2024 Kia Soul: The Best Urban Crossover You Can Buy

Strong points
  • Dynamic drive
  • Spacious interior
  • Great fuel economy
  • Excellent warranty
Weak points
  • No all-wheel drive
  • Firm ride
  • Soul EV is discontinued
Full report

There are now just four contenders in what we call the small, urban-oriented crossover segment—the Kia Soul, Chevrolet Trax, Hyundai Venue and Nissan Kicks. The first one is even losing its zero-emission variant, which won’t return for 2024.

That’s too bad, because the Soul EV offered up to 383 km of range and was eligible to federal and provincial incentives. Kia has decided to exclusively bank on the Niro (available in hybrid, PHEV and EV configurations) moving forward.

As for the conventionally powered Soul, a mid-cycle update was made for 2023 including revised styling and new safety features. It’s currently available in five trim levels—LX, EX, EX+, EX Premium and GT-Line Limited (as tested).

Photo: Dominic Boucher

Surprisingly Spacious Interior

The 2024 Kia Soul boasts a cute and driver-friendly interior, especially in higher-spec trim. For instance, the GT-Line Limited sports various red accents throughout. Space is surprisingly generous no matter where you sit, and cargo room with the rear seats down is unmatched by the aforementioned competitors.

Part of the cabin may look and feel a tad dated, but definitely not the displays. There’s an available 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster in front of the steering wheel (4.2 inches standard) and available 10.25-inch centre touchscreen (8 inches standard). The infotainment system is fairly attractive and logically designed, but the multiple icons do require some getting used to at first.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

One of the features that can be configured via the centre screen is Sound Mood Lamp, which adapts ambient lighting to the music that’s playing. We like the idea, but need to give you a warning: it’s best to use it when the vehicle is parked to avoid distractions while driving. The changing colours and contrasts inside the Soul make for a fun atmosphere, that’s for sure.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity comes standard, naturally. Notable options include wireless smartphone charging and a Harman Kardon premium sound system.  

Dynamic Commuter

It’s safe to say the 2024 Kia Soul is a pleasant performer around town. The naturally aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine’s 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque make for adequate acceleration and passing manoeuvres most of the time, while the continuously variable transmission reacts quickly at lower revs. It’s a shame that all-wheel drive is missing, though.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

The seats provide decent comfort, but lateral support is on the short side. The ride is solid but can be fairly stiff on poorly maintained roads, especially with the available 18-inch wheels. To be clear, handling is sportier than what you get with the Kicks or Venue.  

Precise steering is another key attribute of the Soul, not to mention its tight turning circle. This small crossover has no problem finding its way through traffic and in parking lots. As for fuel consumption, our fully loaded tester achieved a combined 7.3 L/100 km, which is great.  

Top of Its Class

Following a real-world comparison of those four urban crossovers listed at the top of the page, The Car Guide picked the 2024 Kia Soul as the best. And you should put it high on your list, too.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

This boxy Korean hatchback is fuel-efficient, pleasant to drive and technologically sharp. What’s more, Kia offers an attractive 5-year/100,000km limited vehicle warranty. Styling may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but when it comes to value and versatility, the Soul is the winner.

Watch: 2023 Kia Sportage X-Line Limited Review

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