2022 Kia Soul Compact, Hatchback Review

The all-new Kia Soul is a subcompact SUV that was unveiled at the 2022 Kia Soul Los Angeles Auto Show. The second-generation Soul is longer, wider and taller than the previous model and features an updated design inside and out.

The Kia Soul is powered by a 147-horsepower four-cylinder engine and is available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

2022 Kia Soul Review

2022 kia soul gt line
2022 kia soul gt line

After outpacing the Honda Element, Scion xB and Nissan Cube Soul proved that Kia can do as much as anyone else if not better. Since its debut in 2008 the subcompact crossover known for its hamsters has come into its own.

This is the cheapest way to enter Korea, The brand’s SUV comes in six different trims, including the off-road-inspired Soul X-Line and the hot hatch Soul Turbo.

What’s New 2022 Kia Soul

Updated design Kia badges

Soul LX replaces last year’s 7.0-inch touchscreen with an 8.0-inch touchscreen

Available tech package for Soul LX adds active safety features and swaps steel wheels for alloys

Soul S X-Line and GT-Line trims feature a standard 10.3-inch infotainment display with navigation dual-zone automatic climate control push-button activation for wireless devices and two USB chargers Steel gray replaces gleaming silver in exterior palette of Soul LX S and EX interiors

The lineup’s manual transmission has been retired

2022 kia soul turbo
2022 kia soul turbo

What We Think 2022 Kia Soul

The Kia Soul’s appearance — or rather its shape — has always been polarizing, but the heavily improved third-generation model is almost a different machine from the original. It’s always had plenty of interior space for passengers and cargo, but the 2022 Kia Soul also offers Ride quality is greatly improved compared to the second-generation model. The car balances in corners, steers accurately on uneven surfaces and while it’s not the most powerful subcompact SUV it doesn’t feel under powered. Soul’s brake pads offer good seizure and fade resistance as well as active safety features work well with the laudable Polish language.

Soul’s cabin isn’t fancy, but it’s simply clean and comfortable. It effectively blocked road noise until we upgraded to 18-inch wheels, and even then it wasn’t terrible. We also appreciate Soul’s seamless smartphone integration.

2022 kia soul ex
2022 kia soul ex

We lived with the 2020 Soul for a year and found it to be the ideal daily driver and errand runner. It didn’t win any drag races, but despite the lack of AWD availability, there’s a reason this model is one of our top-ranked subcompact SUVs. Kia’s practical driving dynamics and Affordability is solid, even if we don’t know how to make its boxy look.

2022 Kia Soul Performance and Fuel Economy

Most of the Soul lineup relies on a 147-horsepower naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four, except for the Soul Turbo. The top trim gets a 201-horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4. The same trim with the naturally aspirated engine also comes with a CVT, while the Turbo has a seven-speed Dual clutch automatic transmission. All grades use FWD, as Kia still doesn’t offer an AWD option.

Fuel economy for the 2022 Soul is the same as last year’s version’s 28-29/33-35 MPG city/highway for naturally aspirated I-4 and CVT models and 27/32 MPG for those with the turbocharged four-cylinder and automatic transmission models. Soul’s naturally aspirated I-4 outperforms 2021 Toyota C-HR and its non-turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, rated at 27/31 MPG.

2022 Kia Soul X-Line: Off-Road Adjacent

In X-Line trim, the 2022 Soul looks ready to get off the pavement, even if it doesn’t necessarily have the ability to do so. This grade doesn’t get any extra features like a beefier turbo engine or extra ground clearance for AWD, but it does get a number of cosmetic upgrades like the body cladding X-Line exclusive 18-inch wheels and satin silver exterior. The trim also gets fog lights in roof rails and fenders. With the wraparound headlights on the third generation slightly squinted, the Soul X-Line starts to look a bit like a Range Rover Evoque.

2022 kia soul colors

Safety Ratings and Features

The 2022 Soul received a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA, while IIHS has yet to release a rating for the 2022 model. The last model year Soul was named a Top Safety Pick for 2021 by the IIHS earning mostly good scores in most categories except headlights. Accessories,headlamps, Either halogen reflector or halogen projector headlamps scored poorly.

Kia calls its suite of active safety tech Drive Wise, and on the base trim Soul LX those features are only available with an optional tech package. Starting with X-Line trim, Soul gets automatic emergency braking blind-spot monitoring rear cross-traffic monitoring lanes Departure warning and driver focus monitor. The top-of-the-line Soul Turbo also gets adaptive cruise control, a feature Kia doesn’t offer on lower trims.

Cargo Space and Interior Room

Boxiness has its advantages. Consumers may be divided on the appeal of the Soul’s form factor, but the design is good for interior spaces. The Soul offers more rear passenger legroom and more cargo space than the sleeker Toyota C-HR.

2022 kia soul review

Cargo space (behind first/second rows):

  • 2022 Soul: 62.1/24.2 cubic feet
  • 2021 C-HR: 37.0/19.1 cubic feet

Legroom (first/second rows):

  • 2022 Soul: 41.1/38.8 inches
  • 2021 C-HR: 43.5/31.7 inches

Technology

The Soul,crossover, Kia’s cheapest crossover, comes with features like keyless entry and an infotainment system with an 8.0-inch touchscreen six-speaker and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

Adventure-seeking Soul X-Line adds push-button start Wireless charges the dual-zone climate control system and its infotainment system is upgraded with a 10.3-inch touchscreen and navigation.

The Soul S and EX get an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and the EX further gets a sunroof and heated front seats.

2022 kia soul review

At the top of the trim lineup, the Soul Turbo features LED headlights a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat a heated steering wheel and a complementary Harman Kardon center Speaker subwoofers and amplifiers for infotainment systems.

2022 kia soul ev

Suggested

The 2022 Soul is available in six trims this year: LX S GT-Line X-Line EX and Turbo. We think the EX trim is the best because it combines convenience features like wireless smartphone charging and dual-zone climate control with details like a larger infotainment touchscreen and sunroof.

Add It’s about $4000 cheaper than the top-of-the-line Turbo model. The 2022 Soul EX stickers cost around $25,000.

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