2012 Kia Soul
Spacious interior; improved power in both engines; good fuel economy; affordability; great warranty
The Soul has only been on the market for two years, but Kia has seen fit to improve it in nearly all respects for 2012.
The Soul is now available in three trim levels: the base Soul, Soul + and Soul !. The Soul comes powered by a 138-horsepower 1.6L 4-cylinder, which is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The other Soul models are powered by a 164-horsepower 2.0L inline-4, which is paired to a standard 6-speed automatic transmission. Kia estimates fuel economy at 27 mpg city/35 mpg highway from the 1.6L, with a slight reduction for the 2.0L.
Standard features include an AM/FM/CD stereo with USB/MP3 input jacks, SIRIUS satellite radio capability, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, power windows and locks, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and air conditioning. Soul + models add 16-inch alloy wheels, leather steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, and keyless entry. The Soul ! includes 18-inch wheels, a power sunroof, fog lights, a premium stereo, and unique interior upholstery with leather appointments.
The Soul still shines in the way owners can customize it. Nearly 60 accessories are available, including headlight accents, remote start, sport springs, a billet oil cap, sport exhaust, special interior lighting, special cargo and equipment racks, and much more.
The premium stereo found in the Soul ! is available on the Soul +, as is the 2.0L ECO Package, which adds low rolling resistance tires and a special stop-and-go idling system to improve efficiency. The Premium Package, available only in the Soul !, adds navigation with Sirius/XM Traffic, push-button start, leather seat trim, heated fornt seats, and automatic climate control.
Standard safety equipment across the Soul lineup includes six airbags, active front headrests, traction control, electronic stability control, a tire pressure monitor, and 4-wheel anti-lock brakes.
The Kia Soul has been refreshed for 2012. Updates include new side mirrors with integrated turn signals, a sculpted hood, a revised front end with new headlights and updated grille, as well as new taillights and rear bumper. The new Soul is slightly longer than its predecessor. Inside, changes include a standard tilt/telescopic steering wheel and revised stereo system.
The Soul Sport has been dropped from the model range, leaving the base Soul, Soul +, and Soul !, the last of which now includes LED projector headlights with LED taillights.
Powertrains have been updated as well. The 1.6L four is now direct-injected for increased efficiency, and power has been boosted as well, from 122 hp to 138 hp. The 2.0L found in the Soul + and Soul ! jumps from 142 hp to 164 hp. Both engines are now mated to a new 6-speed automatic, with a 6-speed manual available as well.
Pricing starts at $13,900 for a manual-equipped Soul.
The 2012 Kia Soul is aimed squarely at the Scion crowd, with its funky styling, wild colors, personalized interior and exterior treatments, and kooky hip hop hamster advertising campaign. Improvements in performance and efficiency add tremendous value to the Soul, especially with a base price of $3,500 less than a comparable Scion.
* EPA mileage estimates and EPA fuel economy methods based on models beginning with
the indicated model year. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models
before the indicated model year. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how
you drive and maintain your vehicle.