2018 Kia Soul Exclaim

Pros: Impressive room for four adults, despite the small overall size; generous levels of standard equipment; lots of “with-it” available features; classy-for-the-class interior materials

Cons: Gas-engine drivetrains are a bit unpolished at times; significant engine noise in some driving situations

CG Says: The 2018 Kia Soul has few changes. Adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, and LED headlights are now available on the midline Soul Plus. Soul is a subcompact wagon with seating for five. Soul offers three gas engines and is also available as the all-electric Soul EV. The base engine is a 130-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder that is paired with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The midrange Plus is powered by a 164-hp 2.0-liter four that is mated to a 6-speed automatic. The Exclaim has a 201-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder with a 7-speed automated-manual transmission. Meanwhile, the all-electric Soul EV is powered by a 109-hp electric motor. Navigation, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot alert, heated/ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats are available. The Soul’s tall, boxy body proportions mean that it packs a surprising amount of passenger and cargo room in a small overall package. In optioned-up form, the Soul also packs a surprising number of comfort and convenience features and a convincingly upscale feel for its class. The expressive, funky-box styling might turn off some shoppers, but the Soul’s handling is a bit more nimble that its looks might suggest. The ride quality is quite pleasant for a subcompact as well. The competitively priced Soul is a very compelling mix of personality and practicality.

The Facts
Class Subcompact Car
Body Style(s) 4-door wagon
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels front-wheel drive
Manufacturer Kia
Nation of Manufacture South Korea
Base Prices Base: $16,995
Plus (+): $21,195
Exclaim (!): $23,695
Soul EV-e (CA only): NA
Soul EV: NA
Soul EV +: NA

Base Engine
1.6-liter 4-cylinder (Base)
Horsepower
130
Std. Transmission
6-speed manual
Avail. Transmission
6-speed automatic
EPA City Range (mpg)
24-25
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
30

Optional Engine
2.0-liter 4-cylinder (Plus)
Horsepower
164
Std. Transmission
6-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
25
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
30

Optional Engine
electric motor (EV)
Horsepower
109
Std. Transmission
single-speed
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range
124 MPGe
EPA Hwy Range
93 MPGe

Optional Engine
turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder (Exclaim)
Horsepower
201
Std. Transmission
7-speed automated-manual
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
26
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
31