A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Kia Soul

Known to a lot of people as “the hamster car” thanks to its funny and catchy TV ad campaign when it first debuted, the 2012 Kia Soul has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years. Some critics say that this can’t last, but the Soul keeps proving them wrong every year. It’s no surprise that it keeps selling so well, either. With its impressive list of features and its low price point, this CUV (crossover utility vehicle) is a winner.

Key Features

With tap shifting, the six-speed automatic transmission on the 2012 Kia Soul lets you feel more connected to the road without losing the convenience of driving an automatic. This feature is standard throughout all trims, as are air conditioning, a four-speaker stereo with optional Sirius XM radio, and a USB input jack for the audio system.

Changes for 2012

For 2012, Kia did away with the old four-speed automatic transmission on its base models, and the Soul got a minor update on its exterior. They also discontinued the Soul Sport trim level.

What We Like

The 2012 Kia Soul is affordable, practical, and versatile, but it also has a unique, fun style all its own. The six-speed transmission is zippy and helps keep the fuel economy high, too.

What Concerns Us

While you can usually find used 2012 Kia Soul models at great prices, they don’t tend to hold onto their resale value. If you plan on selling your car again in the near future, you might want to look for one that will get you a higher price when it’s time.

Available Models

The base model 2012 Kia Soul comes with a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine with 138 horsepower at 6300 RPM and 123 lb-ft of torque at 4850 RPM. If you upgrade, you’ll get a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine with 164 horsepower at 6500 RPM and 146 lb-ft of torque at 4800 RPM. The smaller engine does get slightly better gas mileage, but the difference is almost negligible.

Major Recalls

A few 2012 Kia Soul models have been recalled to resolve a problem with the headliner plates becoming detached when the curtain airbag is deployed.

Common Issues

A few 2012 Kia Soul owners have complained that the gas tank is too small, necessitating more frequent stops for gas than they’d like. Other issues include a lack of a spare tire and malfunctioning cargo lights.

kia soul 2012 interior


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Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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