There are plenty of choices when it comes to the small car market, but the 2013 Kia Soul offers one of the highest values available on the market. With low prices and high gas mileage, it might be assumed that the Kia is a poorly crafted vehicle, but this isn't the case. The body is well-built, and the engines are surprisingly responsive. With decent safety and plenty of options, it's an easy choice when compared to the competition.
New For 2013
The Soul gets a dark chrome grille surround, as well as a revised ""Kia"" badge on the hood, liftgate, and steering wheel. Bluetooth is now standard on the base with the manual transmission. Power-folding exterior mirrors are standard on the Soul! trim level. Molten, titanium, and moss exterior colors are now available across the line.
The exterior of the 2013 Kia Soul comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels. The Soul+ trim features 16-inch alloy wheels, and the Soul! receives 18-inch alloy wheels. In addition to this, the Soul's bumper is the same color as the car to make it more luxurious looking. The Soul is available in eight color options, which includes moss, dune, molten, alien, and titanium.
For the Soul+ and the Soul! trims, the side mirrors are heated. The glass on the Soul+ and Soul! is tinted to allow for some amount of privacy. The Soul! includes a power sunroof and folding mirrors, and the + and ! trims include turn signals in the side mirrors. All models include a rear windshield wiper. A rear spoiler and a rear bumper applique are available options for all models.
The extremely boxy design is very distinct, but it may not be for everyone. It is either attractive or hideous, but it undeniably has style. The build is rather solid despite the low price tag, and all models feature a liftgate hatchback trunk and a fixed liftgate window. The Premium package adds a keyless entry system to the Soul! trim.
Interior & Cargo
The interior of the 2013 Kia Soul is just as impressive as the exterior. The cargo volume is around 19.3 cubic feet, and with the 40/60 split-folding rear bench seat put down, the cargo area increases to 53.4 cubic feet. The base comes with cloth upholstery, a trip computer, and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel. The standard audio system is a four-speaker AM/FM/CD radio with an auxiliary jack for media devices. Audio controls on the steering wheel are also standard.
The Soul+ gets all the above plus a leather steering wheel, a six-speaker audio system, and simulated alloy trim throughout the cabin. Alloy trim covers parts of the dash, doors, and center console. The Soul! also gets cruise control, cruise control buttons on the steering wheel, and a rearview camera for parking and backing out. The audio system for the Soul! is an eight-speaker system with Infinity brand speakers, which includes a subwoofer.
The 2013 Kia Soul has very appealing safety features. There are driver and front-passenger airbags and side-curtain airbags. Headrests are designed with whiplash-reduction technology. Additionally, there are several crush zones located throughout the car, which absorb the shock of an impact and take more damage to reduce the impact on passengers.
The Soul also features traction and stability control, a hill assist management system, and anti-lock brakes. All models also feature emergency braking assist, a passenger airbag detection sensor, and electronic brake force distribution. On the Soul!, there is the rearview camera, auto delay-off headlights, fog lights, and daytime running lights. The Kia Soul+ and Soul! include turn signals in the mirrors for additional visibility.
During crash testing conducted by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2013 Kia Soul receives four out of five stars for overall safety. This includes four stars for overall frontal-impact protection. Side impact receives five out of five stars from the NHTSA. During crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), the Kia Soul gets an overall rating of ""Good,"" which includes a ""Good"" rating for frontal-offset, side-impact, and rollover safety.
There are two engine sizes for the 2013 Kia Soul. The base comes equipped with a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 138 horsepower and 123 lb-ft of torque. The Soul+ and Soul! both come equipped with the larger 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 164 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. Either option allows for a six-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual transmission with overdrive. Estimated fuel economy for the 2013 Kia Soul totals around 26/34 mpg city/highway.
Driving the Kia Soul is a fun experience. With all the interior options, and the sporty feel to the Soul, most people feel like they are driving a much more expensive car. It drives fairly well, with the only complaint being the ease of feeling rough patches of road. However, parking and handling are superb.
The smaller engine has enough power for daily use, but the small increase in price and small decrease in fuel economy are worth the slightly more powerful 2.0-liter engine. The automatic transmission does amazingly well, and there appears to be little extra lag when compared to the manual six-speed transmission. Overall, the Kia Soul isn't as agile as some of the competition, but it's no-fuss handling makes it a comfortable drive.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Kia Soul
- Scion xD
- Volkswagen Golf
- Suzuki SX4