Is Kia Soul Reliable?

Kia Soul Reliability

With great designs, amazing driving dynamics, and nice interiors, there are many reasons to love a Kia Soul. But is Kia Soul reliable? Kia Soul looks cool, with characteristic designs.

They make a statement when they are on the road. Unfortunately, nobody will want to spend a dime on a car prone to many problems. Fortunately, Kia Soul is a reliable car.

Kia Soul boasts high-reliability ratings, low maintenance costs, high resale value, good fuel economy, and a low frequency of major or minor repairs. The Kia Soul is one of the cars that you can drive up to 100,000 miles without breaking down, not even once, or showing any signs of trouble. You might have to deal with minor wear and tear, brake changes, etc.

The safety ratings on Kia soul aren’t that bad, although there are needs for improvements. However, no matter how good these cars are, there are a few years that you should avoid.

Let’s explore Kia Soul’s reliability and why we consider them reliable.

Is Kia Soul Reliable?

Yes. Kia Soul is a reliable vehicle. According to Repairpal, Kia soul has a reliability rating of 4.5/5.0, ranking 3rd out of 7 car brands for subcompact SUVs. The 2021 JD Power reliability rating awards the Kia soul an 85/100 score.

Even the Car US News recognized the Kia soul as the best new car for teens. Kia Soul has an amazing standard of durability, minimal chances of major or minor repairs at the same time, and they have user-friendly features.

The Kia Soul depicts a cool design, tender and soft, making everyone assume that they are Mom cars or strictly women’s cars. The truth is, Kia soul strikes an amazing chord amongst women. It is hard for you to take your wife to a garage with a Kia Soul without one catching her attention.

Kia Souls are Kia’s smallest crossover SUV, but this doesn’t make them small enough to fit a driver. They have enough room for dads, moms, teens, or anyone to take a cool ride around town.

Aside from the beauty of these cars, there are many reasons why people love to drive Kia Souls. They are super comfy, have great legroom and large cargo space, are easy to get in and out of, and have easy-to-understand infotainment and features. This includes the fact that they are fuel efficient.

We can’t classify Kia Soul as a fast car, but when it comes to cars of its class and category, they are quite fast. The speed varies with each production year. The 2021 Kia Soul rocks 147hp, but you can get 201hp from the top grades of the 2022 Kia Soul.

It is important to note that the Kia soul is one of the top SUVs with the best resale value, up to 61%.

Why Kia Soul is Considered Reliable

1. Design and Space

Kia Soul has evolved through different design ideologies, muscular and sporty, all of which aim at attracting young users.

Irrespective of the changes in the design of Kia Soul, there was never a time that their designs were considered trash. The choice of materials, space, and durability are great options to rely on.

The Soul car comes with a 24.2 cubic-foot cargo space, extended to 62.1 cubic ft when the seats are folded. You have enough space to load your kids’ backpacks or pack up enough stuff for a camping trip.

Every car brand draws inspiration and builds their design philosophies around nature, random things, or inanimate objects. In the case of the Kia Soul, the design idea births from a boar with a backpack. So, what’s the big deal about it?

The ideology of Kia soul revolves around stability and strength, with a touch of personalized identity. It is hard to take a Kia soul for a ride without people appreciating the looks and design.

Kia’s design team takes it steps forward by not only making it an attractive car but also giving it the strength and stability of a wild boar.

You can ride these cars for as long as you can without fears of them breaking down, not even paint peels. Kia Soul depicts a design that sticks in the heart of many. These designs are never boring with the grille and charm, heads-up display, and a great infotainment system that integrates a sound-mood light.

2. Engine and Performance

We will conclusively describe the Kia Soul as an underpowered vehicle. The small car has enough power and speed for a car of its class. You do not expect a Kia Soul to run as fast and strong as a BMW or a Porsche. They are just small crossover SUVs, and their speed is enough to take you around town.

The Kia company offers Kia Soul users dual engine options; the 2.0L four-cylinder and the 1.6L Turbo four-cylinder. The 2.0L delivers 147hp, and the 1.6L returns 201hp.

Kia Soul has one of the strongest engines in the history of crossover SUVs. There are dual options; you choose whichever engine meets your needs. You can ride these engines for more than 100,000 miles without any breakdowns.

You get good handling and superb power. The engines are also economical/fuel-efficient. If you need a small car with great gas mileage, then you should consider the Kia soul.

You might have to choose the trim level that meets your needs. For instance, the 2022 Kia Soul EX has a gas mileage of 29/35 mpg city and highway, while the X-Line returns a gas mileage of 28/33 mpg city and highway.

3. Safety and Technology

Kia Soul doesn’t have “out of this world” safety ratings, but they have safety features that will protect you from harm and accidents. The Kia Soul didn’t earn the IIHS top safety award, but they have a four-star NHTSA rating. Although, IIHS gives the Kia Soul a poor headline rating.

Here’s a list of the safety features of the Kia Soul:

  • Standard Auto Emergency Braking Technology with Pedestrian detection
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert & Auto Braking Avoidance
  • Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Technology
  • Lane Keeping & Following Technology
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Navigation-Based Smart Cruise Control

With a Kia Soul, you have an efficient, intelligent variable transmission. SmartKey features a push start button and supports voice recognition commands. The car is not overwhelmed with technology, but enough to keep you safe and comfortable.

4. Durability

The durability of Kia’s Soul is unrivaled. These cars run as long as you want, without any signs of breaking. The frame, engines, and overall structure of a Kia Soul car are designed to uphold stability and strength.

To top it off, Kia offers a ten-year/100,000-mile warranty for the Kia Soul. This gives you enough coverage for reduced expenses. On average, you should expect your Kia Soul to last over 200,000 miles.

5. Repair and Maintenance Cost

The Soul car is one of the cheapest cars to maintain. According to Repairpal, you have an average annual repair cost of $437 on Kia cars. This includes the fact that you have lesser chances of visiting the repair shop for any major or minor issue.

Kia Soul has a 0.51 frequency for maintenance. This is smaller than the industry average of 1.3 achieved by most brands. The severity of damages on Kia cars is also minimal.

Unlike other cars, you can drive a Kia car for so long while dealing with only brake changes, wear and tear, and oil changes. However, you might be unlucky to fall into some bad Kia souls.

Kia Soul has some years where they produced some of their worst cars. This runs between the years 2012 and 2016. It is important that you avoid all Kia Souls within that timeframe.

Kia Soul Reliability: PROS

  • Great performance
  • Nice Fuel efficiency
  • Large Cargo space
  • Enough Passenger room

Kia Soul Reliability: CONS

  • Not suitable for offroad driving
  • No AWD system
  • Average safety ratings

Common Problems of Kia Soul

The common problems of Kia Soul are majorly found in the problematic years (2012 – 2016). These were the years when Kia Soul had many problems and recalls.

Some of the common problems of Kia Soul include:

  • Engine Failure
  • Bad Piston Ring
  • Bad Catalytic Converter
  • Failing Transmission
  • Weak Suspension
  • Oil Leaks
  • Car catching fire

It is important that you confirm the production year of the Kia Soul car that you wish to buy.


Kia Souls are great cars, but not good enough to take for a car race. They are reliable, have low maintenance costs, and you will get good gas mileage on them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will a Kia Soul last?

Kia Soul will last up to 200,000 miles, with an extended lifespan of 10 – 13 years. This greatly depends on your maintenance habits and the conditions you drive these cars in.

Is a Kia Soul expensive to repair?

No. Kia Soul is not expensive to repair. You should expect to spend an annual average of $437, or $6896, in 10 years.

Are Kia Souls good in snow?

No. Kia Souls are not good in snow, except if you upgrade the car’s system. Kia Soul doesn’t have an AWD system, so this is a setback in its performance in snow.