The 2017 Kia Soul Is One of the Best Versions You Can Buy

Polarizing looks aside, it’s nearly impossible to deny that the Kia Soul is one of the most dynamic crossovers you can buy. The Kia Soul is distinct, comfortable, and dependable. The Soul’s above-average reliability ratings make it a great option to purchase new or used. And if you’re interested in buying a used Soul, the 2017 version is one of the best you can buy.

What it’s like to drive the used 2017 Kia Soul

The Soul’s versatility and practicality have always been part of its main appeal. But in its earlier model years, critics complained that the Soul didn’t offer that much power. Kia responded to the complaints by offering three engine options on the 2017 Soul, up from two for the previous model year. For 2017, standard Soul models featured a 130-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission.

A Kia Soul on display during an auto show.
A Kia Soul at an auto show | Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Soul’s base engine is mostly OK, but it often feels underpowered. For more oomph, you can shop for the Plus trim models, which come with a 161-hp four-cylinder engine linked to a six-speed automatic. Kia introduced the brand-new, turbocharged four-cylinder engine on the top-tier Exclaim trim. This turbo engine produces 201-hp that’s paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Overall, the Soul performs well and has a decent fuel economy rating with a combined 28 mpg. But as U.S. News noted, that’s slightly below average for the compact car class. Some might also be disappointed to know that the 2017 Soul isn’t available with all-wheel-drive. 

RELATED: Why the Kia Soul is a Conundrum of a Car

On the inside of the Soul

The 2017 model year also marks the first time Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were available on the Soul
2017 Kia Soul interior | Kia

Even though the Soul is technically a compact model, it’s quite generous on interior space. The Soul is also surprisingly chic on the inside, thanks to its boxy design. Cloth upholstery came standard on the 2017 Soul with a cloth/leather combo available as an option.

As far as infotainment goes, the Soul does well here too. Standard infotainment features on the 2017 Soul included Bluetooth and satellite radio. The 2017 model year also marks the first time Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were available on the Soul. If these smartphone integration options interest you, shop for Soul models equipped with the UVO infotainment system.

RELATED: These 2020 Cars Have Some of the Best Infotainment Systems

Safety and reliability ratings add peace of mind

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2017 Soul a five-star crash safety rating. And at the time of this writing, there aren’t any NHTSA safety recalls on this model. The Soul also earned above-average reliability ratings from experts, including J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. According to CR, the Soul performs well across 17 potential vehicle trouble spots and has a consistent reliability history. 

RELATED: Should You Go Kia Soul or Kia Seltos?


The Soul is a well-rounded vehicle that’s both fun and family-friendly. The 2017 Soul is one of the best model years to buy because it presents a variety of engine options and plenty of modern features. You can get a 2017 Soul for under 10K depending on its mileage.