2018 Kia Soul: Hamster Approved, Enjoyed By Millions Of Humans

The Kia Soul was designed at Kia’s California design center, and introduced to the world at the 2008 Paris Auto Show as a 2009 model. The second generation of the Soul debuted as a 2014 model, so the new 2018 Kia Soul represents the fifth year of this second generation.

The Kia Soul has consistently been the best-selling subcompact car in the US every year from 2011 through 2016, selling more than 100,000 units each year. Its funky looks, boxy functionality, cute marketing, and low price point have made it a hit.

What’s New On The 2018 Soul

The Convenience Package on the base model now includes automatic climate control, plus UVO3 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Soul Plus adds UVO3 as standard equipment. The Plus Primo Package includes smart cruise control and autonomous emergency braking. The Plus Primo “Lit” Package includes smart cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, and HID headlights. A new exterior color available on the Plus is Wild Orange.

Three 2018 Soul Trim Levels

The 2018 Kia Soul is available in three trim levels: Base, Plus, and Exclaim. The Base Soul comes standard with 16” alloy wheels, solar glass, six-speaker audio system, and a six-way driver’s seat. Soul Plus includes 17” alloy wheels, fog lights, heated outside mirrors, center console armrest, and cruise control with steering wheel controls. The Soul Exclaim features 18” alloy wheels, red accents, chrome-tipped exhaust, leather and cloth seats, and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

Pricing ranges from $16,100 for the Base Soul with manual transmission to $22,800 for the Exclaim.

Three Engines, One For Each Trim Level

The Base Soul comes with a 1.6L four-cylinder engine with 130 horsepower. The Soul Plus is equipped with a larger 2.0L four-cylinder engine with 161 horsepower. The Soul Exclaim packs a powerful 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 201 horsepower.

Transmission choices on the 2018 Soul are a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic on the Base, a six-speed automatic on the Plus, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic on the Exclaim.

EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2018 Kia Soul is 24 to 26 MPG City and 30 to 31 MPG Highway, depending on the engine and transmission selected.

Driver Assistance Technologies Available On 2018 Soul

Several driver assistance systems are available on various Soul trim levels. The Soul Plus offers blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, autonomous emergency braking, smart cruise control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning as options. Soul Exclaim has available blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert.

Plenty of Standard Safety Equipment As Well

Every 2018 Soul comes standard with six airbags: dual front advanced airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags. Standard active safety systems include antilock brake system, brake assist system, electronic stability control, hill start assist control, and vehicle stability management.

The 2018 Kia Soul Offers A Lot Of Value In A Small Package

The 2018 Soul gives you a small yet practical vehicle that also has lots of personality. Whether you need basic transportation, the latest driver assistance technology, or turbocharged performance, the 2018 Kia Soul can handle your needs.

About The Author

Stephen Fogel

Stephen follows the global automotive industry on a daily basis, including new model announcements, new technologies, sales trends, and the latest in "green" cars.