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How Well Does The KIA Soul Drive in Snow? (+Owner Reviews)

If you’re in the market for a Kia Soul, it’s evident that you also want to know how this car drives in snowy conditions. Let’s start with a quick answer!

KIA Soul does a decent job in light snowy conditions when equipped with proper winter tires. It has a decent ground clearance of over 6.7 inches and is adaptable to light snow conditions. Some features of KIA Soul, like forward collision assist, lane-keeping assists, and blind-spot warning, help the vehicle tackle slippery conditions.

However, this does not give the whole scenario. Let’s start by looking at how some owners feel about this subcompact SUV in snowy circumstances. Then we’ll dig deeper into some of the car’s characteristics, including tires, driving, and electrical support systems.

Furthermore, we will discuss the ground clearance, weight distribution, and wheelbase of KIA Soul. Then finally, we’ll wrap things up with suggestions for optional traction devices that can help you get even more through!

Also read: Types Of Gas A Kia Soul Takes (All Generations)

Experiences of KIA Soul Owners

We believe it is essential to include some KIA Soul owners driving experiences in the snow as it will give you a clear picture of the Soul before you look ahead to purchase one. We did our research by looking at various forums to see the consensus on this vehicle. And we find out that owners of KIA Soul are pleased with its performance in low to mid-winter circumstances.

“It gets around in the snow, which is great for anyone living in Pennsylvania and is looking for a small SUV style vehicle. I love the GPS system that is built into my Kia. It is very convenient because I travel a lot for my job and now I do not have to prop my phone up on the dashboard. I can just look right on the digital screen in my car for the GPS to my next destination.”

Mimi D (2020 Kia Soul S)


“Nice to have on cold, snowy winter days or those very hot summer days. It is very easy to enter and exit for senior citizens that have deteriorating knees. The ride is firm but not a typical rough SUV. Like the front-wheel-drive since it offers excellent traction on snow and ice-covered roads.”

Guru9C4J34 (2021 Kia Soul LX)


“I live in a mountainous area with lots of rain in the spring and fall, and snow in winter. I never have any problems with how my Kia handles on the winding mountain roads. The traction is great, and the car is very stable.”

Leatha K (2019 Kia Soul Base)


The video below shows an owner taking his KIA Soul for a spin in quite heavy snowfall. It seems up to the task, but we can see how more snowfall would prove to be a problem for the Soul at some point.

Also read: 10 Common Problems Of A Kia Soul EV

Does KIA Soul Have Snow Tires? 

To begin, the best KIA Soul Tires must provide good traction, drivability, toughness, and durability on any surface. KIA Soul tires are available in various sizes and forms, each tailored to a specific function and set of conditions.

All-Season Tires – These tires are selected on some Kia cars to provide exemplary performance in all weather conditions, including snowy and icy roads. All-season tires have the words ALL SEASON and/or M+S (Mud and Snow) inscribed on the sidewall. Snow tires provide better snow grip than all-season tires, and they may be preferred in some circumstances.

Summer Tires– summer tires are available on some Kia vehicles, improving dry road performance. Summer tires’ performance is significantly reduced in snow and ice, and the M+S (Mud and Snow) tire traction rating is not printed on the sidewall of summer tires.

Snow Tires– If you place snow tires on your car, they should have the same size and weight-bearing capacity as the original ones. Also, snow Tires should be used on all four wheels; otherwise, it may result in poor handling.

According to the user guide, snow tires must have 28 kPa (4 psi), greater air pressure than the recommended tire pressure (on the driver’s side of the center pillar), or up to the maximum pressure specified on the tire sidewall, whichever is lower.

If you plan to drive in snowy or icy weather, Kia recommends using snow tires or all-season tires on all four wheels. Do not exceed 120 km/h (75 mph) if your car is equipped with snow tires.

What Drive System Does KIA Soul Have?

KIA Soul comes with three drive modes, each for a different set of conditions:-

NORMAL – Normal Mode is the optimal blend of power, fuel efficiency, steering, and throttle responsiveness for your daily commute. It’s great for city traffic since it balances engine power and speed management safely.

ECO – The ECO driving mode on a Kia vehicle helps you save money on gas. ECO Mode reduces throttle response and changes transmission shift points to prioritize fuel economy over performance. The driver’s behavior and the route’s state determine the vehicle’s effectiveness. It’s best used in congested areas when fuel conservation is crucial or on a trip with limited gasoline supplies.

When ECO mode is activated:-

  • Even if the pedal is fully pressed, the acceleration may be slightly reduced.
  • The air conditioner’s performance may be limited.
  • The shift pattern of an automatic transmission may differ.
  • There’s a chance that the engine noise will get louder.

SPORT – SPORT mode promotes dynamic handling by automatically updating the steering wheel, engine, and transmission. It enables the transmission to shift at higher RPMs while also sharpening steering and throttle responsiveness for unrivaled thrills. SPORT mode increases handling and control at higher speeds. When you prioritize power over fuel economy, this is the extra power you’ll need.

When SPORT mode is activated:-

  • Even if the accelerator pedal is not pressed, the gear and RPM are preserved for a brief span of time.
  • Upshifting is a more time-consuming process.

SNOW mode, a driving mode designed for snowy and slippery situations, is unavailable on the KIA Soul. Because of this constraint, this car is only recommended if you live in an area with light snowfall.

KIA Soul only has a front-wheel drive (FWD) option on all of its trims. So, it would be better to have snow tires on all wheels with FWD to maneuver through light snow and slippery conditions.

Also, read: How Well Does The Kia Sportage Drive In The Snow?

What Electronic Systems Help KIA Soul in the Snow?

Electrical systems, including antilock brakes, forward collision assist, blind-spot collision warning, lane-keeping assist, and heating system, can affect the overall performance of the KIA Soul, whether on a regular road or in snowy terrain.

Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) – ABS is beneficial when traction is limited, such as on snow-covered or slippery roads. When braking forcefully in slick conditions, a driver may apply a braking force more than the tire’s ability to grip. If this occurs, the car’s wheels may ‘lock up,’ causing the vehicle to lose control.

The ABS constantly monitors the wheel speed. The ABS system controls the hydraulic braking pressure to the wheels repeatedly if the wheels lock.

Forward Collision Assist – The Kia Soul now includes forward collision assist, which uses radar to detect potential hazards or threats in the road ahead of the vehicle. This is especially useful in the winter when braking distances are significantly increased due to slick and snowy conditions.

If the vehicle in front of you suddenly brakes, forward collision assist will assist the driver in applying the brakes. Even if the driver is slow to react, the vehicle will help them to slow down.

Blind-spot Collision Warning– The blind-spot collision warning system detects objects in the road ahead of the vehicle that is out of the driver’s field of vision. The system uses audio and visual cues to warn the driver that another car or vehicle may be in their blind spot. This is especially useful in snowy conditions because it improves the driver’s vision.

The driver may be driving with poor vision, making it difficult to see cars in their blind spot. In this case, the system would prevent a collision.

Thanks to the system, the driver will keep their eyes on the road rather than turning their head to see if their blind spot is clear.

Lane Keeping Assist – The Kia Soul also has excellent lane-keeping assist technology. If the driver accidentally drifts out of the lane, the forward scanning radar will detect it. The technology will make minor steering adjustments to keep the vehicle in its lane.

Furthermore, in heavy snow, it can be difficult to distinguish the lane marking on the roads; in that situation system sometimes can fail in assisting the driver in staying in their lane.

It is critical in snowy conditions because staying in your lane can be difficult when the car drifts and slides on slick surfaces.

Smart Cruise Control– The Kia Soul’s smart cruise control is a safety and luxury feature that adjusts the car’s speed based on the vehicle ahead of it. If the car in front of you slows down, the Kia Soul will also slow down.

This feature is handy in snowy conditions because it allows the driver to maintain control of their speed while keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them.

It can also be helpful when there is a lack of visibility. The vehicle will aid in the prevention of accidents caused by tailgating and excessive speeding.

Heated Seats and Steering – The heated seats and steering wheel can be used in winters to provide a comfortable and pleasant ride. The heat settings can be adjusted to achieve the desired temperature and level of comfort for the driver.

All of these safety functions were found in the owner’s manual of the 2021 KIA Soul.

Also read: The Expected Mileage Of A Kia Soul

Weight and Distribution

2021 KIA Soul ModelCurb Weight (lbs.)

All trims of KIA Soul have almost equal curb weight distribution, except for the Turbo edition, which packs some extra features and is more muscular than the rest. For the snow conditions, the curb weight is average for light snow conditions and below average for medium snow conditions.

Ground Clearance

All models have roughly 6.7 inches of ground clearance, which is 1.4 inches higher than a compact sedan. It can be used in areas with light snow. In severe snow conditions, where this car is not recommended, it becomes a disadvantage. In that case, a pure SUV or truck, depending on the needs, is advised.

The Wheelbase

Finally, we’ll go over wheelbase (the distance between the front and the rear tires). This is because the length of a vehicle’s wheelbase affects how easily it can slip and lose control.

The wheelbase for all trims is 102.4 inches, which is below average for heavy snow conditions. As a result of this limitation, it is recommended to be equipped with snow tires and chains in your car, which partially compensates for the loss while retaining the car’s standard safety features.

Also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Kia Soul

Traction devices for KIA Soul

Snow Chains — Previous owners and experts agree that having class S snow chains for the car is a good idea, which can be purchased here on Amazon. Please make sure you get a suitable snow chain according to your tire size.

Snow socks – It adds traction to your tires. It works well with snow chains. Always double-check the size of the wheel.

Do not exceed the 30 mph speed limit when using snow chains and snow socks.