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2010 Kia Soul Review

When the Kia Soul hit the market for the 2010 model year, it stood out with its love-it-or-hate-it styling, roomy interior and good safety scores, but others in the class have more exciting performance.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent safety ratings
  • Comfortable seats
  • Many standard features
  • Underpowered engines




Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 8.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 8.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2010 Kia Soul Overview

With boxy styling, the 2010 Kia Soul certainly stands out among 2010 small cars, but it boasts more than just a stylish, fun exterior design. It also has excellent safety scores, a well-equipped cabin and plenty of passenger space up front and in the back. The Soul comes with a generous list of standard features that includes air conditioning, a four-speaker stereo, satellite radio, a USB port and an auxiliary input jack. Steering-wheel mounted cruise controls and Bluetooth were optional when the Soul was new. It also has a lot more standard safety features and better safety scores than many competitors.

Performance-wise, the 2010 Soul stands out for the wrong reasons. The base model has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and higher trims have a more powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Even though the 2.0-liter engine has more power on paper, reviewers still weren’t impressed by it. Of the two engines, the base engine gets the best fuel economy, averaging up to 26/31 mpg city/highway, which is pretty good for a car with as much interior space as the Soul. 

See the full 2010 Kia Soul specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The highly-ranked 2010 Scion xB is another small car with a boxy shape and lots of space in the front and rear seats. In addition to having a roomy cabin, the xB comes equipped with a lot of standard interior and safety features. 

If you need a lot of cargo space and passenger space, consider the 2010 Honda Fit, which was named the 2010 U.S. News Best Hatchback for the Money. In addition to comfortable passenger space, the Fit can handle as much cargo as some small SUVs. Its standard Magic Seat flips different ways to let you store cargo of various shapes and sizes. The Fit’s high safety score also makes it a top pick among 2010 small cars.

Compare the Soul to the xB and Fit


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