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2012 Soul

Consumer Reviews

2012 Kia Soul

$4,777 - $11,593  MSRP Range
2012 Kia Soul

Review Score

4.6 out of 5 stars

4.6

110 Reviews
91% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.4 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.7 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.5 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.7 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.4 out of 5 stars Performance
4.7 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 110 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Love My Grasshopper!

by Grasshopper Granny from Gilbert, AZ on Sun Jan 22 2012

I was initially looking for a small SUV, but none of the new models were available at the time I visited my Kia dealer. My son and the salesman thought I should consider the Soul. I said "That's the ugliest car, and I wouldn't be caught dead in it!" They urged me to sit in it, and my eyes just lit up at all the room, the wide windshield, and the console. We went for a test drive and I offered to take everyone to California, right on the spot! I didn't want to get out. It handled like a sports car, and I was in LOVE!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

23 out of 23 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

More than the sum of its parts

by Souly Converted from Florida on Wed Jul 27 2011

Purchased a 2011 soul ! 7 months ago and just completed a 2600 mile trip from FL up through DE and PA driving back to FL via Roanoke, VA and Asheville, NC. This little car has been superb in all regards. It has not required one single repair. The handling is excellent, cruises comfortably at 75 miles per hour and the a/c and sound system are excellent. Bluetooth and Sirrus radio make long trips much more tolerable. I have owned many new cars but have to admit Kia got this one right. My only critiques ---It could be slightly quieter at high speeds and seat height adjustment should be added to the front passenger seat. And another gear or two added to the auto-transmission. But I have read that the 2012 model has addressed these.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

18 out of 18 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Happy with the soul

by Happyowner from Texas on Fri Sep 30 2011

We Purchased the 2012 Kia soul a little over a month ago. I commute to school an hour one way everyday, and have made one MS to TX and back trip already. I continually get 32+ mpgs and find that the car handles very well, except during high winds. (I drove home from MS during a tropical storm). The interior is roomy, I love the sound system, and have had no problems with anything. The only complaint I have about the interior is that it could be a little more comfortable. Other than that I think this is a great car for the price. (I also have the 6 speed man. Trans. And find that the engine has quite a lot of "get up and go"!)

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

14 out of 14 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Car as a graduation gift

by momiboo13 from Vallejo, CA on Fri Sep 16 2011

We bought our 18 year old daughter the 2012 KIA Soul and so far not a single complaint from her. She mostly drives in the freeway between home and school. Our only concern is that we've noticed her gas consumption is not quite close to the estimated milage per gallon. It's suppose to get an estimated 34+ miles to a gallon, but it looks so far as if it's only getting within the 27+ instead. Other than that, she's quite happy and content.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

SOULmate

by Scottsdale from Scottsdale, AZ on Mon Feb 06 2012

I have had my Moss SOUL + for a week now. I also have a 2011 BMW 535i xDrive. The SOUL is more fun to drive and easier. I got the UVO option and find the speech works better than the BMW. The radio is great. The build quality seems top notch to me. While the BMW is much quieter, the SOUL is very respectable. There are a lot of details which make the car so practical . The back seat floor is flat - no hump. The back seat is 60/40. There are cubby holes everywhere. When the lease is up on my BMW, I might decide to save a lot of money and get a hopped up SOUL !.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Great Little Car

by I love shoes from Georgia on Fri Mar 22 2013

I started out looking at the KIA Sportage, but decided I really didn't need that much car. So I tried driving the KIA Soul, and I was sold. It's fun to drive, handles nimbly, gets great gas mileage, and looks cool. I got the "Alien" (green) color, and I love it!

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Kia Soul 2012 Exclaim with Homelink vs Civic EX-L

by OrdinaryPeople from Marshalltown, IA on Thu Jul 26 2012

I have been a Honda buyer for 30 years. So you can imagine the level of trepidation I had about buying a Kia. However, so far I have been quite delighted with the Kia Soul 2012 Exclaim with Navigation that I bought for my daughter. The 5 year warranty on most things, plus the level of additional equipment I got compared to a Honda Civic EXL with navigation was enormous. I had to pay MSRP because these cars were in such short supply. But even at MSRP, the on-the-road price of the Soul Exclaim was the same as the Civic EX-L with navigation and the Soul had a rear view camera, Homelink with compass and privacy glass which the Civic simply did not have. The major issue I had with the Soul is that I coud not use my standard Apple USB iPhone cord to charge my iphone. You have to buy a special cable from Kia for this. Also, unlike the Civic, the Soul does NOT display the iPhone Music menu (playlists, songs, albums, etc.) on the navigation screen. I have to manage this from my iPhone itself. Additionally the Soul: a) DOES NOT have an Audible Low Fuel Indicator Beep like the Civic. You have to visually keep your eye on the dash board to see the Low Fuel Indicator light come on b) Does NOT have a vehicle security system that the Civic EX-L comes with as standard c) COMES with much larger and BETTER tires than the Civic or CR-V. My 2010 CRV-EX-L's tires wore out in less than 36,000 miles. Appears Honda is simply not what they used to be though I still love the way they drive versus the Soul. d) has SAME or BETTER crash test and safety scores than the Civic e) The Honda engine and driveabilty at any speed is still unbeatable by the Soul. But the Soul drives very well and is definitely better value for the money

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Loving my 2012 Kia Soul Base model

by dcb95sol from St. Louis, MO on Mon Nov 21 2011

Bought 2012 Kia Soul base model with 6 speed manual trans. I really like it a lot. Gets average of about 32 MPG and I would estimate that I drive about 75% highway. Great styling. Love the Sirius radio. Plenty of room, including luggage space. Their are only 2 things I don't like about the car. 1. It did NOT come with a spare tire. 2. No keyless entry and drivers door is the only one you can open with the key. This is a pain in the butt sometimes when shopping or in bad weather when you have to fumble with the key. But overall I really like it for the price. I can't justify the huge price difference between the base model and others. Not worth the price difference to me.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Dad looking out for daughter heading to college.

by For daddy's little girl from Kansas City on Sat Dec 29 2012

Funky looking car that turns heads. I wanted a very safe car and this has everything offered by any competitors such as antilock brakes, electronic stability control and side curtain air bags as standard equipment. Engine has good punch to it. Suprised with how well the car drives. Absorbs bumps in the road quite well. We are getting 25+ mph in suburbia driving only. AC and heat are strong. Reliabilty has been perfect after 11 nonths. Excellent head room (and I'm 6'4") and front and rear head room. Only gripe is a little busy dash as it relates to jamming in info such as outside temp and current mpg and such into such a small area on the dash.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Excellent little city car for small fmaily

by Hamster from Panama City, FL on Mon Aug 08 2016

I have always hated the "boxy" cars, but for some reason I've always liked the approach Kia takes on them with the Soul. I bought a 2012 Exclaim with 59,xxx miles, and I'm sorry to report I've only put 2,xxx miles on it so far, so perhaps I'll update this review later once I can truly put it through it's long term paces. But for now I want people to at least get some idea what it's like to own. The first thing I noticed driving this car is the noise upon acceleration. Bear in mind, it's not like a bad noise per se, and may just be normal for a small 4cyl auto car(haven't owned many 4cyl cars). But this noise is best described as a kind of groan/excessive vibration or harshness from the engine/drivetrain at anything above 1500RPM under load. If you drive it gently, you'd probably never notice the noise, but it's just a bit too intrusive for my taste as I drive fairly aggressively. However, if you are so inclined to drive aggressively, it's definitely punchier off the line than most 4cyl autos, and will actually chirp rubber from a stop(before the groaning starts), I was actually pleasantly surprised how punchy and torque this little 2.0L is. Groaning noise aside, this is an excellent little car. I'm not sure what it's EPA rated, but my girlfriend and I both average about 29.5/33 city/hwy on the dash(dash computers are known to be a tad optimistic, but I'm confident it's within 1mpg of these readings based on my real mpg calculations). I will admit, the storage behind the rear seats is pretty minimal when the seats are up(with a carseat or whatever), obviously that's to be expected with such a small, light car, but the seats do obviously fold down 60/40 for more cargo space if needed. Backing this thing up is insanely easy as it's so short, but my Exclaim was optioned with a backup camera for those that are super lazy(not that it's that great though the screen is tiny and it's just easier to turn your head). Speaking of options, mine happened to come with the Infinity UVO premium audio system and a sunroof. Sound system is great for factory, I have zero complaints whatsoever and I like loud music too. Just have to watch the volume/tone combinations though as the speakers can distort at excessively high volumes(just as any car system). And unfortunately, the sunroof only slides, does not tilt up(first world problems right?). Another little design bug/quirk I've noticed, the door sills are much too narrow to rest your forearm on when the window is up. Perhaps this is not a big deal for some, but I prefer a bigger sill like in my truck. And speaking of interior materials, some of the fabrics are pretty cheap and rough to the touch(particularly door panels/armrests. I suppose this is to be expected in such a small, affordably priced, efficient "econobox". As for reliability, I've noticed the backup camera has exhibited some flickering/black screen when in use, but I don't really use the camera much so it's not a priority to fix. As for the mechanical bits, I can't complain, it idles smoothly and very quietly, starts up quickly every time, it cruises around smoothly(provided the roads are smooth, harsh roads are amplified by it's slightly harsh ride). All that said, I love this little car, and would not hesitate for a moment to recommend it to a friend. I've rented many small compact cars, and I'll take the Soul 2.0L over a Corolla/Civic/Focus any day of the week.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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Our Take on the 2012 Kia Soul


As a mom who is always on the lookout for an "anti-Mom" vehicle, the Kia Soul definitely piqued my interest. At first, I questioned its "age-appropriateness" for a lady like me with a baby in the backseat, but after 5 minutes behind the wheel, I really didn't care.

The 2012 Kia Soul isn't just young and cool; it's convenient, economical and fun for a family to ride around in.

To many people, the Soul is the "hamster car," but it's so much more than that. It's a fantastic family car disguised in a compact car's body. The new, more powerful four-cylinder engine in the 2012 model makes this little car quicker on the road, and it's definitely ready to merge right on to the highway. It's also a snap... Read More