Ace of Base: 2018 Kia Soul Base

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
ace of base 2018 kia soul base

Korean automakers built their foundations on these shores by offering cars priced much more aggressively than established competition yet packed to the gunwales with features. Kia has come a long way since opening up shop with their first dealerships in – where else – Portland, Oregon. Keep it weird, Portland.

Even with the by-all-accounts superb Stinger and the not-offered-here funky Stonic pointing Kia in a bold new direction, the company stays true to its roots by continuing to offer an array of products squarely in the Mr. Noodles price range. One of the most popular? The Kia Soul, of course.

Is there a base model? Of course there is. This time, it’s right there in the name.

Behind the pug-tastic snout we find Kia’s 1.6-liter inline-four, deploying four valves per cylinder and making 130 horsepower. This figure is leagues ahead of what I endured in the base penalty boxes of my youth. A six-speed manual is standard equipment with Hill Assist helping out new drivers who find themselves near Pike Place Market in Seattle. The automatic, at $1,600, adds nearly 10% to the sticker price. You don’t need it.

Disc brakes are found at all four corners. Why am I mentioning something seemingly mundane? Well, even today, certain models of the vaunted Toyota Corolla still have archaic drum brakes out back. Seriously. Go look it up. I’ll wait.

While the pedantic folks amongst us are hitting up the build-and-price tools to confirm that, now would be a great time to mention the Soul’s tires, appropriately sized at 205/60/16 and guaranteed not to hoover your wallet clean come replacement time. Best of all, they’re mounted on alloys, not steelies.

Look inside your Soul and you will find the holy trinity of air conditioning, USB ports, and satellite radio. Economies of scale is always one’s best friend on a base car and it delivers again in the form of power windows and a tilt/telescope steering wheel in this $16,100 Kia.

The usual trifecta of bleak colors are on tap: Clear White, Bright Silver, and Shadow Black. While I personally know several people whose Souls are quite black, your author would definitely choose the Cosmic Snot Alien Green shown above. All four colors are $0 each. Dandy.

At trade-in time, I’d be sure to find a dealership employing a person named Neville, simply for the privilege of saying — for the rest of my days — that I sold my Soul to the Neville.

I’ll show myself out.

[Images: Kia Motors]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selection.

The model above is shown in American dollars with American options and trim, absent of destination charges and available rebates. As always, your dealer may sell for less.

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2 of 38 comments
  • Bd2 Bd2 on Sep 28, 2017

    Basically the "last man standing" among the "box-utes." No more xB, Cube or Element (albeit, the Element being larger than the rest).

  • Gtem Gtem on Sep 28, 2017

    "Disc brakes are found at all four corners." Rear-Disk-brakes-on-everything meme needs to die. For a small economy car like this, I'll take drums that I will basically never have to open up in the lifetime of the car, versus disks that will inevitably rust rotors by year 6-7 and/or rust calipers that jam up the pads (causing uneven wear), or even freeze up the caliper entirely.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂