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2012 Kia Soul

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$3,796 — $11,500 USED
14
Photos
Hatchback
5 Seats
25-27 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 3 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Value for the money
  • Impressive safety features
  • Cabin quality
  • Powerful uplevel stereo
  • Solid brakes
  • Warranty

The Bad

  • Ride over rough pavement
  • Adjustment range for driver's seat
  • High cargo floor
  • No automatic transmission with base engine
2012 Kia Soul exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2012 Kia Soul
  • More powerful and fuel-efficient drivetrains
  • Styling updates
  • Standard USB/iPod input
  • Available backlit speakers

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2012 Kia Soul Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview

Kia joined the boxy wagon segment when it launched the Soul as a 2010 model. It competes with cars like the Scion xB and Nissan Cube. Employing front-wheel drive and powered by a choice of four-cylinder engines, the Soul comes with a host of standard features and an attractive base price. It’s offered in base, Soul+, Soul!, and Sport trim levels.

New For 2012
Both of the Soul’s available four-cylinder engines make more power and team with new six-speed transmissions. Fuel estimates have improved for both engines, too — 25/30 mpg city/highway for the base engine and 23/28 mpg for the optional larger four-cylinder. The 2012 Soul gains exterior styling revisions that update its appearance slightly.

Exterior
Featuring a rounded front end that’s reminiscent of a Mini Cooper, the Soul has short front and rear overhangs and a fairly raked windshield. Exterior features include:

  • Revised front-end styling includes new headlights, LED daytime running lights and a restyled bumper
  • Updated rear design cues include LED taillights and a newly styled bumper
  • Standard 15-inch wheels
  • Optional 16- and 18-inch wheels
  • Optional moonroof
  • Optional rear spoiler and fog lights

Interior
The Soul has seating for up to five with its front bucket seats and rear bench seat. The bench seat is split and can be folded down to expand the cargo area. Interior features include:

  • Newly available Infinity premium stereo
  • Newly available Uvo hands-free communication and entertainment s...

Vehicle Overview

Kia joined the boxy wagon segment when it launched the Soul as a 2010 model. It competes with cars like the Scion xB and Nissan Cube. Employing front-wheel drive and powered by a choice of four-cylinder engines, the Soul comes with a host of standard features and an attractive base price. It’s offered in base, Soul+, Soul!, and Sport trim levels.

New For 2012
Both of the Soul’s available four-cylinder engines make more power and team with new six-speed transmissions. Fuel estimates have improved for both engines, too — 25/30 mpg city/highway for the base engine and 23/28 mpg for the optional larger four-cylinder. The 2012 Soul gains exterior styling revisions that update its appearance slightly.

Exterior
Featuring a rounded front end that’s reminiscent of a Mini Cooper, the Soul has short front and rear overhangs and a fairly raked windshield. Exterior features include:

  • Revised front-end styling includes new headlights, LED daytime running lights and a restyled bumper
  • Updated rear design cues include LED taillights and a newly styled bumper
  • Standard 15-inch wheels
  • Optional 16- and 18-inch wheels
  • Optional moonroof
  • Optional rear spoiler and fog lights

Interior
The Soul has seating for up to five with its front bucket seats and rear bench seat. The bench seat is split and can be folded down to expand the cargo area. Interior features include:

  • Newly available Infinity premium stereo
  • Newly available Uvo hands-free communication and entertainment system
  • Standard air conditioning, tilt steering wheel and CD stereo with USB and auxiliary inputs
  • Standard cloth seats
  • Optional cruise control, keyless entry and height-adjustable driver’s seat
  • Optional Premium Package adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, automatic air conditioning, a navigation system (replaces Uvo) and push-button starting

Under the Hood
The Soul’s base engine is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that makes 135 horsepower and works with a six-speed manual transmission. There is an available 160-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic

Safety
Standard features include:

  • Antilock brakes
  • Side-impact airbags for the front seats
  • Side curtain airbags
  • An electronic stability system, required for 2012
  • Active head restraints for the front seats

 

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.6
118 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.4)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

A great used car.

by Dorkster from Lynchburg, VA on October 16, 2019

I bought this used and have had it for ~ 5 years. The drawbacks: seats are too short for 6'1" driver under the thighs. And there's no all wheel drive available (the driving is terrible in even light ... Read full review

(5.0)

Very fun to drive!

by Scooter J from Williamsburg on September 6, 2019

Superior fuel economy, and surprising amount of room inside. Solid for a small car. I'm 6'1" tall with room to spare. Very safe car with awesome parking lot ability. Has a tight turning radius. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2012 Kia Soul currently has 1 recall


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Kia

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    120 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 60,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

Latest 2012 Soul Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Soul received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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