The 2022 Kia Soul is one of the rare vehicles that defy easy categorization. On the outside, the Soul resembles a boxy SUV, but its car-like ride height and lack of all-wheel drive make it more like a hatchback. While its taxonomy might be confusing, the Soul’s wide range of strengths makes it one of our favorite small runabouts.

For 2022, the Soul gets a few updates that build on its recent 2020 redesign. The larger 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen is now more widely available, and the base touchscreen is a little bigger, growing from 7 inches to 8 inches. Fans of the manual transmission will need to pour another one out, however, because the Soul has lost its shift-it-yourself gearbox.

The 2022 Kia Soul is one of our favorite small vehicles, and you should add it to your shortlist if you’re looking for a useful but charismatic car.

Other strong contenders from this segment are the new and impressive Chevrolet Trailblazer, the Hyundai Kona, and the sporty Mazda CX-30. Take a look at our detailed Soul Expert Rating below to learn more.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Kia offers two engines in the Soul. The base option is a 147-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which comes paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). At our test track, a Soul X-Line needed a full 8.0 seconds to reach 60 mph, but it doesn’t feel underpowered in normal driving.

In fact, the base engine feels peppy around town, and the CVT willingly selects lower gear ratios when you’re looking to pass someone.

The top-spec Turbo model comes with a 201-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder and a seven-speed automatic transmission. It snapped off a quick 6.4-second 60-mph time in our hands.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The 2022 Kia Soul carries an EPA rating as high as 35 mpg for highway driving and as low as 27 mpg in the city—not bad for a seemingly nonaerodynamic box on wheels.

The Nissan Kicks and the Hyundai Venue—its key rivals—offer similar highway numbers, but both outshine the Kia in the city, achieving 31 and 30 mpg, respectively. In our 75-mph fuel-economy test, the turbocharged Soul saw 33 mpg.

An X-Line model powered by the base four-cylinder managed 30 mpg. For more information about the 2022 Kia Soul’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The 2022 Kia Soul’s upright body provides a spacious interior with plenty of room for people and cargo. Kia’s designers have incorporated enough youthful cheekiness inside to match the Soul’s fashion-forward exterior, including textured door-panel inserts and colorful trim.

Additional goodies on offer include ambient lighting, a smartphone charging pad, a head-up display, push-button ignition with keyless entry, and heating for the seats and steering wheel. Kia also allows owners a certain amount of customization, with two-tone paint options and a plethora of interior color schemes.

In the cargo area, the tall-roofed ute provides enough space for seven carry-on suitcases; with the rear seats folded—it should be noted that they don’t fold completely flat—we were able to fit 20 cases.

The Venue, with its smaller hold and tighter rear-seat space, managed to fit just four behind the rear seat and 17 with the seats down.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability is standard across the board, and all trims but the base model receive a large 10.3-inch display; the LX gets an 8.0-inch unit.

Choose a model with the 10.3-incher and you’ll get niceties such as SiriusXM satellite radio, real-time traffic updates, in-dash navigation, and a wireless smartphone charging pad. Most models come with a six-speaker stereo, but a Harman/Kardon setup is standard on the top-spec Turbo model.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)

Kia doesn’t provide standard driver-assistance technology on the base Soul, but it does for the S model and above. For more information about the 2022 Kia Soul’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.

Photos

2022 Kia Soul

2022 Kia Soul

2022 Kia Soul

2022 Kia Soul

2022 Kia Soul

Full Specifications

2020 Kia Soul X-Line

VEHICLE TYPE
front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback

PRICE AS TESTED
$22,615 (base price: $22,485)

ENGINE TYPE
DOHC 16-valve Atkinson-cycle inline-4, aluminum block and head, port fuel injection

Displacement
122 cu in, 1999 cc
Power
147 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque
132 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm

TRANSMISSION
continuously variable automatic with manual shifting mode

CHASSIS
Suspension (F/R): struts/torsion beam
Brakes (F/R): 11.0-in vented disc/10.3-in disc
Tires: Hankook Ventus S1 Noble2, 235/45R-18 94V M+S

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 102.4 in
Length: 165.2 in
Width: 70.9 in
Height: 63.0 in
Passenger volume: 101 cu ft
Cargo volume: 24 cu ft
Curb weight: 2965 lb

C/D
TEST RESULTS
Zero to 60 mph: 8.0 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 24.7 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 8.2 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 4.2 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.4 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 16.4 sec @ 86 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 120 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 161 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.91 g

C/D
FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 24 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 30 mpg
Highway range: 420 miles

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 30/27/33 mpg

DOWNLOAD TEST SHEET

2020 Kia Soul GT-Line 1.6T

VEHICLE TYPE
front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback

PRICE AS TESTED
$28,710 (base price: $28,485)

ENGINE TYPE
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection

Displacement
97 cu in, 1591 cc
Power
201 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque
195 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm

TRANSMISSION
7-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shifting mode

CHASSIS
Suspension (F/R): struts/torsion beam
Brakes (F/R): 12.0-in vented disc/11.2-in disc
Tires: Goodyear Eagle Touring, 235/45R-18 98V M+S

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 102.4 in
Length: 165.2 in
Width: 70.9 in
Height: 63.0 in
Passenger volume: 101 cu ft
Cargo volume: 24 cu ft
Curb weight: 3130 lb

C/D
TEST RESULTS
Zero to 60 mph: 6.4 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 17.0 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.9 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.5 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.5 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.0 sec @ 95 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 128 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 172 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.85 g

C/D
FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 26 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 33 mpg
Highway range: 470 miles

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 29/27/32 mpg

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