During my Soul X-Line review, I talked about how the Soul was good, but just did not have the level of fun I was looking for when it comes to driving. Apparently, Kia read my mind as the car I was expecting was needed by the manufacturer. Next thing I know a similar set of Kia keys were being handed right back to me. This time it was red and much faster.
At the very top of the Kia Soul line sits the GT-Line Turbo. The GT-Line definitely fills many issues a driving enthusiast may have with the X-Line. With the primary fix being power. Though displacement is dropped down to 1.3L, the added turbo increases horsepower 25%. That is a huge gain on a small car like the Soul. I found tire spin to happen pretty quick giving the commute a bit more fun factor.
The steering and suspension are thankfully inspire more confidence, but for some reason still lack that last 10% that would have made the car truly fun. I give overall performance a B-. It lacks that “it” factor but there is one other big issue. The GT-Line Turbo sees an increase in price of $6275 over the Kia Soul EX as recommended and nearly $7500 more than the X-Line I tested. That is way too much and it ends up putting the Turbo right in line with some cars I would consider way more fun.
At the over $28,000 mark you will end up squarely against the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Ford Focus ST as well as Mazda Mazda3. You will find all three of these to be more fun, better looking, and in many cases more affordable than the GT-Line Turbo Soul. This is unfortunate as I think Kia had something going with it, but just ends up short of where it needed to be.
One great thing about getting a fully loaded Soul was I got to see many of the features in the EX I recommend, but have not been able to get my hands on. I can confirm the 10.25” screen makes a huge difference in the interior and continues to be excellent as both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto look fantastic. The heated seats work great and dual climate control is as appreciated as ever. The general feel of the car is better and definitely becoming of a car aimed at both younger drivers as well as adults.
Overall, I am going to keep my recommendation of Kia Soul EX due to its fantastic value for both looks and features. It is much slower, but the loss of fuel efficiency and jump in price do not justify the GT-Line Turbo to me. The Kia Soul is a great slow car. Let’s keep it that way.