The 2019 Kia Soul Puts the ‘Fun’ In Functional

The Kia Soul has earned over a million fans in the last decade. More recently, this Kia has stood out as a splashy yet practical car to buy used. You can get an older Soul for less than $10K. But if you want a lightly-used option, the 2019 Soul is an excellent choice. 

The 2019 Kia Soul has three available flavors 

An orange 2019 Kia Soul on the track.
2019 Kia Soul in action | Photo via Kia

Overall, the 2019 Soul earned favorable reviews from many respected critics. The Soul provides a comfortable ride quality, decent fuel economy, and lots of utility. And while it’s not the most athletic option in its class, this Kia is surprisingly agile. You’ll appreciate that the Soul feels and operates very much like a traditional SUV. But since it’s not available with all-wheel drive, it’s more appropriate to call it a hatchback.

The 2019 Soul features three different engine options. Base models from this model year have a 130-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder. This powerplant will have either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. The standard engine is a fine choice for everyday drives around town, but it often feels underpowered. 

Kia Soul EV
Kia Soul EV

Back when it was new, most reviewers felt like the Soul’s two optional engines were worth spending the extra cash. Critics at U.S. News considered the Soul Plus trim as the ideal model for most buyers. The mid-range Soul Plus trim has a punchier 161-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder. A six-speed auto is also standard for this trim.

For the most power, consider looking for Exclaim models with a 201-hp turbocharged four-cylinder and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The gas-powered Soul can get up to 28 mpg overall. Separately, the 2019 Soul is also available as an EV

What features does the 2019 Kia Soul offer?

There’s a lot to like about the Soul on the inside. Technically, it’s a five-seater but accommodating four people is more realistic. This Kia is roomy enough to fit taller passengers, and legroom is generous too. 

If you stick with the standard Soul, you get a few connectivities, including a 5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, and voice recognition. The base model is pretty barebones since it only came with a backup camera. Going for the Plus trim gives you more niceties such as keyless entry and automatic climate control. 

Additionally, Plus models have an upgraded 7-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. The top-level Exclaim replaces the Soul’s standard cloth upholstery with leather trimmings. The upgraded versions will have more advanced safety equipment. Depending on the features you get, the average price for a 2019 Soul ranges between $13,475 and $17,950. 

How reliable is the Soul?

A Kia Soul on display at an auto show
A Kia Soul on display | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

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The 2019 Soul is the last model from the vehicle’s second generation. U.S. News gave this hatchback a four out of five for dependability based on data from J.D. Power. The Soul’s low ownership costs and excellent reliability ratings are why U.S. News ranked the Soul as its “Best Compact Car for the Money.” It’s worth mentioning that Kia redesigned it for 2020, but the reliability ratings for the newest generation aren’t that favorable.