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2014 Kia Soul Review

The 2014 Kia Soul has plenty of space for occupants and cargo alike, and it comes with many standard features. However, the Soul's base engine is weak and uses lots of fuel. 

Pros & Cons

  • Ample cargo and cabin space
  • Lots of standard features
  • Good safety score
  • Poor fuel economy

Rankings & Awards

The 2014 Kia Soul's #1 ranking is based on its score within the 2014 Compact Cars category. It is a finalist for our 2014 Best Hatchback for the Money award and a finalist for our 2014 Best Compact Car for Families award and a finalist for our 2014 Best Hatchback for Families award. Currently the Kia Soul has a score of 8.9 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 23 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 8.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2014 Kia Soul Overview

Is the 2014 Kia Soul a Good Used Car?

The Kia Soul is an affordable, family-friendly compact car with good crash test ratings, a long list of standard features, and high marks for reliability. Altogether, that makes for a good car – with the exception of an underpowered engine that uses too much gas.

The 2014 Kia Soul has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 130 horsepower. The available 164-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine has enough power for everyday city driving, but it feels taxed at highway speeds or when climbing hills. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic is available. The Kia Soul gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway with its base engine and automatic transmission. Most other compact cars do better. The Soul has accurate steering and a smooth ride on bumpy roads.  

Read more about Soul performance »

Build quality inside the 2014 Kia Soul is top-notch. Its seats are spacious and well-cushioned in both rows. There are two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats, as well as an upper tether anchor in the rear middle seat. The Soul has a maximum cargo capacity of 61.3 cubic feet, which is more than most compact sedans and hatchbacks.

Standard features in the Soul include satellite radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, an auxiliary input jack, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. That’s an impressive list for the class. Available features include Kia's UVO infotainment system, an Infinity stereo, navigation, push-button start, a panoramic sunroof, and automatic climate control. The infotainment system is easy to operate and gives you plenty of options for connecting to your smartphone and other media services, like internet radio.   

Read more about Soul interior »

Used 2014 Kia Soul Prices

A used 2014 Kia Soul averages about $12,000 for the base model to about $14,800 for the top-tier Exclaim model. Your price will vary depending on the vehicle's location, condition, and mileage.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2014 Kia Soul?

The 2014 Kia Soul has a dependability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power and Associates. That's above average for the class and for the market. Still, several other 2014 model year compact cars get similar or better scores, including the Chevrolet Cruze and Honda Civic.

The Soul's only available active safety feature is a rearview camera, which can help prevent collisions when backing up.

How Safe Is the Soul?

The Kia Soul performed well in crash tests, earning it one of the highest safety ratings in the class. In four Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests, the Soul received the best score of Good. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash testing, the Soul received five stars overall – a perfect score. It earned five stars in the frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test.

See Soul safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Soul?

The 2014 Kia Soul is the first model year of the car's second generation. For 2014, the Soul gained a new chassis, as well as a redesigned interior and exterior. The Soul didn’t change much until the 2017 model year; it offers a new available engine and technology features.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Soul »

Which Used Kia Soul Is Right for Me?

The 2014 Kia Soul is available in three trims: base, Plus (+), and Exclaim (!). The base trim comes with a good amount of standard features, but it has an underpowered engine. For that reason, you should skip the base trim and buy the Soul Plus or Soul Exclaim. Both come with a slightly stronger engine – though it will still struggle to get up to highway speeds. They also add a standard six-speed automatic transmission, and some models come with available features like navigation, an infotainment system, a rearview camera, an upgraded stereo, and push-button start.

You should also check out a certified pre-owned Kia Soul. Kia’s certified pre-owned vehicles receive the balance of the original 10-year/100,000-mile new-car powertrain warranty, plus a one-year/12,000-mile Platinum warranty for non-powertrain parts. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Kia warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

We Did the Research for You: 23 Pieces of Data Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 23 pieces of data on the Kia Soul to take the guesswork out of used car shopping. This data is drawn from reliability and safety information, fuel economy estimates, published auto reviews, and the car's total cost of ownership. 

Why You Can Trust Us

At U.S. News & World Report, our automotive team has been ranking cars for a decade, and we have a combined 75 years of experience in the automotive industry. We never accept trips or pricey gifts from automakers, and an outside company oversees our advertising.

2014 Kia Soul and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2014 Kia Soul or 2014 Scion xB?

The Kia Soul and Scion xB have a lot in common, even down to their overall look and dimensions. There are a few important differences, however. The Scion xB has a more powerful base engine than the Soul, and it delivers good acceleration from a stop. However, it’s one of the few compact cars that gets lower gas mileage than the Soul (2 mpg less in combined city/highway driving). The Soul has a comfortable ride, while the xB's can feel stiff. Its handling is also somewhat unwieldly in fast turns. The Soul has nicer cabin materials, but the xB offers more cargo space and a couple more standard features, like cruise control and a touch-screen display. Your choice comes down to which traits you value.

Which Is Better: 2014 Kia Soul or 2014 Nissan Cube?

The Nissan Cube – like the Kia Soul – has roomy seats in both rows and a comfortable ride. It is easy to maneuver is small areas. However, the Soul edges out the Cube in a couple of ways. Both models have an underpowered engine, but the Cube's is weaker. Inside, the Cube and Soul both offer quirky design elements, but the Soul's cabin is made with better-quality materials. The Soul also has a few more cubic feet of cargo space.

Which Is Better: 2014 Kia Soul or 2014 Fiat 500L?

The Fiat 500L is a wagon. Despite being a more upscale vehicle overall, the 2014 500L costs a couple thousand dollars less than the Soul. The 500L has a powerful engine that won't struggle on the highway. It also has spacious front and back seats, excellent outward visibility, and a more sophisticated cabin design. The 500L has several more cubic feet of cargo space than the Soul, and it comes with a touch-screen infotainment system that is easy to operate. One big downside of the 500L is its reliability score – it’s the lowest that J.D. Power and Associates gives. The 500L also doesn’t fair as well in crash tests as the Soul.

Compare the Soul, xB, and Cube »


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