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2016 Kia Soul Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2016 Kia Soul?

Are You Considering a 2016 Kia Soul? Here are the Pros and Cons

Reviewers have seen the dramatic growth of the compact and subcompact crossover as having sounded the death knell for boxy and tall wagons. Today, the 2016 Kia Soul is perhaps the only survivor of an auto design pioneered by the departed Nissan Cube and Scion xB. It's a hard car to categorize really as it possesses both the attributes of a compact crossover and a tall hatchback. It comes with a personality and styling that only a few cars can match.

The Kia Soul is the first brand and only model from South Korea being sold in the US market with an all-electric version, albeit in rather small numbers. Today, it's a worthy rival to vehicles like the Mazda Mazda3, VW Golf, Honda Civic, Nissan Juke and the Scion iM.

For 2016, the Soul is getting some additions and updates to the standard features. It will, however, continue to be available in the usual trims: Base, Plus (+), and the Exclaim (!)

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2016 Kia Soul – The Pros

1) Performance and Powertrains

The FWD 2016 Kia Soul comes with two different engines powertrains. 

  • The base Kia Soul got a four-cylinder 1.6-liter packed with 118 pound-feet of torque and 130 horsepower. 
  • The Kia Soul comes standard with 6-speed manual transmission.
  • The 6-speed automatic is, however, optional.

According to critics, the higher Soul trims comes with engines that are more-powerful improving acceleration somewhat and returns fuel economy are even better.

2) Handling and Braking

Among the big surprises that continue to please users of the Soul are its responsive steering and agile handling. 

  • The Kia Soul feels solid and stable over the road and is known to take corners pretty well. 
  • Most reviewers agree that it's comfortable and smooth, providing good feedback. 
  • Reviews also give positive points for the quiet Soul engine and cabin.

3) Kia Interior

Both outside and inside, the 2016 Kia Soul displays elements that are uniquely designed.

  • The cabin got a nice look that is uncluttered.
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls and center stack appear as if free-floating. 
  • It has a stylish interior offering high-quality materials, and a premium ambiance. 
  • The high-tech features in the Soul are easy to use, according to critics.

Reviewers agree that the Soul really packs an astonishing number of convenience and comfort features and has an upscale feel for this class.

4) Interior/Dashboard Features

Auto writers note that the controls and gauges are logically positioned and are intuitive to use. Using the Uvo interface for smartphone control is a snap.

Other upscale options include:

  • Heated steering wheel
  • Automatic climate control
  • Infinity premium 350-watt audio system
  • Nifty system for navigation that has an 8-inch touchscreen

5) 2016 Kia Soul Seating

The boxy and tall body proportions of the Kia Soul mean that it can pack an amazing amount of cargo and passengers in so small a car. Critics say both front and back seats got ample space to hold four adults.

Key features include:

  • It seats 5, and the seats come standard cloth upholstery. 
  • Driver’s seat that is power-adjustable
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Optional leather seats
  • Also available are heated rear seats.

6) Cargo Capacity

The folding rear seats and boxy shape of the 2016 Kia Soul Hatchback make it surprisingly roomy and spacious.

  • Behind the rear seats, you get cargo space measuring 24.2 cubic feet.
  • When rear seats are folded, you have 61.3 cubic feet.

7) Handling and Braking

Test drivers say that the 2016 Kia Soul has composed ride and decent handling. 

  • The brakes give you confidence as the pedal has a solid-feeling.
  • The critics agree it is poised and quiet at highway speeds.

8) Fuel Economy

Typically, small hatchbacks are more fuel efficient. The fuel economy of the 2016 Kia Soul is unexceptional. Auto journalists place it somewhere between compact and subcompact crossovers.

9) Safety Features and Ratings

The 2016 Souls comes with all the standard Kia safety features. These include:

  • Hill start assist
  • Electronic stability control
  • Antilock brakes
  • Side-impact and front seat-mounted airbags

The Kia Soul has received a NHTSA 5-star rating for overall safety.

10) Reliability and Safety Recalls

Kia has covered the 2016 Soul with a comprehensive 5-year/ basic warranty for 60,000-mile and a 10-year limited powertrain 100,000-mile warranty. The Soul is not yet subject to any NHSTA recalls as a result of safety complications.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2016 Kia Soul – The Cons

1) Underpowered Engine

Reviewers have noted that:

  • The Kia Soul Base engine somewhat feels underpowered when you are climbing hills, especially when packed. 
  • Test drivers have written that although the car’s transmission shifts seamlessly, the 2.0-liter engine still doesn’t come out particularly strong.

2) Weak Acceleration

Regarding acceleration, test drivers report that the 2016 Kia Soul lacks the muscle to placate if enthusiastic driving is your thing. They observe that the larger Kia engine somehow improves the acceleration, but it still doesn't amount to very much.

3) A Bit Noisy

While it cannot be denied that the Kia Soul is practical, the boxy shape generates invasive wind noise when you are at speed. The result is that it sends a good amount of racket into a cabin when you go at full throttle.

How It Stacks Up To The Competition:

The 2016 Kia Soul has been compared by reviews to the Mazda Mazda3 and the Honda Civic.

  • The interior rating for the Kia at 8.5 is higher than that of the Mazda3 (8.0) and the Honda Civic (8.2)
  • Safety rating is tied at 9.7 with the Mazda
  • In terms of Passenger Volume (cu. ft.) at 101, the Soul beats both the Mazda3 (96.3) and the Civic (97.8)
  • At 14.2 Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx. (gal) the Kia also has a bigger capacity compared to the Mazda’s 13.2 and Honda’s 12.4.

This car beats both its rivals as it has Driver Illuminated Vanity Mirror which they lack.


The compact Soul hatchback from Kia was introduced in 2009. As part of larger Kia family of compact family cars, the Soul comes with a hatchback shape that is rather unorthodox. It has won the attention of auto buyers who otherwise might be in the market for a small SUV crossover.

The continued appeal of the Soul lies in its fine balance of affordability, tech features, style, standard equipment, and excellent fuel economy. Perhaps the memorable Soul's hamster commercials also play a part. Whichever way, the new 2016 Kia Soul, is showing no indications of disappearing or slowing down like several of its rivals.
2018 Kia Soul Trim Level Configurations:

2018 Kia Soul trim levels. What you get with each trim configuration.