Kia Soul (2008 – 2014) Review

Kia Soul (2008 – 2014) At A Glance


+Oddball looks mean it stands out. Plenty of room especially in the back. Very comfortable seats. Excellent chain cam 1.6 diesel and petrol engines. Option of diesel automatic.

-No sportscar to drive. CO2 emissions could be lower. Baffling array of different versions and special editions.

Insurance Groups are between 14–19
On average it achieves 85% of the official MPG figure

My fault, I know. I video tested the Kia Soul without knowing exactly which model it was. So, though a phone call to Kia elicited the information it was a Soul 2 diesel at £12,495, in fact it turned out to be a Soul Shaker diesel at a slightly stiffer £13,495.

Still good value for money though. Especially compared with what that will buy from Ford or Honda, assuming no discounts.

You might regard the Soul as being perversely styled. It's as if it's different for the sake of being different. A bit like the peculiar box-like Far East Market Hondas, the Nissan Cube and the Daihatsu Materia. There's no logical justification for the way it looks or why you should buy it. Yet that's in its favour. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised. I was.

KIA Soul 2009 Road Test and Video

Real MPG average for a Kia Soul (2008 – 2014)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

30–54 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

Does my car have a DPF?
"My friend has ownes a 10-plate Kia Soul diesel automatic for years, he drives around town all the time and never has any DPF problems, so he thinks that his car does not have one, but I think it does. Can you settle the argument?"
It would not have to have one. They did not become compulsory until January 2011.
Answered by Honest John
Diesel or petrol?
"My commute to work is four miles there and the same four miles back. I do this twice a day. I'm looking at buying an 09-ish Kia Soul but can't decide between petrol or diesel. Since this model I believe did not have a DPF (pre 2010) which one - petrol or diesel - would use the most fuel for this rather short journey?"
I'm not sure that a 2009 didn't have a DPF. Test and video of exactly that car here: Every diesel had to have a DPF from January 2011. Old models tended to get thme by around mid 2010. But new models introduced in 2008 could have had them from the start, in anticipation of the new legislation. No reports of DPF problems. Actually, no problems reported at all other than recalls:
Answered by Honest John
Should I buy a pre-registered Kia Soul?
"I currently have a 2004 Nissan Almera 2.2 Diesel. I've had it from new and it has been very reliable but I'm worried it's going to start getting expensive soon. I don't do a lot of mileage in it (4000 a year) as it's become our second car. I have seen a number of old model Kia Soul 1.6 petrols for about £10,000, plus a smaller number of diesels. These are all registered, but Kia Approved so with seven years warranty. Do you think this is a good buy?"
If they are old models they are actually two years old, whether they have been registered and/or used or not. I don't think £10,000 is a very good deal. It was when the cars were on runout and actually new a coupe of years ago, but not now.
Answered by Honest John
Which cool MPV for a new mother?
"What's the coolest mini MPV for a new mother, in your opinion?"
As well as Mini MPVs, you could consider a Nissan Juke, because they're a bit higher so mean less bending. Some people like the KIA Soul. Then there's the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008. Mini MPVs as a category don't really qualify for the 'cool wall'. Used, a Nissan Cube might. New, maybe a FIAT 500L, though Jeremy Clarkson might disagree.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Kia Soul (2008 – 2014) cost?