Kia Soul Pros and Cons

Kia Soul pros and cons (it was way easier to write the cons)

Coming up with this list of Kia Soul pros and cons has been one of the easiest things that I’ve done in a while (mainly because I’ve been seriously thinking about getting one of these things as my next daily driver). So yeah  – it’s been on my mind.

I like the Kia Soul for it obnoxiously convenient practicality. It’s a little car that can fit into tight parking spots, and the interior storage space it offers is nothing short of amazing.

However, I also think it’s an extremely ugly vehicle that would cause me to question my manhood. There. I said it.

2021 Kia Soul
I like the Kia Soul and all, but I just can’t help but to think what 10 year old me would think if he found out that I’d grow up to want one of these things for a daily driver. Talk about being disappointed – I was supposed to be daily driving a Lambo by this point!
2021 Kia Soul thumbs up
10 year old me was a little punk anyway, so screw it. Yeah…I want a Kia Soul as a daily driver. So what??

All the pros and cons of the Kia soul

I’ve been thinking about getting a Soul to replace our Honda Fit for the past three years. The only thing that stopped me has been the near-bulletproof reliability of that little bugger. Once the Fit finally kicks the bucket, I may very well trade what’s left of in on a brand new Kia Soul.

Until then, I’ll just have to continue weighing the pros and cons:


  • The upright seating position in the Kia Soul makes it an extremely easy to live with daily driver. There’s no stooping down to get in it. You just sort of side-shuffle your way in.
  • Outward visibility in all directions is fantastic. There are very few blind spots in the Kia Soul.
  • I like how simple it is. It’s not a fancy car by any means, which is exactly what you want in a daily driver (since you won’t feel guilty about it door dings, scratches, and dirt). You can drive it hard and not worry about it – at all.
  • Gas mileage is phenomenal. I spent an entire day driving a 2022 Kia Soul around recently, and it just sipped on gas.
  • Power from the base  2.0 L four-cylinder is adequate. It’s certainly not fast, but it’s more than adequate for merging in between aggressive ***holes on the freeway.
  • With the rear seats folded flat, interior storage space is shockingly grand. I didn’t try it, but I know I could easily fit several mountain bikes in the back (with the front wheels taken off course).
  • A Kia Soul in a neutral color is about as inconspicuous as you can get. If you hate standing out in the crowd and being the center of attention, this is the perfect car for you.
  • It’s a relatively simple vehicle, so getting parts and service for it won’t be an issue a matter where you live. Anybody can work on this thing and make repairs without feeling like they have no idea what they’re doing.
Kia Soul outward visibility
Yeah, the interior of the 2021 Kia Soul may be a little ugly, but being able to see in all directions in thick traffic has its advantages. Visibility out of the Soul is quite good.
Kia Soul gas mileage
Drink up little buddy. You’re so good on gas that it’ll be a while until we hit a gas station again (unless I really need to pee).
Kia Soul engine
The main purpose of popping the hood was to get a pic for this review, but honestly, I was also trying to see if there was enough room for a turbo (or nitrous). Yeah, it’s decently quick in stock form, but it’d be a ton of fun with just a little more power.


  • The interior feels really cheap. Of course, that’s to be expected in any budget priced car. However, it would’ve been nice if they could’ve made the effort to make it at least look good. I mean, the Kia Forte interior is fantastic. What happened with the Soul?
  • The stock audio system kind of blows. The one in my 2010 Honda Fit is better for crying out loud.
  • Speaking of infotainment, every Kia Soul that I’ve ever driven seems to be behind the times. Bluetooth connectivity has always been sketchy, and the infotainment screens themselves are smaller and less vivid than the competition.
  • The front seats have zero lumbar support. My lower back started hurting within 10 minutes of driving the last Soul I was in.
  • There are no lockable storage compartments in the Kia Soul. Your only source of protection from prying eyes are the deeply tinted windows in the back. Consider installing a cargo cover of some kind if you regularly haul around valuables.
  • Speaking of which, that deep window tint might be a problem that night. Something to keep in mind for those of you who have difficulty seeing in the dark.
  • As I mentioned before, it’s kind of an ugly vehicle. I know that looks are subjective, but for me, it’s hard to wrap my head around driving what looks like a box on wheels.
  • Even though outward disability is good, the windows themselves are somewhat narrow. This may be a problem for taller drivers, as even I (5′-10″) had to duck my head a little bit sometimes to see the stoplight I was stopped at.
2021 Kia Soul taillights
The taillights are the weirdest part of the Soul IMHO. All I’m gonna say is that if I do end up buying one of these, I’m going to back into every parking spot so that I don’t ever have to look at them. Problem solved.
Kia Soul interior styling
Interesting. Didn’t bulbous plastic interior bits die with Pontiac?

Ironically enough, all the things I liked and didn’t like about the Soul matched very closely to my Kia K5 pros and cons list. If anything, at least Kia is consistent I guess.

Two good reasons why you should buy a Kia soul

Having already given a lot of thought to the pros and cons of the Kia Soul even before writing this article, I’ve convinced myself that the good far outweighs the bad. I in my opinion, there are two reasons why you would be foolish to choose any other car other than the Soul:

1. It just may be the most practical vehicle on the market

The reason why I’ve been driving a 2010 Honda Fit around the past 12 years is because of how obnoxiously practical it is. The Kia Soul is the closest thing to the Honda Fit these days, and it does everything just as well. Maybe even better.

Kia Soul rear hatch area
There’s tons of cargo room in the rear hatch area of the Soul! Oh the things I could stuff in there (that’s what he said).

It’s extremely easy to get in and out of, and the interior space is deceptively larger than what it’s exterior would lead you to believe it is. It’s great on gas, it’s extremely easy to see out of in all directions, and it’s extremely inconspicuous. You won’t have to worry about standing out and getting the attention of thieves and vandals.

2. Even though it’s cheap, it still comes with that amazing Kia reliability

Kia is building extremely reliable cars these days, and anyone snubbing their nose at them for poor reliability is stuck in 1991. I would have exactly zero issues depending on a Kia Soul as a daily driver. None.

driving a Kia Soul
The Soul is so reliable that you won’t even think twice about driving it into places where you probably shouldn’t be driving it.

Two good reasons why you should not buy a Kia soul

Despite the fact that I’m more than likely to buy a Soul as my next daily driver, I’m not all that excited about it – mostly because there are some things that will take some getting used to. These are the two things that still have me on the fence (just a little bit):

1. It’s freaking ugly

I know. My opinion is more than likely in the minority, as the Kia Soul is one of the best selling cars in the United States. However, it’s not a very masculine looking car, and it has nearly zero presence on the road. And if you drive one of these things, be prepared to be ridiculed for it by those good old boys in their lifted diesel trucks.

2021 Kia Soul side view
I will admit that (from certain angles) the Soul doesn’t look all that bad. The side view is pretty much the only angle of this thing that doesn’t make me wrinkle my nose.

2. Build quality is questionable

Yes, I just waxed poetic about how reliable the Kia Soul is. And it is! However, the last one that I drove had 44,000 miles on it, and it was starting to rattle like an old UPS truck.

Everything still worked, and the body structure felt tight, but all the little plastic parts on the inside were buzzing and rattling to the point of driving me mad. Then again, it is a cheap economy car, and that’s just what you’ll have to live with I guess.

2021 kia soul rear end
Kia Soul parked in the middle of the road because I wanted a picture? Or because the rattles and creaks were so annoying that I just abandoned it? I’m not telling.

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