Crossover & Midsize

The 2021 Kia Soul Remains a Unique Choice in a Crowded Segment

In a market flooded with subcompact SUVs, what does it take to stand out? Get attention? With its fun and funky presentation and reasonable price tag, does the new 2021 Kia Soul have what it takes to impress and make an impression? The team at Kelley Blue Book took a look at the 2021 Kia Soul. What did they like? Is the latest Soul a truly unique choice?

The first impression of the 2021 Kia Soul

There’s a lot to choose from in the subcompact crossover/SUV segment. There are stylish, trendy, and affordable choices, sure. Still, the 2021 Kia Soul manages to stand out from the crowd with a unique style and great value.

There’s a lot to like about the 2021 Kia Soul including the things it’s always had: a reasonable price, a good amount of practicality, and a hard-to-beat 10-year/100,000-mile warranty for its powertrain. According to the folks at Kelley Blue Book, the Soul’s other key to success is how much fun it is to own one.

According to KBB, the Soul had attitude and character all its own. From the budget-friendly LX to the more athletic Turbo model, the Soul offers a great deal of versatility. The Soul EV electric version even has a range of 243 miles which is pretty impressive. 

Pros, cons, and what’s new

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What did the KBB team like? First, they liked the subtle changes to the new Soul’s normally playful look. They approve of the way the nose and tail have been updated to give the new Soul a maturity to go along with its distinctive upright profile. While there are 16-inch steel wheels on the base LX trim, you can get alloy wheels from 16 to 18 inches throughout the rest of the lineup. 

The team also really liked the SUV’s X-Line with its 18-inch wheels and plastic body cladding. The GT-Line with its red accents, distinct wheels, and unique front and back fascias also put out a sporty presentation that they liked. 

KBB also liked all the interior features that the 2021 Kia Soul offers. The cabin blends in softer materials instead of all hard plastic and offers plenty of room no matter where you’re sitting. It offers decent cargo space for a smaller SUV.

The team loved the reasonable price and the sophistication of its drive which you don’t see often in the class. With a higher seating and a generous view, the drive is exceptional.

The only complaints KBB had? There’s no option for all-wheel drive. There’s also a noticeable lack of driver-assist features like forward-collision alerts and blind-spot monitoring on the base models. 

There weren’t many changes made for 2021. One notable change was the rear occupant alert was added across all models now, which lets the driver know that someone is in the back seat. There are new shock valves to improve the ride for the midrange X-Line and GT-Line models. There are new key fobs with remote start for the EX and Turbo models.

Is the 2021 Kia Soul a unique choice?

The new 2021 Kia Soul offers a quiet ride with a sophistication you don’t expect for its class. Kia upgraded the suspensions to improve the ride with great results. 

The team explained that while the 2.0-liter engine and its 147 hp doesn’t sound thrilling, but paired with the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), it’s surprisingly spirited. The Turbo with its 1.6-liter turbocharged engine and its sport-tuned suspension provide an unexpected, exciting ride.

They also liked the inclusion of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay across all models. There’s also a 10.25-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system with the higher trims. 

The KBB team explains that economy vehicles don’t have to be forgettable or intolerable. The 2021 Kia Soul proves to be the exception with great style and value.