon-style crossover has faced troubles with the reliability of its powertrain and the current model also sees a similar case. However, this time the number of complaints is considerably on the lower side. The 2018 Kia Soul got 83 complaints and 1 recall officially to date. It was shocking to see that the brand has not taken any step to address the ongoing issue with the vehicle’s powertrain where some owners complained about engine fires for the previous model year. The primary rivals of the Kia Soul are the Honda HR-V, the Jeep Renegade, and the Fiat 500L.

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Kia Soul user complaints and problems

Engine problems

  • Hesitant acceleration: Some owners complained about hesitant acceleration on their Kia Soul even when the vehicles were in brand new condition. In most of the cases, the reasons for the stall were undetected.
  • Engine fire: More than a couple of owners faced this serious issue with their new Kia Souls. In one case, the car caught fire while it was parked and the engine compartment was completely destroyed. In the other case, while the owner was driving the vehicle the rear portion of the engine caught fire. Another owner complained that there was smoke coming out from under the hood while driving and the engine fire needed to be put out with fire extinguishers.
  • Sudden engine stall: A lot of complaints regarding sudden engine stalls were recorded against the 2018 Kia Soul. In several cases, the users mentioned that the engine of their vehicles stalled randomly. The incidents occurred while driving or while the drivers were about to accelerate after coming to a complete stop. 
  • Connecting rod issue: Several models of the 2018 Kia Soul faced engine issues where the connecting rods broke. Prior to the occurrences, there were no warning signs but in some cases, the engines made abnormal noises and knocked before coming to a stop. In a couple of cases, the pistons broke along with the connecting rods which caused an engine seizure.
  • Complete engine failure: A considerable amount of complaints were lodged regarding this issue. Also, the connecting rod failing issue is also related to the engine failure problem as well. In other cases, the engine failures were sudden and prior to that, there were abnormal noises such as ticking while driving before a complete loss of power and engine failure. 

Safety problems

  • Brake failure: Some complainants reported that the brakes on their Kia Souls failed. The brakes failed during driving which resulted in crashes and injuries too.
  • Airbag failure: Airbag failures in some of the 2018 Kia Soul models were encountered by their owners. In almost all cases the airbags failed to deploy despite the vehicles being involved in serious crashes. As a result, the owners were injured along with their co-passengers.

2018 Kia Soul recalls


Recall Date

NHTSA Campaign ID

Issues noticed

Additional remarks



January 25, 2022


Air Bags May Not Deploy

Airbags that do not deploy as intended can increase the risk of injury in a crash.

Dealers will inspect the ACU, and either update the software or replace the unit, as necessary. Repairs will be performed free of charge. Owner notification letters were mailed on March 21, 2022. 

Should you buy a used Kia Soul?

The Kia Soul is a value-for-money vehicle in the segment with an unconventional design. Despite all the praise in the value aspect, the reliability side of the Kia Soul has left a considerable number of its owners regretting their purchase. The vehicle has faced the dreaded engine fire issue along with other serious issues such as airbag failures and brake failures as well. Hence, a used example of the Soul is not recommended by us. Alternatively, you can go for the Jeep Renegade or the Honda HR-V since both of them are way better than the Soul and have better reliability too.

Important 2018 Kia Soul Links:


What is better a Kia or Hyundai?

Posted On: November 11, 2022

While both the sister companies offer similar vehicles with a lot of chassis and powertrain sharing, Kia offers more unique & bold styling. Kia also offers more value in terms of loaded features, warranty coverage and the price it is offered at

How many miles is a 2018 Kia Soul good for?

Posted On: November 11, 2022

The 2018 Soul gets an EPA-rated 24/30 MPG in city/highway conditions and with a 14.3-gallon fuel tank on offer, the Soul is good for about 426 miles on a single tank of gas.

Are there any issues with the 2018 Kia Soul?

Posted On: November 11, 2022

The 2018 Kia Soul problems aren't many and are limited to its engine, powertrain, and airbags. That said, there have been only about 100 complaints registered for over 100,000 units sold in the US.

Is Kia Soul 2018 reliable?

Posted On: November 11, 2022

The 2018 Soul reliability rating of 80/100 by J.D. Power is amongst the best in the segment. There have been only one recall and very few complaints, making it one of the more reliable options in the market.

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