Is the Kia Soul Turbo Worth the Extra Cash?

With the Kia Soul Turbo, you get a lot more power. But is paying to have more horsepower in this little hamster SUV worth it? Let’s see what the 2021 Kia Soul Turbo can do compared to rivals like the Mazda CX-30. 

How is the 2021 Kia Soul Turbo? 

You can get started in the 2021 Kia Soul for about $17,490. This is the MSRP, so dealerships will mark up this price a little to make a profit. This is actually a little cheaper than expected. After renting a Kia Soul for a week, the amount of power and the quality of the interior felt extremely nice for an economical SUV. 

Then with the 2021 Turbo, the MSRP jumps up to $27,550. Goodness, that’s about $10,000 to upgrade the engine! The 2021 Mazda CX-30 begins around $21,900, and the upcoming Turbo will raise the price to about $29,000 before delivery fees are factored in. 

A red 2020 Kia Soul going around a corner
2020 Kia Soul | Kia

The Kia Soul Turbo is the highest trim option, so you will get a lot more than the LX, or base model trim has to offer. However, let’s start with power. The Kia Soul LX comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 147 hp and 137 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 8.8 seconds, which is respectable for a little boxy SUV. 

When you upgrade to the Turbo, you get a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. This is quite the upgrade, but is it still weak? Well, it helps the Kia Soul accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, which is pretty good for the price.

The Mazda CX-30 has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder base engine with 186 hp. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds. With the CX-30 Turbo, you’ll get a 2.5-liter engine with 250 hp, but hasn’t been track tested. 

How does the Kia Soul drive? 

According to Edmunds, the Kia Soul is surprisingly fun to drive. They mention that the steering and cornering are sporty. It can keep up with rivals like the Mazda CX-30 and Mini Countryman. The only complaint they have is about the touchy brakes. You have to learn to be smooth on them to avoid lurching. 

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The Kia Soul also has a comfortable ride. The seats offer hours of comfort, even in the back. The ride is a little firm but remains composed over large bumps. There is a little wind noise at highway speeds, but it’s not loud enough to be irritating or distracting. Also, it doesn’t have an engine drone like some rivals do. 

2021 Soul Turbo features 

When you upgrade to the Turbo, you get a lot of extra luxury, including a 10.25-inch infotainment center instead of the 7-inch option. You also get the Harmon Kardon audio system and speaker lights! 

Plus, you get the supervision meter instrument cluster and a head-up display. Remote start, automatic temperature control air conditioning with a cluster ionizer, LED lighting, and synthetic leather cloth seats with an exclusive red color come standard as well. 

Kia Soul X-Line driving on dirt trail
2020 Kia Soul X-Line | Kia

Standard safety features include lane-keeping assistance, forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, driver attention warning, blind-spot warning, rear-cross traffic alert, smart cruise control, lane-change assistance, and more. So, yes. The Kia Soul Turbo is worth the extra comfort and power.