Why Are Kia Souls So Cheap? (3 Reasons)

The Kia Soul is a unique car because of its retro-futuristic design and low sticker price. It is one of the best-selling small cars on the market today.

If you’ve been looking at buying a new or used Kia Soul, you might be wondering why they cost so little compared to other compact cars. 

So, why are Kia Souls so cheap?

Kia Souls are so cheap because Kia simply does not have the reputation that big brands like Honbda and Toyota have. They also have significantly lower costs than other cars manufacturers, since they own their own metal foundry, and most of their factories are based outside the US.

Continue reading to find out why you can buy Kia Souls so cheaply and whether they are worth buying.

3 Reasons Why Kia Souls Are So Cheap

Let’s take a closer look at the 3 main reasons why Kia Souls are so cheap.

1. Brand Reputation

Honda and Toyota cars are always going to be more expensive than Kia cars due to the fact that they are well established and sought after. Kia is a relatively new brand in the US and had a bumpy start in the market with lots of early problems with their cars.

Fortunately, Kia have now fixed many of the issues in their newer models. The current Souls are much more reliable. However, the Kia Soul’s reputation as a car that breaks down quickly still lingers. Therefore, Kia have to have cheaper prices to increase demand.

2. Kia Have Their Own Metal Foundry

In the late nineties, 50% of the Kia brand was bought by another South Korean manufacturer, Hyundai. This has allowed them to further reduce the cost of manufacture because Hyundai has its own metal foundry. 

Other car brands have to buy their metal parts from external foundries that charge a markup. Since Kia has cut out the middle man, the cars can be sold at a cheaper price without sacrificing profit. 

3. Most Kia Factors Are Based in South Korea

Kia was first established in Seoul, South Korea. Operating from there is much cheaper than from the US because there are fewer unions, and the average salaries are significantly lower. There are also some tax advantages to being based in South Korea. 

Currently, there is one Kia factory in the US, located in West Point, Georgia, but many of the cars are still produced either in the original South Korean plant or in Slovakia, where labor is also cheap. 

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Why Are Used Kia Souls So Cheap?

The main reason why you can buy a used Kia Soul very cheaply is that the price of buying the car new is cheap. A brand new Kia Soul can be bought for as little as $19,290, and after 5 years, it will have lost up to 21% of it’s value. 

Kia Souls are also cheap becuase they

Do Kia Souls Last Long?

If looked after correctly, a Kia Soul can last for over 200,000 miles. In fact, some people have driven their cars for over 300,000 miles. 

If you have similar driving habits as the average American, you drive about 15,000 miles per year. At this rate, a Kia Soul should last you well over 10 years if you buy it new. 

Do Kia Souls Have a Lot of Problems?

In the early years, Kia Souls had a lot of issues, but many of them have been ironed out now. If you buy a new car, it’s likely that you won’t run into too many problems. The 2022 model has a reliability rating of 87/100, which puts it in second place in the subcompact SUV category. Only the Hyundai Kona is more reliable. 

However, if you’d like to buy a used model, you should be very selective about the year you choose. The 2014, 2015, and 2016 models should be avoided because drivers of those Kia Souls often experience serious issues such as engine failure. 

If you choose the 2015 Soul, you can expect to replace the engine after just over 77,000 miles. The repair might cost you over $3,800. 

On the other hand, any Souls produced between 2017-2020 shouldn’t cause as much trouble. During those years, complaints dropped significantly, since the Kia manufacturers improved the quality of their Souls. 

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Are Kia Souls Worth Buying?

Kia Souls are affordable subcompact SUVs that provide a lot of value for the money spent. For the majority of drivers, they are well worth the price, especially since they can last for over 200,000 miles. Customer satisfaction is very high, and many people replace their old Soul with a new one when it dies. 

While some Kia Souls break down easily and don’t have good gas mileage, the modern versions are much more reliable and environmentally friendly. There is also an electric model available, which is highly rated by What Car? and Top Gear. 

If you’re in the market for a small, cheap, and reliable car, the Kia Soul could be a good option for you. 


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