Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Kia Soul Is One of the Only SUVs Available With a Manual Transmission But Is It Worth Buying?

Way back when, most vehicles were outfitted with a manual transmission. These days, that’s not the case at all. In fact, there’s only a small number of cars and SUVs that can be had with a manual transmission. When it comes to SUVs especially, the pickings get pretty slim. Fortunately, the 2021 Kia Soul is available with a manual transmission. But is it actually worth buying? Let’s find out.

2021 Kia Soul driving on a gravel road
2021 Kia Soul | Kia

The benefits of choosing an SUV with a manual transmission

According to Edmunds, there are quite a few benefits of choosing an SUV equipped with a manual transmission. Edmunds reports that driving a vehicle with a manual transmission is often more engaging for the driver as it gives them complete control over when to shift gears. Vehicles with manual transmissions are often less expensive too, and according to Edmunds, usually cost less to repair than an automatic transmission.

Of course, there are some downsides to choosing an SUV that boasts a manual transmission. Edmunds explains that for some, driving a vehicle with a manual transmission can get tiresome in heavy traffic. It can be challenging to find a manual transmission on more expensive trim levels too. In fact, only a limited number of SUVs are available with a manual transmission. One of them? The 2021 Kia Soul.

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Is the 2021 Kia Soul available with a manual transmission?

Yes, the 2021 Kia Soul is available with a manual transmission. In fact, the Kia Soul is one of the last SUVs available with a manual transmission. While that may sound like good news, the bad news is that the Kia Soul’s manual transmission is only available on the base model. That will save you money in the long run, but for many, that will mean compromising on features.

The 2021 Kia Soul LX does offer standard features like a seven-inch touchscreen display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a rearview camera, but it does miss out on more sought-after features. Take, for example, amenities like heated front seats, a power sunroof, and wireless charging. None of these features are available on the base model Soul.

Choosing a Kia Soul with a manual transmission means missing out on some vital safety features too. In fact, you’ll miss out on driver-assist features like auto emergency braking & warning technology, lane-keeping technology, blind spot detection technology, rear cross-traffic alert and avoidance technology, driver attention warning, and high beam assist. For such features, you have to upgrade to the Kia Soul S trim level or higher.

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How much a 2021 Kia Soul with a manual transmission costs

Here’s the thing, a 2021 Kia Soul with a manual transmission doesn’t cost all that much. At only $17,590, the Kia Soul’s base price is among the most affordable in its segment. Upgrading to a more well-equipped Kia Soul makes for a considerable price jump too. While a base model will cost you $17,590, upgrading to the next trim level will have you spending at least $20,690. That’s a fairly significant price difference.

A red 2021 Kia Soul driving
2021 Kia Soul | Kia

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Is a 2021 Kia Soul with a manual transmission worth buying?

While buying a Kia Soul with a manual transmission might sound like a good idea, it’s worth keeping in mind that you will miss out on certain features, particularly driver-assist features. And if those features are an absolute necessity for you? Then choosing a 2021 Kia Soul with a manual transmission probably isn’t worth it for you.