Kia Soul: Common Problems and Model Years Overview

Kia Soul: Common Problems and Model Years Overview

by Zack Norman

The Kia Soul, a popular subcompact crossover SUV known for its distinct design and practicality, has gained a reputation among car enthusiasts. However, it’s important to be aware of potential issues associated with specific model years. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive overview of common Kia Soul problems reported with different Kia Soul model years, discuss its reliability and resale value, and highlight the pros and cons of this unique vehicle.

Kia Soul Model Years and Common Problems:

2010 Kia Soul:

The 2010 Kia Soul experienced issues such as electrical problems, faulty suspension, and engine failures. Some owners reported issues with the vehicle’s wiring harness and engine performance.

2011 Kia Soul:

Owners of the 2011 Kia Soul reported electrical problems, steering issues, and engine failures. Faulty wiring harnesses and power steering systems were among the concerns raised by owners.

2012 Kia Soul:

Common problems with the 2012 Kia Soul include suspension issues, hood unlatching while driving, and difficulty shifting. These issues were often attributed to faulty suspension components, hood latch mechanisms, and heat sensors on the transmission.

2013 Kia Soul:

The 2013 Kia Soul had engine failure issues, knocking or ticking noises from the engine, and steering problems. Some owners had to replace the entire engine due to connecting rod punctures or other engine-related failures.

2014 Kia Soul:

Engine failures, electrical problems, and steering issues were commonly reported by owners of the 2014 Kia Soul. Some owners experienced excessive oil consumption, ticking or knocking noises, and problems with the electrical wiring harnesses.

2015 Kia Soul:

Owners of the 2015 Kia Soul faced engine failures, faulty air conditioning units and heaters, and various electrical issues. Additionally, there were four recalls related to engine fires, catalytic converter damage, and other safety concerns.

2016 Kia Soul:

The 2016 Kia Soul encountered engine problems, electrical issues, and steering concerns. Some owners reported blown engines and the need for expensive engine replacements.

2017 Kia Soul:

The 2017 Kia Soul had reported engine failures, transmission problems, and electrical issues. These problems affected some owners and required costly repairs or replacements.

Kia Soul Reliability and Resale Value:

While certain model years of the Kia Soul experienced notable problems, newer model years have shown improvements in reliability. The vehicle’s strong resale value makes it an appealing option for those considering a used purchase.

Pros and Cons of the Kia Soul:


  • Adjustable seating for comfortable driving positions.
  • Spacious and open interior with generous headroom and legroom.
  • High safety rating due to its unique body shape and advanced safety features.
  • Attractive and user-friendly infotainment system.
  • Optional turbocharged engine for enhanced performance.


Expert Reviews and Conclusion:

Car and Driver awarded the Kia Soul a 10 Best Trucks and SUVs award for its practicality, spaciousness, and enjoyable driving experience. While US News & World Report praised its abundant cabin and cargo space, they mentioned that some competitors offer a more engaging driving experience.

In conclusion, the Kia Soul offers distinct advantages with its adjustable seating, spacious interior, high safety rating, attractive infotainment system, and optional turbocharged engine. However, it’s crucial to consider the reported problems associated with specific model years. Diligence in maintenance, awareness of recalls, and thorough inspections when purchasing a used Kia Soul can help mitigate potential issues and ensure a more reliable ownership experience.

While the Kia Soul has had its share of problems in certain model years, it’s important to note that newer model years have shown improvements in reliability. Additionally, the vehicle’s strong resale value indicates its popularity and desirability in the used car market.

Ultimately, the Kia Soul’s unique design, practicality, and positive attributes make it a compelling choice for those seeking a distinctive subcompact crossover SUV. By understanding the common problems and conducting proper due diligence, potential buyers can make informed decisions and enjoy the benefits of owning a Kia Soul.

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