2013 Kia Soul Preview

Jeff Youngs | Jul 21, 2013
  • New colors added for 2013
  • Power-folding mirrors are standard on highest trim level
  • Kia badge is revised for 2013 models
  • Bluetooth is standard on all trim levels
  • Hatchback offers maximum 53.4 cubic feet of cargo space


The 2013 Kia Soul is a compact, economy-priced 5-door hatchback. The Kia Soul made its début in the 2010 model year, although it had undergone several incarnations as a concept vehicle in the previous five years. The Kia Soul is marketed as a fun, colorful model, as reflected by the names of its trim levels and its exterior paint colors. The Kia Soul competes mainly with models such as the Scion xB, Volkswagen Golf, and Honda Fit, although some critics suggest that the Kia Soul is not easy to compare with other models. The 2013 Kia Soul is available in the base trim level, plus the Soul+ and Soul! Trim levels.

Exterior Features

The 2013 Kia Soul is available in eight exterior colors: a brilliant orange-red, sage green, white, silver, light tan, dark green, black, and grey. All trim levels include a chrome-accented grille, and body-color exterior door handles and side moldings. The base trim level features 15-inch steel wheels, body-color front and rear fascias with black inserts, dual body-color mirrors, and clear-lens headlights. The Soul+ adds 16-inch alloy wheels and power mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators. The Soul! upgrades to 18-inch tires with alloy wheels, power-folding mirrors, body-color bumpers, body-color front and rear fascias with body-color inserts, auto on-off projection headlights, and LED positioning lights, as well as a power sunroof.

Interior Features

The base Soul LX includes black cloth upholstery, air conditioning, USB/auxiliary input jack, power windows and locks, map pockets, cupholders, the fuel-saving Active Eco system, tilt-and-telescoping steering column, steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, remote keyless entry, and Bluetooth connectivity. The Idle Stop And Go system is optional on the Soul+. The upper trim levels add upgrades to the stereo system, as well as optional automatic climate control. Additionally, the upper trim levels each add different upgrades to the cloth upholstery, and leather upholstery is optional on the Soul!, as are heated front seats. All Souls feature a 6-way adjustable driver's seat, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat with adjustable headrests. The Soul! features sand-black interior trim. With the rear seats folded, this dog friendly car boasts a maximum 53.4 cubic feet of cargo space.

Optional Features

Many of the features that are standard on the upper trim levels are available as options on the lower trim levels, usually as part of a package. The Soul! offers a Premium package that includes a navigation system, push-button start with smart key, heated leather-trimmed front seats, and automatic climate control. Individual options include an auto-dimming mirror with compass or with compass and HomeLink, cargo cover, cargo net, illuminated scuff plate, rear bumper appliqué, remote start, cargo liner, cargo tray, interior lighting, rear spoiler, and wheel locks.

Under the Hood

The base model of the 2013 Kia Soul is offered with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 138 horsepower and 123 lb.-ft. of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard and a 6-speed automatic is optional (standard on the Soul!); either sends power to the front wheels. Standard on the upper trim levels is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 164 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. of torque.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Kia Soul are:

  • Soul with 1.6-liter engine: 25/27/30 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Soul with 2.0-liter engine and manual transmission: 24/29/26 mpg
  • Soul with 2.0-liter engine and automatic transmission: 23/28/25 mpg


The 2013 Soul is equipped with 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, front side air bags, side curtain air bags, and an optional rearview camera.

In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2013 Kia Soul received 4 (out of 5) stars in frontal crash tests, 5 stars in side crash tests, 4 stars for rollover resistance, and 4 stars overall. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2013 Kia Soul received a rating of "Good"--the Institute's highest--for moderate overlap front, side impact, and roof strength tests.

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