The Soul has a spacious, classy-feeling cabin. It’s also well equipped and competitively priced.
It doesn’t ride as well as the best small SUVs, and the engines aren’t particularly economical or efficient.
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Kia Soul performance
There are two engines: a 130bhp 1.6-litre petrol and a 126bhp 1.6-litre diesel. The petrol isn’t turbocharged, so needs to be revved very hard if you want to make swift progress. The diesel, on the other hand, has plenty of shove at low and medium revs, so you don’t have to change gear too often around town.
Kia Soul ride & handling
Body control is good despite that tall, boxy shape, but this comes at the expense of ride comfort: the Soul feels jittery over broken surfaces at all speeds – especially if you choose a model with big wheels. The steering is also vague regardless of which of the three weight settings you put it in.
Kia Soul refinement
Both engines rev smoothly but become noisy when worked hard. There’s some vibration through the pedals in the diesel version, too. The clutch’s biting point is also vague, although the gearshift is relatively positive. The Soul’s large door mirrors and tall windscreen generate a bit of wind noise at motorway speeds.