The Soul's tight suspension is fun and sporty-feeling around town, but its inability to absorb and recover from bumps became disconcerting at highway speeds. For example, when taking a curved ramp from one highway to another, the Soul jumped around a bit over the rough bump where the two connected, requiring me to focus and hang on more tightly to the steering wheel so it wouldn't skip out from under me in the curve.
The Soul's tight 34.4-foot turning circle made quick errands a blast, turning on a dime into tight parking spaces that others passed up.
The 2013 Kia Soul is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick, having received the institute's top rating of Good in front, side, rear and roof-strength tests. It hasn't undergone the small-overlap front test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Soul an overall crash-test rating of four out of five stars.
As has been required since the 2012 model year, the Soul has standard antilock brakes, electronic stability control and traction control. The Soul has standard dual advanced airbags in front, front-seat-mounted side-impact airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.
The Soul! that I drove also had a standard backup camera display (it's optional on the Soul+ and not available on the base model). While it's not yet a requirement on cars, we anticipate backup cameras being mandated in the coming years, so having one standard in the Soul! added to my peace of mind in a house full of my kids, nephews, kids' friends and pets.
For families installing child-safety seats, the Soul's lower Latch anchors are shallow within the seat bight, but don't offer much clearance on the top and bottom of the anchor. This may make installing child-safety seats with rigid Latch hooks difficult. However, seats that use Latch hooks on flexible nylon webbing should be easier to install.
My two youngest daughters complained about the seat belt buckles in the Soul. Because they're on floppy nylon bases, they have a tendency to slip and tuck themselves under the back of a booster seat when not in use. So when my daughter climbed in, it was tough for her to locate the buckle without climbing back out of her seat and moving the booster out of the way to find the buckle. Read our full Car Seat Check here.
See all the standard safety features listed here.