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The Kia Soul entered the automotive market with a unique shape, a trio of dancing hamsters, and an unexplainable cool factor. Any other vehicle with this size and shape might have been overlooked, but Kia did a masterful job playing with our desire for fun and funky styling in this subcompact SUV.

Although we love the vibe around this little Kia, we really want to know whether the Kia Soul has the reliability scores to be a good choice as a daily driver. Let’s find out.

What are the Kia Soul reliability scores?

Orange 2017 Kia Soul Subcompact SUV - The Kia Soul ranks high for reliability
2017 Kia Soul | Kia

The Kia Soul receives a reliability score of 4.5 out of 5.0 from RepairPal. This places the Soul third out of 7 models for the subcompact SUV class. This ranking is based on three factors which are:

  • Cost – The Kia Soul’s average annual repair and maintenance costs are $437 compared to $26 for subcompact SUVs.
  • Frequency – Soul owners bring their vehicles to the repair shop for unscheduled repairs 0.17 times per year compared to 0.2 for the class.
  • Severity – The probability of severe repairs for the Kia Soul is 9% compared to 9% for subcompact SUVs.

What are the most common Kia Soul problems?

Typically, we cover three of the most common problems with a vehicle, but Kia Soul owners have only reported two issues. RepairPal tells us these two common problems with this subcompact SUV are:

  • No sound from the speakers – reported by 66 owners
  • Manual transmission is difficult to shift into first gear – reported by 36 owners

These two issues appear to be relatively minor compared to many of the challenges other vehicles face, making the Kia Soul a reliable vehicle to drive.

Which subcompact SUVs outrank the Soul for reliability?

When searching in the subcompact SUV class for the most reliable model, two stand above the Kia Soul. With only seven models in the class, the rankings from RepairPal are:

  1. Honda HR-V
  2. Mazda CX-3
  3. Kia Soul
  4. Jeep Renegade
  5. Buick Encore
  6. Chevrolet Trax
  7. Nissan Juke

In 2023, we have a few more subcompact SUVs, but these rankings are based on the 2010-2019 model years.

Is the 2023 Kia Soul competitive in its class?

Blue 2023 Kia Soul Subcompact SUV - This Modern Kia Soul is highly ranked by US News
2023 Kia Soul | Kia

When considering a new 2023 Kia Soul and not one from the previous decade, you want to know if it still ranks high for reliability and quality. U.S. News & World Report places the current Kia Soul second among 16 subcompact SUVs. The complete US News rankings are:

  1. Mazda CX-30
  2. Kia Soul
  3. Hyundai Kona
  4. Kia Seltos
  5. Volkswagen Taos
  6. Buick Encore GX
  7. Subaru Crosstrek
  8. Honda HR-V
  9. Chevrolet Trailblazer
  10. Nissan Kicks
  11. Toyota Corolla Cross
  12. Hyundai Venue
  13. Mini Cooper Countryman
  14. Jeep Renegade
  15. Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
  16. Fiat 500X

Is the 2023 Kia Soul a good compact SUV?

When you want a new SUV but have a tight budget, the 2023 Kia Soul offers an impressive package. You’ll find a strong list of standard features, including connectivity and safety items, making this little crossover feel like it’s more than a $20,000 vehicle. This Kia SUV is spacious, with ample room for cargo and passengers, and brings a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty to the mix.

The only drawback to this small, fun, and funky Kia is the engine which can feel sluggish on the highway. That said, it’s pretty energetic around town, making the Kia Soul a good SUV for city driving.

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