The Soul is available in three trim levels: the base Soul, "Soul +" and "Soul !." The base 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 4-cylinder, which is paired to a standard 6-speed automatic transmission. Kia estimates fuel economy at 25 mpg city/30 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.
Performance is good with either engine providing decent acceleration. Handling is also much better than expected for a vehicle that looks so tall. Steering is precise and unexpectedly accurate, allowing the vehicle to be driven like a car despite its van-like looks.
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 front 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.