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Kia has been making big strides in the American car market as of late. This is partially due to the Kia Telluride, an SUV that’s winning awards left and right. However, Kia’s also been making unique and different cars, like the Kia Soul. The Soul is officially a car, but it’s considered by many car reviewers to actually be an SUV. That is the conundrum of the Kia Soul.

Why the Kia Soul is an SUV

As Live About said, the big reason why people think that the Soul is an SUV is because of its size. The Soul is a big car, and it’s far more spacious than most other sedans are.

The Soul had more headroom and legroom than its competitors do. This is typical for an SUV, as most SUVs are designed with comfort in mind. 

On top of that, both Live About and Forbes praised the cargo room that the Soul has. Forbes says that the Soul has about 24.2 cu. ft. of cargo room with its rear seats up and 62.1 cu. ft. of cargo room with its rear seats folded down. Most sedans, like the Toyota Camry, may have about 15 cu. ft. of cargo room for comparison. 

That said, an SUV, like a Subaru Outback, will have more cargo space than the Soul. The Outback has about 75.7 cu. ft. of cargo room, and its larger sibling, the Subaru Ascent, will have 86.5 cu. ft. of cargo room.

Another reason why people think that the Soul is an SUV is because its interior is so nice. Live About in particular called the Soul’s interior “richly trimmed.” Forbes says that there are a lot of infotainment options for the Soul, and it includes a 10-inch touchscreen display.

Furthermore, Kia offers a lot of premium amenities and safety options on the Soul, such as adaptive cruise control and a head-up display.

Why the Kia Soul is a car

The main reason why the Soul can be considered a car is simply because Kia officially calls it one. But if that’s not enough, there are other aspects of the Soul that makes it very car-like. 

For example, that Kia doesn’t offer all-wheel drive on the Soul. Many SUV fans love to drive their SUVs off-road, and without all-wheel drive, the Soul may not be up for that task. Furthermore, the engine options on the Soul are more car than SUV. 

Forbes says that there are two engines available on the Soul, and both are four-cylinders. The standard engine is a 2.0-liter that generates 147-hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. The other engine is a 1.6-liter turbocharged one that gets 201-hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Forbes says that both of these options are pretty fuel efficient, as they both averaged about 30 MPG combined. 

While these engines are improvements over the earlier engine options on the Soul, they’re not as powerful as the engines on other SUVs. As a result, the Soul’s performance isn’t too bad but it’s also not that great.

Why not both?

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Automakers have taken two different car body types and spliced them together before, so the Soul’s conundrum isn’t new. The Soul is too large to be a car but too small to be a true SUV. It’s a mix of the two car bodies, and as a result, it can be considered both. 

And that seems fine, the Soul’s been well-received so far in the U.S. It also doesn’t hurt that the Soul, due to its uniqueness, is relatively affordable. Forbes says that the standard Soul is worth about $18,500.