2022 Kia Soul Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
The Soul has long remained one of Kia’s most popular vehicles. Some reviewers rank it as the top subcompact crossover on the market. Drivers like this boxy SUV’s cool styling and practical interior design. While the Soul’s base engine is a fuel saver, drivers can really feel the turbocharged engine’s extra punch. Let’s find out if the new 2022 Kia Soul is the right vehicle for you.
What’s New for 2022?
Like so many other models, the 2022 Kia Soul no longer offers a traditional manual transmission. A new LX Technology package also arrives, which equips the base model with upgraded alloy wheels and several advanced safety features. Another update is Kia’s new logos.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2022 Kia Soul – The Pros
1. Surprisingly Peppy Base Powertrain
The Soul’s standard powertrain is surprisingly peppy. Kia rates its four-cylinder engine to produce 147 horsepower. During real-world driving conditions, this small crossover never feels overwhelmed. This can be partly contributed to Kia’s excellent continuously variable transmission, which does a great job of feeding power to the wheels. It keeps the engine in an ideal power band when merging onto the interstate. Car reviewers have clocked the Soul with a competitive 0-60 mph time of 8.0 seconds.
2. Drives More Like a Car
The 2022 Kia Soul certainly does not drive like a traditional SUV. It has the road manners of a car. This is a big advantage for drivers who enjoy having a strong sense of control. A lower center of gravity enables the Soul to feel extremely stable. Although sports-tuned shock absorbers are not available, the Soul’s standard suspension is athletic enough for most drivers. Its steering system also provides just the right amount of road feedback.
3. Turbocharged Engine Brings More Performance
Folks seeking a more fun driving experience will want the Soul’s available turbocharged engine. It kicks out an entertaining 201 horsepower. This engine’s 195 lb-ft of torque also helps the Soul to feel responsive. Whether passing vehicles on the freeway or climbing a mountain road, drivers will have ample muscle under the hood. To further enhance the powertrain’s performance capabilities, Kia uses a sportier seven-speed automatic transmission. When tested, the turbocharged Soul recorded an impressively quick 0-60 mph time of 6.4 seconds.
4. Good on Gas
With the cost of gasoline being so expensive these days, many drivers are looking to buy a fuel-efficient vehicle. The 2022 Kia Soul is certainly more economical than a larger SUV. Trims equipped with the base powertrain can return up to 29 mpg town/35 mpg freeway. Activating the Soul’s “ECO” driving mode helps drivers to conserve the most possible fuel. Even the turbocharged model isn’t bad on gas. According to the federal government’s estimates, owners can anticipate getting 27 mpg town/32 mpg freeway.
5. Attractive Boxy Styling
Many people are attracted to the Soul’s boxy design. The latest generation’s front fascia has an especially striking look. Several vibrant paint colors are offered, including Inferno Red and Mars Orange. Car shoppers will also have a few different exterior themes to choose from. Larger 18-inch sport wheels and a mesh grille help give the GT-Line trim a racier appearance. Meanwhile, rugged exterior treatments make the X-Line trim look more adventurous. LED headlights and center-exit exhaust come equipped on the range-topping Turbo model.
6. Cool Sound System With Lights
The Soul’s standard stereo system sounds okay. However, music fans seeking more excitement will want the available Harman Kardon premium audio system. An external amplifier helps ensure a powerful sound. Bass is enhanced by an enclosed subwoofer, which is mounted in the rear. Not only does this upgraded unit offer enhanced audio quality, but it also comes with reactive speaker lights. Drivers will be able to get the party started without even leaving the vehicle.
7. Affordable Base LX Model
Folks on a budget will love this crossover’s affordability. The base LX trim is a good bang for the buck. Prices start at less than $20,000. Along with your purchase comes one of the industry’s top warranties. Kia provides 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage and a 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. Buyers also receive a fair amount of standard equipment. A color touchscreen with a built-in backup camera, Bluetooth, and a useful USB port are a few of the main conveniences.
8. Great Infotainment System
Automotive critics praise the Kia Soul’s standard UVO infotainment system. They consider it to be among the industry’s best. Drivers will love the interface’s extremely user-friendly design. Its 8.0-inch touchscreen proves to be reliable and responsive. Physical controls make the system even easier to operate. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto enable drivers to connect their smartphones without any hiccups. Although a larger 10.25-inch display is available, it’s not necessarily better than the standard unit.
9. A Comfortable, Space-Efficient Interior
Don’t judge the 2022 Kia Soul by its condensed size. There’s a notable amount of passenger space on the inside, which is a big plus for families. Even the crossover’s rear seat provides nearly 39 inches of legroom. Because of the Soul’s boxy shape, headroom is also good throughout the cabin. Impressive cargo space further highlights this vehicle’s practicality. By folding the backseat, drivers can expand the available storage room to 62 cubic feet.
10. Newly Available LX Technology Package
Last year, the base LX trim didn’t offer any advanced Drive Wise safety technologies. Luckily, there’s now a new LX Technology package on the SUV’s list of options. It includes forward emergency braking, active lane assistance, blind-spot warning, and driver attention warning.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2022 Kia Soul – The Cons
1. All-Wheel Drive Not Available
In contrast to many of its competitors, the 2022 Kia Soul does not offer an optional AWD system. This could be a dealbreaker for folks who must overcome harsh winter storms. On the bright side, this crossover’s ground clearance is higher than that of a sedan.
2. Not Made to Go Off-Road
Although the Soul offers a rugged-looking X-Line trim, it’s no more capable than the rest of the lineup. The Kia Soul is geared toward drivers who don’t plan to venture too far off the beaten path. As previously mentioned, all-wheel drive is not offered. Kia also does not equip the Soul with any adventurous features, including metal skid plates and trail-tuned shock absorbers.
3. No Longer Offers a Manual Transmission
Kia decided to do away with the Soul’s available manual transmission. While the SUV’s standard CVT automatic transmission performs well, it is not as engaging as a traditional manual transmission. Some drivers will miss being in complete control over the Soul’s shifting.
4. Turbocharged Engine Increases Cost
The range-topping Turbo trim definitely packs more muscle under the hood. Unfortunately, its stronger turbocharged engine causes the Soul’s cost to rise. Expect the Soul Turbo to be at least $4,300 more expensive than any other trim. Drivers who simply want a more aggressive look can save money by choosing the GT-Line trim.
5. Four-Star Overall Safety Rating
When crash-tested by the NHTSA, the Soul received a four-star overall rating. Some of the crossover’s competitors managed to score better during certain impact tests. However, last year’s model was named an IIHS Top Safety Pick.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2022 Kia Soul vs 2022 Toyota CH-R
Some car shoppers will like the 2022 Toyota CH-R’s bold styling and sporty handling. However, it’s not nearly as practical as the Kia Soul. A cramped backseat makes the CH-R less suitable for families. Some reviewers also criticize the CH-R for its rather sluggish acceleration. While the standard Soul takes around 8.0 seconds to hit 60 mph, the CH-R clocks a slower 0-60 mph time of 11.0 seconds.
2022 Kia Soul vs 2022 Mazda CX-30
The 2022 Mazda CX-30 scores top marks for its fun-to-drive nature and premium interior quality. However, this subcompact crossover does not provide as much passenger and cargo space. Adults will be happier sitting in the Soul’s backseat. A much shorter warranty puts the CX-30 at another disadvantage.
2022 Kia Soul vs 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer
Although the Chevy Trailblazer has only been on the scene for a short time, it has already jolted to the top of the segment. Automotive journalists rave about this new crossover's modern interior and decent off-road capabilities. However, the Soul Turbo packs more performance. Prospective buyers will also notice the Soul’s lower MSRP.
Anyone in the market for a compact crossover should take a look at the 2022 Kia Soul. A practical interior makes it a fine choice for families. A great-looking exterior design also helps the Soul to stand out from the pack. While the Soul’s standard powertrain offers a satisfactory performance, expect the available turbocharged engine to bring more fun.
Although the 2022 Kia Soul is a great choice for most people, the lack of AWD system makes it less suitable for folks living in the Snow Belt. This crossover is also not the best choice for drivers who routinely venture off-road.