With box shape and an enthusiastic four-cylinder engine, the compact Kia Soul stands out between the hatchback, wagon and small crossover. With its sharp edges and clean cabins filled with distinctive shapes and bright colors, the 2018 Kia Soul does not fit into any of these classes, which is certainly part of its appeal. It has reasonable speed and performance, nimble handling, plenty of cargo space and tech features.
The 2018 Kia Soul is a five-passenger wagon available in three trim levels: base, Plus (+) and Exclaim (!).
The front-wheel-drive 2018 Kia Soul is offered with three different engines. The base Soul gets a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 130 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission and a hill-start assist function are standard, while a six-speed automatic is optional. The EPA estimated fuel economy for the base Soul at 26 mpg combined (25 city/30 highway) for both transmissions.
The 2018 Kia Soul Plus (+) get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that puts out 161 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only available transmission. EPA estimated fuel economy with this engine at 27 mpg combined (25/30).
The 2018 Kia Soul Exclaim comes standard with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine good for 201 hp and 195 lb-ft). It paired with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. EPA fuel economy rating at 28 mpg combined (26 city/31 highway).
In track performance testing, the 2018 Kia Soul Exclaim went from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, which is quick for a small wagon or hatchback with an upgraded engine.