2012 Kia Soul

The 2012 Kia Soul is one of the top choices in its class. This is definitely because of its unique look, more capable and fuel efficient engines, spacious cabin, generous features and lengthy warranty.

The new Soul does not seem to have any fault, and it could be the perfect choice for car shoppers who want to get the best value for their money.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Hatchback Wagon Base Price: $13,900.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 12.7 gallons (48 liters) MPG: 27 city / 35 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 162.2 in. (412 cm) Wheel Base: 100.4 in. (255 cm)
Height: 63.4 in. (161 cm) Width: 70.4 in. (178.8 cm)
Curb Weight: 2615 lbs (1186 kg) Ground Clearance: 6.5 in. (16.5 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 23.7 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Performance
Engine: 2.0L Inline 4 DOHC Compression Ratio: 11.0: 1
Horsepower: 138 HP Max RPM: 6300 RPM
Torque: 123 lb-ft @ 4850 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Manual OD
Available Trims & Engine
Option:+ MSRP: $16,300; MPG: 26 city / 34 hwy
Option:! MSRP: $19,600; MPG: 26 city / 34 hwy

Engine

There are two engines available for the 2012 Soul. First is the 4 cylinder 1.6 liter engine that delivers 122 horsepower and 115 lbs/ft of torque. The other, which we and most of the test drivers prefer, is the 4-cylinder 2.0 liter engine that brings 142 horsepower and 137 lbs/ft of torque.

Prospective owners can choose between 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmissions. The Exclaim, the top-of-the-line trim, is only available in automatic transmission.

Performance

As the statistics show, the Soul is definitely capable in the city and on the highway. The transmissions are smooth making it easier for drivers to merge and pass. It is not the most fun model to drive but it definitely answers your needs when you are driving around town.

The sensitive steering will give you a good feel of the road and the brakes are smooth and responsive. Its body size provides a tight turn radius which makes it nimble during turns.

Exterior

The exterior of the Kia Soul does not seem to go along with the trends when it comes to looks. The Soul has no organic curves and fine lines. Its frame is quite geometrical that makes it look like a box on wheels. There is nothing detrimental about not following the trend though. In fact, its unique look is one of the reasons that Soul owners love.

Interior

The most noticeable trait in the Soul cabin is its spaciousness. Full grown adults have enough legroom even when they are seated in the back seat. There is adequate headroom too. The front visibility is excellent and the rear visibility is straightforward.

The soul exudes a youthful spirit through its generous interior features such as the satellite radio, control mounted steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity and cruise controls.

Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the Kia Soul an overall score of 4 out of 5 stars for receiving 5 stars in side crash tests and 4 stars for rollover risk and frontal crash tests. On the other hand, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Kia Soul the "Top Safety Pick" rating for scoring "good" in all of their crash tests.

Reliability

The Soul comes with the 5-year standard warranty, a powertrain warranty that lasts for 10 years, a 5-year corrosion warranty and a 24 hour roadside assistance that lasts for 5 years. The Kia Soul is another vehicle that is covered by the manufacturer's competitive warranty.

Pros

The 2012 Soul has plenty of features that young car owners will enjoy. It has good looks too. But most importantly, it has adequate power for city and highway driving, and a reasonable fuel economy rating. The power is balanced by its good handling. The cabin is spacious and comfortable. It is affordable and has a long and competitive warranty.

Cons

The only complaint that a car owner will have is the use of cheap plastics for the interior and little cargo space.

With the value that you can get for its price, the 2012 Kia Soul is definitely one of the better choices in the arena of affordable small MPVs.

The Kia Soul has been compared to the Nissan Cube (MSRP $14,980; 25 city / 30 hwy) and Scion’s XB (MSRP $16,300; 22 city / 28 hwy) and XD (MSRP $15,345; 27 city / 33 hwy).

Overall Rating
74 out of 100

What others say:

“In a class of quirky, boxlike cars, the Kia Soul stands out--mostly, because the quirks work in its favor, and give it a funky flair that's pretty absent in the Scion xB, Nissan Cube, and the like.”Car Connection

“Soul is reasonably nimble, with some noticeable body lean in turns. Accurate steering provides good road feel at speed and light effort in low-speed close-quarters maneuvering. The brakes are smooth and strong.”Consumer Guide

“The 2012 Soul got more powerful engines, six-speed gearboxes, and improved fuel economy. Cabin access is easy, with abundant head room and a spacious rear seat.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“For 2012, the Kia Soul receives a minor facelift, new drivetrains and a host of new interior features. The Soul Sport trim level has been discontinued.”KBB

“The 2012 Kia Soul brings hipster styling and a fun-to-drive nature to the realm of the practical hatchback.”Edmunds