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The Expected Mileage Of A Kia Soul

The Expected Mileage Of A Kia Soul

How many miles can a Kia Soul last? When you’re in the market for a new or second-hand Soul, that’s, of course, a very reasonable question to ask. After all, you’re probably looking to get the most bang for your buck. In this blog, we’ll look at this question in great detail but first, let’s start with a quick answer:

On average, a Kia Soul lasts between 250.000 – 270.000 miles. A Soul needs to go to the garage for unscheduled repairs about 0.17 times per year, with a 9% chance of severe problems. Furthermore, Soul owners spend an average of $437 per year on repair costs.

Having said that, we’re certainly not done. Below we’ll first explain in more detail how many miles a Soul can last. After that, we’ll also show you how much a Soul costs per year and which production years are the most and least expensive. Furthermore, we also discuss the common problems that the car can have. Read on!

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How Many Miles Can A Kia Soul Last?

Our team here at thedriveradviser puts in all the effort to give you the most accurate research-based answers. We take the research seriously and analyze and present it in easy-to-understand tables. There is no way you can call a vehicle reliable if one of them has been able to get a 300k+mile reading in its odometer.

The right way is to analyze thousands of vehicles of the same model and take the average for the highest mileage achieved by these models before ending up on sale in the used market. In the case of the Kia Soul, we have carried out extensive research on 7000+ Kia Souls and have looked at their mileage. We also have articles on the expected mileage of the Kia Sorento and Kia Optima using the same thorough research, for those of you who are interested.

We divided the whole data pool into four categories, each telling us a different aspect of reliability. Before we get into the analysis, let us first make public that for any vehicle to be considered reliable, it must show more than 3% of them crossing the 150k mile mark. On the other hand, SUVs should be at least 5%; otherwise, the vehicle is not considered reliable.

If you have your sights set on a second-hand car, it’s smart to check the history before buying it. This way, you know if the car has any problems or has been involved in any accidents. You can do this in a couple of minutes via EPICVIN. Click here to go to their website and fill in the license plate or VIN number of the car you are interested in!

Number Of MilesPercentage Of Cars
Cars With 150.000+2.67%
Cars With 100.000 – 149.00013.42%
Cars With 45.000 – 99.99943.32%
Cars With 0 – 44.99940.59%

Some websites call the Kia Soul a subcompact SUV, while others call it a hatchback. It is marketed as a subcompact crossover SUV. Now, marketing itself as an “SUV,” which it’s not, has made itself unreliable. How does that make any sense? As mentioned earlier, SUVs must show a minimum of 5% to be considered reliable, and the Kia Soul only showed 2.67%. 

Even if we are empathetic and allow the Kia Soul to benefit from its hatchback look, it still doesn’t pass the minimum requirement of 3%, which puts a question mark on its reliability. However, there is a catch. When we looked at their percentage below the 45k mile mark, we expected it to be around 50%, but we got 40.59%, which is promising.

Typically, the below 45k mile category gets about 50%, but in the case of the Kia Soul, it’s about 40%, which increases its reliability. This data suggests that more people would drive them, about 10% more than any other vehicle, making it one of the better performing vehicles in this segment. But it’s still not justifiable as an SUV. 

Since the SUV market is booming in the US, the manufacturers are cunningly branding everything as SUVs. And now they dare to call a hatchback an SUV. However, I will refrain from adding insult to injury because it looks fantastic. 

But before we move on to the next segment, the Hyundai Veloster (a hatchback) is 166.9 inches in length, while the Kia Soul is 165.2, a bit shorter than the Veloster. 

How Reliable Is A Kia Soul Compared To Its Competitors?

The subcompact crossover SUV is a weird category and somewhat recent, so most of the vehicles in this segment haven’t been able to achieve high mileage. Kia Soul, however, got the best results compared to the competitors because it had a head start.  

ModelSample SizeCars With 150,000+ Miles% Percentage Of Cars With 150,000+Highest Mileage
Kia Soul70381882.67%340000
Hyundai Venue35610.2%78294
Nissan Kicks2773100.36%176061
Toyota C-HR243780.32%136118
Jeep Renegade10711120.12%335,221

(Red color highest mileage is not according to 150+ miles data, but it is correct according to site)

The Jeep Renegade has shown the most promise in the subcompact crossover SUV category. If you want to have something on the premise of an “SUV,” the Jeep Renegade has to be the best choice. 

When we looked at the performance of the Toyota C-HR, we noticed great potential, so much so that in the years to come, the C-HR will overcome everyone in this category when it comes to reliability. The same goes for the Hyundai Venue. In comparison, the Kia Soul has not done an outstanding job in terms of reliability. 

How Reliable Is A Kia Soul Compared To Other Kias?

Kia is becoming more and more popular these days. With the launch of their flagship sedan, the Kia Stinger, you know that they mean business. The data was not quite up to the mark when we compared a few Kia vehicles. As most models were introduced recently, the information is insufficient to make the final judgment. 

A few more years down the line, the data will be more accurate and precise. Still, as of right now, only the Kia Sorento has achieved the reliability score necessary for these statistics. 

ModelSample SizeCars With 150,000+ Miles% Percentage Of Cars With 150,000+Highest Mileage
Kia Soul70381882.67%340000
Kia Seltos76340.52%84740
Kia Stinger GT248120.41%99966
Kia Sorento LX52921863.51%400,000+

The highest mileage data is amazing for the Kia Sorento. If proper maintenance is carried out, the Sorento will not disappoint. The highest mileage data for the Kia Soul is also not bad either; however, the overall percentage shows that achieving this feat will require extra maintenance money, making the overall running cost a lot more than what is considered normal. 

Over time, when the data has been accumulated more, we will be able to give much more accurate ratings. If we were to provide the reliability rating right now, the Kia Soul is not that good of an option. Money that you will save on the buying cost will eventually go into maintenance, which makes the price go up automatically. 

In the later section, we will also advise you on finding a well-maintained Kia Soul that won’t be that hard on your wallet. 

How Much Does Maintenance Cost Per Year?

No matter what vehicle you buy, the cost of upkeep is of great significance. A lucrative deal might entice you to make a hasty buying decision, but you also have to consider the cost of maintenance and repairs. 

We looked at several Kia Soul models and have calculated the average annual maintenance cost, which is $415. The data is presented in the following table.  

Model YearAnnual Maintenance Cost

The newer models have shown a lot of promise, so if you are searching for a Kia Soul, we recommend buying one of the latest models and not an old one, especially the ones that came out before 2016. 

Another thing to note is driveability. The Kia Soul won’t be a great choice when you usually have more highway miles. However, it is much better for city driving.

Kia Soul Common Problems

NOTE: Before buying a used car, I always like to make sure the vehicle isn´t having any problems that you should be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by buying an OBD2 scanner. These scanners can easily be plugged into any car you’re interested in, and they’ll give you a rundown of potential problems.

Also read: 10 Common Problems Of A Kia Soul EV

Loss Of Steering Controls

So many owners reported the loss of steering that the Kia issued a recall. If you are buying a Kia Soul from the used market, chances are, the work has already been done. If not, you can take your Kia Soul to a certified dealership, and they will replace the steering rack free of cost. Be sure to call them first and confirm the model year. 

Headlight Flicker

You might be experiencing the headlights flickering and burning out. The problem is mostly recurring in the 2014 model due to low-quality bulbs. It can be fixed by replacing them with more durable headlights, which may cost about $35 to $50 per headlight.

Electrical Issues

Kia Souls have been cursed with lots of electrical issues. The lights might go crazy, or the radio might become spooky, turning on and off intermittently. So far, the only remedy has been to replace the whole haunted wiring harness. If the work hasn’t been carried out efficiently, the issue will haunt you again. 

The best option is to keep your distance from those Kia Souls with electrical issues.   

Transmission Issues

Kia Souls have been reported to have several transmission issues. Most transmission issues are caused by negligence in taking care of transmission fluid replacement. The time of transmission fluid replacement is about 40k miles, but it’s best to replace the fluid at about 35k miles.

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

Is A Kia Soul A Smart Buy?

If you are looking for a reliable vehicle that won’t be a burden on your wallet, giving you lower maintenance costs, the Kia Soul is not a good option unless it’s one of the latest models. With the latest models, you will have a sense of safety and reliability as you won’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on maintenance and repairs. 

When it comes to depreciation, the Kia Soul has the advantage. It depreciates about 39% within the first five years of its time outside the dealership. Anything below 40% is a good bargain. If you buy a 2017 model, you will find that 39% have done its job, giving you a great deal. Additionally, it won’t be a sore thumb for maintenance and repairs.

Buying a Kia Soul brand new is also not a bad option either. Even though you will have to face the depreciation, the bells, and whistles, on top of the reliability of a new vehicle having a warranty will undoubtedly keep you and your wallet at ease. A brand new Kia Soul will keep you away from mechanics for at least four years. 

When searching the used market, select the clean title. The salvage titles will only cause you distress, so keep your distance from them. When it comes to maintenance, check the service history if available. If the vehicle shows any common problems, ask for a price adjustment. 

If you are buying from a private seller, you can see if it’s kept clean or not. A dirty vehicle is a telltale sign that maintenance work hasn’t been done with due diligence. You won’t be able to use this trick at a dealership as most of them will have their stock detailed. In that case, always ask for the previous owners. It will give you an insight into how it has probably been driven. 

Aesthetic problem is not that big of an issue. However, it should not have any electronics or mechanical issues, as those will give you headaches down the line. The only thing to avoid in terms of aesthetics is rust. Always avoid rusted frames as they will cause handling issues later on.  

Also read: This Is Where The Kia Soul Is Made

Kia Soul Maintenance Schedule

This is the critical stuff for owning a vehicle. You will remain carefree if you promptly take care of the annoying maintenance now and then. We have divided the maintenance schedule into a couple of mile intervals. You are expected to take care of the maintenance items on or before the set mileage.

The Kia Soul is known for its electrical issues, so ensure you have the electronics inspection with each maintenance appointment. 

Before/On Every 7,500 Miles

  • Engine oil replacement
  • Oil filter replacement 
  • General inspection 
  • Tire rotation
  • Wiper fluid 
  • Coolant inspection
  • Lubrication where required 
  • Electronics inspection
  • Tire rotation

Before/On Every 20,000 Miles

  • Cabin air filter replacement
  • Air Conditioner inspection
  • Electronics inspection
  • Emissions system inspection and cleaning, if required.
  • Battery inspection
  • OBD scan 
  • EVAP inspection

Before/On Every 40,000 Miles

  • Transmission fluid replacement
  • Suspension inspection
  • Brake fluid inspection and replacement if needed.
  • Brake lines inspection
  • Brake pads and rotors inspection
  • Examine spark plugs and clean when necessary

Before/On Every 60,000 Miles

  • Replace spark plugs
  • Replace the fuel filter
  • Examine the fuel pump and fuel injectors and replace them if required
  • Examine the ignition coil and replace it if needed
  • Tire replacement 
  • Wheel balancing and alignment
  • Coolant inspection and replacement if necessary
  • Transaxle fluid replacement 
  • Throttle body cleaning
  • PCV cleaning
  • MAF airflow sensor cleaning or replacement if needed

Other Maintenance Tips

If you want to be able to enjoy a reliable Kia Soul, you must keep it maintained. For that, the golden rule is to keep it super clean. It’s a known fact in the industry that if you can keep your car clean, you will be able to keep it maintained. 

Avoid the aftermarket fuel additives; always use the available ones at the dealership with the manufacturer’s recommendation.


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