2021 Kia Soul

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2021 Kia Soul Review: Soul-soothing Value On A Tight Budget

by Aiden Eksteen

Though fairly modest in its disposition and relatively diminutive in stature, the 2021 Kia Soul still turns heads wherever it roams thanks to its quirky and contemporary vogue. Whether seen as cute or wacky, if one thing's for sure, the Soul crossover is a compact 5-door car that is here to stay, no matter how many gargantuan trucks and SUVs flood the roads. It's admired for more than just its distinct and novel aesthetic; it's an ideal urban runabout thanks to its peppy and nimble drive dynamics and surprisingly pragmatic cabin and cargo bay. It's a formidable competitor alongside the likes of the Honda HR-V and Hyundai Kona. Powering the front wheels of the 2021 Soul is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that's been dialed to produce 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. Kia also offers a Turbo model that comes equipped with a 1.6-liter turbo-4 motor with 201 hp and 195 lb-ft.

Read in this review:

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2021 Kia Soul Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2020 Kia Soul?

Given that it was completely overhauled for the 2020 model year, the third-generation Kia Soul offers only a few subtle changes in 2021. For starters, what was once the Soul GT-Line Turbo is now known just as the Soul Turbo. The revised model now has different badging. EX and Turbo models also get remote start as standard and all models now come with rear occupant alert. The suspension has also been improved on X-Line and GT-Line variants equipped with the 2.0-liter engine, and these models get upgraded shock absorbers for better ride quality.

Pros and Cons

  • Groovy, modern, and well-built cabin
  • Surprisingly commodious and practical
  • Top-tier trims are crammed with specs
  • Excellent safety rating and reliability
  • Good range of powertrain components
  • Entry-spec trim is way too spartan
  • Not many optional packages
  • Exorbitantly expensive top-spec trim

What's the Price of the 2021 Kia Soul?

Best Deals on 2021 Kia Soul

2021 Kia Soul Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
See All 2021 Kia Soul Trims and Specs

2021 Soul Exterior

2021 Kia Soul Front Angle View CarBuzz
2021 Kia Soul Rear Angle View CarBuzz
2021 Kia Soul Front Angle View 1 CarBuzz
See All 2021 Kia Soul Exterior Photos


  • Length 165.2 in
  • Wheelbase 102.4 in
  • Height 63.0 in
  • Max Width 70.9 in
  • Front Width 62.0 in
  • Rear Width 62.4 in
  • Curb Weight 2,802.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Snow White Pearl +$345
  • Cherry Black +$345
  • Neptune Blue/Black Roof +$345
  • Mars Orange/Black Roof +$345
  • Neptune Blue/Black Roof, Build Out:06/05/2020 +$345
  • Mars Orange/Black Roof, Build Out:06/05/2020 +$345
  • Gravity Gray
  • Sparkling Silver
  • Inferno Red
  • Mars Orange
  • Neptune Blue
  • Undercover Green

2021 Soul Performance

2021 Kia Soul Front Angle View 2 CarBuzz
2021 Kia Soul Gauge Cluster CarBuzz
2021 Kia Soul Wheel CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 2.0L Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Manual, 7-Speed Automatic, Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain

2021 Soul Interior

2021 Kia Soul Steering Wheel Controls CarBuzz
2021 Kia Soul Infotainment System CarBuzz
2021 Kia Soul Gear Shifter CarBuzz
See All 2021 Kia Soul Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 41.1 in
  • Front Head Room 39.4 in
  • Rear Leg Room 38.8 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.5 in

2021 Soul Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Kia Soul Front Seats CarBuzz
2021 Kia Soul Rear Passenger Seats CarBuzz
2021 Kia Soul Trunk Space CarBuzz

2021 Soul Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2021 Kia Soul A Good crossover SUV?

Style, efficiency, and practicality are all qualities the 2021 Kia Soul has compellingly committed to supplying to drivers in the USA, from first-time college-goers to seasoned retirees and everyone in-between. Simply put, the Soul is an undeniably quirky little vehicle that doesn't try to be anything more than what it is, a pragmatic, everyday runabout. The primary engine accords the Soul with just enough pep for comfortable city commuting while remaining admirably economical on fuel. The Soul boasts a surprisingly spacious interior with a straight-forward and contemporary feel and plenty of modern features. Its trunk offers plenty of cargo room, too. The entry-spec model may be a little too barebones for some, but it's exceptionally affordable, and while the top-spec Turbo may be a little too pricey for what it offers, all of the trims slotting in-between offer plenty of value for the money. The entry price of the 2021 Kia Soul crossover comes in at just $17,490, an amount well worth paying.

What Kia Soul Model Should I Buy?

The LX bears a lot of appeal with its super low pricing point and, for some, its optional six-speed manual gearbox. It comes with very few standard features, however, which is why we'd suggest going for the S model. Along with some stylish exterior body-color trimmings and 16-inch alloy wheels, the S also comes outfitted with cruise control and Kia's DriveWise safety suite, which includes forward-collision avoidance, lane keep assist, driver attention warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic collision assist, and lane change assist. You won't need to review the 2021 Kia Soul's options list unless you want the auto-dimming rearview mirror.

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