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2017 Kia Soul Review

The 2017 Kia Soul ranks among the best in a very competitive class. The Soul has outstanding seating and cargo space, a high predicted reliability rating, and great crash test scores. However, its base engine lacks the power that other competitors offer.

Pros & Cons

  • Massive cargo space
  • Abundant passenger room
  • Upscale interior
  • Weak base engine
  • Below-average fuel economy

New for 2017

  • New turbocharged engine in Exclaim trim
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay became available
  • Slight external design refresh

Rankings & Awards

The 2017 Kia Soul's #1 ranking is based on its score within the 2017 Compact Cars category. It was the winner of our 2017 Best Compact Car for the Money award and the winner of our 2017 Best Compact Car for Families award. Currently the Kia Soul has a score of 9.0 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 38 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Kia Soul Overview

Is the 2017 Kia Soul a Good Used Car?

The 2017 Soul is a great pick among used compact cars. In fact, we named it our 2017 Best Compact Car for Families and 2017 Best Compact Car for the Money. The Soul is affordable and spacious, and it has excellent safety and predicted reliability ratings. While you some rivals are more fun to drive – like the Volkswagen GTI and Mazda3 – they can’t quite match the Soul’s value and overall practicality.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 38 Kia Soul reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2017 Kia Soul?

You can expect to pay between $13,000 and $18,000 for a used 2017 Soul. These figures are based on more than 1,500 listings for the 2017 Kia Soul on our site. The average list price is $15,200. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Kia Soul Cost to Own?

Over the span of five years, you can expect to pay around $18,970 for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repair costs for the 2017 Kia Soul. That’s about $3,800 per year. The Soul’s costs are lower than average for a 2017 compact car. By comparison, the 2017 Nissan Sentra will cost around $24,500.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Soul?

A new 2018 Soul starts at $16,200, which is $1,000 higher than the average price of a 2017 Soul.  Unlike the 2017 Soul, the 2018 model comes standard with adaptive cruise control, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Still, we recommend you shop for a used 2017 model to save money, since you can get these features with the higher trims of the 2017 model.

Read about the new Kia Soul »

If you want a new compact car for the price of a used 2017 Kia Soul, you don’t have many choices. However, if you don’t mind stepping down to a subcompact car, you may want to consider a 2018 Kia Rio 5-Door. It starts at $14,200 and boasts higher fuel economy estimates, but it has significantly less cargo space than the Soul.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Kia Soul Is Best?

The 2017 Soul is part of a generation that began with the 2014 model year and includes the 2018 Soul. Most of the changes over the years include available features. For 2015, Nappa leather upholstery became available. More advanced safety features were added to the options list in 2016. The 2017 model gained an available turbocharged engine, along with standard blind spot monitoring, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. If you can do without these additional features, then consider saving money and choosing a 2014 or 2015 model. All models in the current generation have similarly high scores in our rankings.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Soul »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Kia Soul?

The Kia Soul has an above-average predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Soul reliability »

2017 Kia Soul Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are no safety recalls for the 2017 Soul. Before buying a used Soul, make sure there are no issued recalls.

See more information on Kia Soul safety recalls »

Which Used Kia Soul Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Kia Soul comes in three trim levels: base, + (Plus), and ! (Exclaim). The base Soul comes standard with air conditioning, a satellite radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, a six-speaker audio system, cloth seats, and alloy wheels. The Soul Plus adds a more powerful engine, a rearview camera, fog lights, and remote keyless entry. Soul Exclaim models add a 7-inch touch-screen UVO infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, push-button start, and a 4.3-inch digital instrument cluster display. Available features are mostly limited to the Plus and Exclaim models, including a panoramic sunroof, two fast-charge USB ports, a Harmon Kardon audio system, HD Radio, an 8-inch touch screen, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, and a navigation system.

When new, the Kia Soul EV was sold in select states. These models are also available in three trim levels: EV-e, EV, and EV + (Plus). The EV-e trim largely shares its standard features list with the Soul Plus trim, but with the addition of heated front seats and push-button start. The EV trim adds an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and navigation. The EV Plus adds parking sensors, fog lights, leather upholstery, and ventilated seats.

See 2017 Kia Soul trims and specs »

What Does Kia's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Kia offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 60,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. 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 comprehensive Platinum warranty on non-powertrain parts after the five-year/60,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Every CPO Kia must pass a 164-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Kia warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Kia has one of the best CPO programs among affordable car manufacturers.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Soul?

The 2017 Soul has great safety scores. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Soul their second-highest rating of Acceptable for the passenger-side small overlap front test, and the highest rating of Good in all other categories. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the hatchback a perfect five-star rating for overall, front, and side impact testing, as well as four stars in rollover crash tests.

The 2017 Soul is available with a rearview camera, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. The Soul EV comes standard with a rearview camera, and parking sensors are available.

See Soul safety scores »

2017 Kia Soul Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Kia Soul or 2017 Jeep Renegade?

If the Soul’s distinctive look is what attracts you to it, then you may also have your eye on the 2017 Jeep Renegade. This subcompact SUV has an upscale cabin, and it has a surprisingly good balance of on- and off-road capabilities. While the Kia Soul cannot match the Jeep’s off-road capabilities, the Soul has a higher predicted reliability rating, more cargo space, and better fuel economy estimates. Unless you’re planning to go off-roading, the Kia Soul is the better pick.

Which Is Better: 2017 Kia Soul or 2017 Kia Forte5?

The 2017 Kia Forte5 is a great alternative to its Soul sibling. This subcompact hatchback is equipped with a 164-horsepower engine that is adequate for daily commutes. Though this is stronger than the Soul’s base engine, the larger Kia has two more powerful engines in higher trims. The Forte5 has one of the most attractive cabins in the class, an abundance of available features, and slightly better fuel economy estimates than the Soul. While the Forte5 is a good car, the Soul is a better choice overall. It has more cargo room, a higher predicted reliability rating, and better safety scores.

Compare the Soul, Renegade, Forte5 »

2017 Soul Performance

How Does the 2017 Kia Soul Drive?

The front-wheel-drive Soul comes standard with a 130-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission. A larger 161-horsepower four-cylinder engine comes in the midrange Plus trim level and is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The top-of the-line Exclaim trim is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 201 horsepower. The turbo engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Soul EV is front-wheel drive as well, but instead of a gas engine it has a 109-horsepower electric motor.

Like many base engines in the compact car class, the Soul’s base power plant feels rather weak for most driving situations. The midrange engine performs better and offers adequate pep for running around town, but it can emit a droning noise under heavy acceleration. The available turbocharged engine can get up to speed quickly. On the other end of the spectrum, the Soul EV isn’t particularly quick at all.

Does the 2017 Kia Soul Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Soul’s base engine gets 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, which is below average for the class. Fuel efficiency actually increases with the more powerful engines. The larger four-cylinder engine raises this rating to 25/30 mpg city/highway, and the turbocharged engine in the Soul Exclaim delivers 26/31 mpg city/highway. The Soul EV delivers a combined 105 mpg-equivalent and has a range of 93 miles.

Read more about Soul performance »

2017 Soul Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Soul Seat?

The Kia Soul comes standard with cloth upholstery and seating for five. Available features include combination cloth/leather seats, leather upholstery, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, an 8-way power-adjustable passenger seat, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a heated steering wheel. The Soul has ample headroom for each seating position, due to its high roofline. There is also plenty of legroom in the rear seats.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Kia Soul?

The Soul has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats, along with a third tether anchor in the middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. The lower anchors are deep in the seat, but there is enough room to maneuver around the anchors and attach the connectors.

2017 Kia Soul Features

Standard features in the 2017 Soul include a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, a USB port, and satellite radio. Optional features include automatic climate control, a rearview camera, a 5-inch touch-screen display, the UVO infotainment system with a 7- or 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a 4.3-inch digital instrument cluster display, a Harman Kardon premium audio system, navigation, HD Radio, two USB ports, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, and a panoramic sunroof.

The available UVO infotainment system is intuitive and easy to use, and smartphone integration through Android Auto or Apple CarPlay works seamlessly.

See 2017 Kia Soul specs »

Read more about Soul interior »

2017 Kia Soul Dimensions

Kia Soul Cargo Space

The Kia Soul has 24.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 61.3 cubic feet with its rear seats folded. Both measurements are high for the compact car class.

2017 Soul Length and Weight

The 2017 Kia Soul is 13.6 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 2,884 pounds to 3,366 pounds.

Where Was the 2017 Kia Soul Built?

The 2017 Kia Soul was built in Gwangju, South Korea.


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