The 2021 Kia Soul Is Already Impressing U.S. News

The Kia Soul is a fun alternative to a traditional compact car. Not only does this Kia have a one-of-a-kind style, but it’s also among the most reliable cars you can buy too. Here’s what the 2021 Soul has to offer.

About the new Kia Soul

The Kia Soul returns for 2021 largely unchanged from the outgoing model year. Overall, you’ll appreciate the Soul because it’s easy to handle, plus it’s pretty comfortable too. The 2021 Soul features two engine options and begins at $17,490.

Base models will have a 147-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder. While the base engine isn’t the quickest option, it still makes for a good everyday commuter car. This engine is available with a six-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission

For the quickest experience the Soul has to offer, you’ll want to consider the available 201-hp 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder linked to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. This turbo-four is featured on the Turbo trim level, which Kia previously called the GT-Line.

U.S. News currently ranks the 2021 Soul as #3 in the subcompact class. This ranking reflects the Soul’s overall comfort, fuel economy ratings, and extended warranty. The Soul presents value on the inside too. 

Interior elements 

The front row of a 2021 Kia Soul .
2021 Kia Soul interior | Kia

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Some critics wish that Kia made the Soul’s interior as distinct as its interior. Others long for more soft-touch materials. But even so, reviewers don’t have much else to complain about regarding the Soul’s car cabin. 

The Soul’s boxy shape contributes to its roomy interior. It can comfortably seat up to five people, and passengers will enjoy the generous head- and legroom. Cloth upholstery is standard on this Kia, but upgraded cloth seats and faux leather upholstery are available. Other available amenities include dual-zone automatic climate control and a sunroof. 

Another bright on the inside of the Soul is its user-friendly infotainment system. Standard infotainment features include a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth connection. Additionally, you can upgrade this system with a 10.25-inch touchscreen, navigation, and a premium stereo. 

The Soul doesn’t come with many advanced safety features, though. As U.S. News highlighted, the Soul only comes with a backup camera and a rear-seat reminder, which is new for 2021. There are many optional gadgets, including automatic emergency braking and lane change assist. 

Additional things to consider 

Blazing red 2020 Kia Soul at sunset.
2020 Kia Soul | Kia

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Since Kia only updated the 2021 Soul with minor changes, you might also want to think about shopping lightly-used models. The 2017-2019 versions are ideal for those who want modern tech at a bargained price. 

You might be able to score a deal on 2020 Soul at your local dealership too. Kia completely redesigned the Soul for 2020 with a revamped powertrain and more available amenities. The 2020 Soul is a recommended choice by U.S. News and Consumer Reports. 

U.S. News also suggests that you look into the Soul’s class rivals. The Hyundai Kona comes with more active safety features. And for the zippiest driving dynamics in the class, check out the Mazda CX-3.