Are Kia Souls Good For Road Trips? (Explained)

Millions of people instantly recognized the Kia Soul because of its unique and daring design. Few car models today have designs peculiar to them alone.

This design has a tremendous impact on whether the car is great for road trips. You’d find out soon enough, onward.

Here’s the short answer to whether Kia Souls are good for road trips:

The Kia Soul is arguably the best SUV for road trips. Its most defining feature is that it has the qualities we’d expect from an SUV whilst delivering excellent fuel economy. Of course, there are many other features that may qualify or disqualify the Soul for road trips. However, this sets it apart.

How Comfortable Is a Kia Soul for Long-Distance Road Trips?

Sure, the most regarded vehicle component in terms of comfort are the car seats. Let’s start there.

Kia made the seats in the Soul of quality materials that provide premium convenience.

Also, the Soul provides the option of a heated steering wheel and heated front seats. Guess it’s an ‘ouch’ for the rear passengers. There’s a disadvantage with the Kia Soul after all.

Most SUVs treat their rear passengers as well as the front ones. For heated comforts, the Soul doesn’t deliver on that promise.

However, we’d forgive Kia, since the Soul’s infotainment system is fitted with a 7-inch touchscreen.

The great news is that it comes standard on all trims, isn’t that something? The 2022 model even adds an inch, which means the base models in new Kia Souls have 8-inch screens.

Trims like the GT-Line 1.6T and the EX come with 10.3-inch touchscreens. More on comfort, it also has standard Apple CarPlay, HD radio and Android Auto.

You can expect more rhythm to the cruise with the Soul’s 6-speaker audio system.

How Much Stuff Can You Pack in the Trunk of a Kia Soul?

First off, for a subcompact SUV, the Kia Soul has unbelievable cargo space.

It can reportedly fit in twenty suitcases according to Car and Driver. With the rear seats upright, the Kia Soul has a trunk space of about 20 cubic feet.

When the rear seats are folded, the number triples to give a whopping 62 cubic feet, hence the several suitcases.

With such a volume, you wouldn’t have a problem transporting five individuals with their luggage across state borders. Also, you get to have more cargo space if you’re only two on the road trip.

Does It Have GPS Built-In?

The Kia Soul’s GPS navigation system is quite effective. However, if you’re buying a Kia Soul, you’re going to have to pay for it directly or indirectly.

Once you type in your destination and select your desired result, you’d get different routes to pick from.

The navigation system gives two potential routes to get to your destination. However, it’ll usually recommend one route which is faster than the other.

Select your desired route, click on ‘start guidance’ and you’re on your way. It works like the maps on your smartphone and is perfect for those of us who dislike asking for directions.

It also has driver drowsiness monitoring and heads up display. That way, you don’t have to worry about dozing off when driving.

However, you really shouldn’t drive when you’re exhausted. More on that topic later.

Can You Drive Cross-Country in a Kia Soul?

Can you? Of course you can. It’s not illegal, is it?

Should you? Well, let’s see.

The Kia Soul has excellent interior comfort for off-road driving. However, there are many other factors to consider before taking an off-road trip.

It has a 6.7 inch ground clearance. This is higher than the average sedan and sedans are also very well used for road trips. However, when compared with other SUVs, the Kia Soul drives a little low.

With all of that in consideration, the Kia Soul can handle cross-country trips to a degree. It may even endure a little rocky terrain. However, don’t expect as much from it as you’d expect from typical SUVs.

Also, its lack of all-wheel drive makes it vulnerable in muddy terrains. Hence, if it’s wet season, avoid cross-country trips and stick to the main road.

How Reliable Is a Kia Soul Over Long Distances?

Well, if it’s reliable in the city and in alleys, it’s bound to be reliable over longer distances.

RepairPal gives the Kia Soul a 4.5 out of 5.0 reliability rating. Believe it or not, it costs only $437 annually to keep this car kicking.

This is lower than the average annual cost of maintaining a subcompact SUV. Also, it is over $200 lower than the average cost of maintaining a car.

RepairPal data suggests that the Kia Soul doesn’t need major repairs as frequently as the average vehicle on the road. When it needs repairs, it is also less likely to be a severe problem.

These reports make it highly reliable for long distances. You have little to worry about with the Kia Soul as long as you keep it in great shape.

Related: Kia Soul Problems: 4 Common Issues (Explained)

How Long Can a Kia Soul Drive With No Breaks?

Different Kia Soul trims can last on the road for different durations. They range from as little as 350 miles to over 500 miles on a single tank. Its tank is also 14.3 gallons large.

Let’s take fuel problems and refilling out of the picture and focus on performance. If we do that, we can easily say the Kia Soul really doesn’t need a break. We also don’t expect it to overheat.

It is up to the task. We’re more worried about you because you’d be the one who’d need a break. Good thing it comes with driver assist features like pedestrian detection and forward collision warning to help keep you sharp.

Previously, we established you shouldn’t drive if you’re genuinely tired. That’s also a good reason to give driving a break. Sloppy driving (which you’ll probably do when you’re tired), can wear out your transmission.

How Long Will a Kia Soul Last If You Use It for Road Trips?

A Kia Soul has an average lifespan of about 200,000 miles. This means it can deliver over 13 years of high performance usage before it’d need a surgery.

If you maintain your car and frequently use it for road trips, you’d likely get more years from it. This is especially true if you go on more cruise journeys and less off-road trips.

For sure, your brakes, tires and your transmission are going to last a lot longer compared to city driving.

City driving causes drivers to speed up and decelerate their cars often. This is because of several factors including traffic, cornering, pedestrians, and cyclists and so on.

You could really get an extra 50,000 miles added to your car’s lifespan with road trips. This is because road trips usually have less traffic and obstruction.

Related: Are Honda Accords Good For Road Trips? (Explained)

Does a Kia Soul Offer Good Mileage Over Long Distances?

So much so that you may only have to refill your tank twice on a 1000 mile journey. gives the 2021 Kia Soul a combined fuel economy of 31 mpg. It also gives it a highway fuel economy of 35 mpg. However, other model years don’t fare so well.

Going by 35 miles per gallon, the Kia Soul can achieve 500 miles before needing a refill. For an SUV, that’s pretty impressive.

You can drive for hours without breaks. You also get to save more on gas and get more supplies for your trip. It doesn’t get better than that.

How Many People Can Comfortably Go on a Road Trip in a Kia Soul?

From the exterior design, one can expect the Kia Soul to have enough head and leg room to do a seated dance. It doesn’t disappoint.

The cabin is well spaced and can seat five people comfortably.

It really doesn’t matter if they’re tall adults, there’s enough room for all. This means a road trip in a Kia Soul doesn’t have to be endured by four people. They sure can enjoy it.

An added advantage it brings to the table is visibility. Don’t forget it’s an SUV, and this gives it a high-view advantage over sedans. We weren’t kidding when we said it combines the advantages of an SUV and a sedan.

It also comes equipped with standard latch connections at the rear seats. They didn’t forget your kids.

Related: Are Audis Good For Road Trips? (Explained)

What Are the Best Cars for Long Road Trips?

Here are some of the best cars for long road trips:

  • Kia Soul: It combines the versatility of an SUV with the fuel efficiency and comfort of a sedan.
  • Honda Accord: It’s a comfortable car that’s smooth on the road with a great infotainment system.
  • Nissan Altima: Let’s not get started on its excellent aerodynamics. In short words, it simply gives you a dose of luxury and performance.
  • Honda Odyssey: The Odyssey’s unique advantage is its hall-like space. Its V6 engine gives enough power for your road trip too. However, this doesn’t do much to support its fuel economy.
  • Subaru Outback: Perfect for off-road trips, it brings a lot of power to the table. It has an amazing 8.7 inches of ground clearance.

Final Thoughts

Another often overlooked advantage the Kia Soul has is its ability to maneuver tight spaces and find parking spaces. This is just another prominent feature on a long list of advantages.

This ability has little to no advantage on the highway and only seems useful during city driving.

However, if you’re going to be doing a lot of cross-country or off-road driving, you’d appreciate it. You’d need to maneuver rocks, potholes, ditches, and even swamps.

With these in mind, the Kia Soul doesn’t have equal capabilities with larger SUVs. However, it remains a great option for road trips because of its blend of most things great.


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