2019 Kia Soul Performance

Kia Soul Performance Rating

2019 Soul Performance

Available only as front-wheel drive, the 2019 Kia Soul doesn't boast any off-road capabilities, focusing on the city crossover vibe, unlike the Jeep Renegade which has available all-wheel drive and a range of off-road capabilities. However, there is some performance to be had from the Soul, particularly in the top-of-the-range Soul ! (Exclaim), which is equipped with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. Like many iterations of this motor in Kia and Hyundai products, it sends 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, giving the Soul hot-hatch aping performance with a 0-60 mph time of around 7.5 seconds. It's not lightning-fast, but it's more than adequately punchy.

2019 Soul Performance Photos

2019 Kia Soul Three Quarter Front Left Side View Kia
2019 Kia Soul Side View Kia
2019 Kia Soul Engine Kia

Engine and Transmission

In its base configuration, the 2019 Kia Soul sports a 1.6-liter inline-four-cylinder engine, producing 130 hp and 118 lb-ft of torque. Mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, the motor struggles to give life to the Soul and leaves it feeling sluggish. Around town with frequent stop-and-go traffic, acceleration is smooth and the automatic gearbox well suited, however, the motor feels strained and breathless when tasked with anything more.

To benefit from a bigger engine, you'd have to move up in trim levels to the + (Plus). Equipped as standard with a 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder motor, it fills the void left by its lesser counterpart. Power figures are a respectable 161 hp and 150 lb-ft, providing ample power to get the Kia off the line. The transmission is also bumped up to an electronically controlled, six-speed Sportronic gearbox, doing well to exploit the motor's larger capacity. Overtaking at speed is also done with ease, as the motor feels much more composed and ready to deliver on promising outputs.

Topping the line-up of the Soul's available motors is a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four. Unfortunately, this means moving up another trim level as it's only available on the Soul ! (Exclaim). It does, however, net you a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The result is a highly impressive 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, and a very punchy Kia crossover that's ready to overtake, even if traffic sees the DCT shifting clunkily.

2019 Kia Soul Performance Specs:

Kia Soul TrimsKia Soul EnginesKia Soul HorsepowerKia Soul TransmissionsKia Soul DrivetrainsKia Soul MPG/MPGE
Base1.6L Inline-4 Gas130 hp @ 6300 rpm6-Speed Automatic
6-Speed Manual
28 MPG
Plus2.0L Inline-4 Gas161 hp @ 6200 rpm6-Speed AutomaticFWD27 MPG
Exclaim1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Gas201 hp @ 6000 rpm7-Speed AutomaticFWD28 MPG

2019 Soul Gas Mileage

Fuel economy is unfortunately not the Soul's strongest quality. With the Base model's 1.6-liter motor, gas mileage estimates are pegged at 24/30/27 mpg for city/highway/combined cycles in the manual configuration. Opting for an automatic does net you an extra two mpg in city driving, and one mpg on the highway, with 28 mpg the resultant combined figure. The 2.0-liter motor found in the Plus is rated at 25/30/27 mpg, making it more efficient than its weaker counterpart, even if only just. At the top of the lineup is the 1.6-liter turbocharged motor. With an estimated 26/31/28 mpg, it places it directly in line with its non-turbo variant, but with the added benefit of more power. Fuel tank capacity sits at 14.2 gallons across all trims, with a total estimated range between 383-398 miles in mixed driving conditions, depending on the configuration you choose.

2019 Kia Soul Fuel Capacity

Kia Soul TrimsBasePlusExclaim
Kia Soul Fuel Economy (Cty/Hwy)24/3025/3026/31
To Top