How Safe Is The Kia Soul?

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 12/14/20 •  6 min read

One of the main things which is kept in mind while buying a car is the safety offered by it. No  matter how beautiful and bold a car looks, how powerful its engine is or how many features it has,  if it has safety concerns, nobody is going to buy it. Kia Soul is a compact SUV offered by the  Korean automobile manufacturer and is quite popular among the consumers. But the question is  how safe is the Kia Soul? Does the body structure, design and features of Kia Soul provide enough  safety to the souls of the driver and passengers inside the car in case an unfortunate accident  happens? Let us have a detailed look on the 2020 Kia Soul safety ratings based on IIHS and NHTSA tests .

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IIHS Vehicle Safety Rating of Kia Soul 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has termed 2020 Kia Soul as one of the Top  Safety Picks of 2020. This award was given to Kia Soul after it was tested creating different  accident scenarios in a controlled environment by the IIHS. The IIHS tests the safety of a vehicle  by carrying out a set of different tests and then gives the rating in each test as either good,  acceptable, marginal or poor. Below we will understand how safe is Kia Soul by having recourse to the safety ratings carried by IIHS.

Small overlap front: driver-side 

In this test, Kia Soul was made to hit a rigid barrier from front at the driver side to replicate the  real-life situation of an accident of Kia Soul with another vehicle or an object. The quarter of the  front from the driver side was made to hit the barrier at 40 mph and its impact on the dummy driver  and Kia Soul was observed and studied. After verifying all the things, the Kia Soul was given the  highest rating of “Good” by IIHS in this assessment

Small overlap front: passenger-side

How Safe Is The Kia Soul?
The 2021 Kia Soul in action | Photo via Kia

This test was the same as the previous test but this time Kia Soul was made to hit a barrier at the  front from the passenger side and the impacts were observed on the dummy passenger and Kia  Soul body. Kia Soul was again ranked “Good” after assessing all the ratings criteria which include  Structure and safety cage, Injury measures and Restraints/dummy movement. 

Moderate overlap front

Kia Soul was made to hit a barrier with a deformable face made of aluminum honeycomb at 40  mph from the front. In the moderate overlap front test, 40 percent of Kia Soul front from the driver  side was hit with a dummy driver inside. After checking the impact of this crash on different points  like vehicle structure, driver injury and driver restraints, in the overall evaluation the highest  “Good” safety rating was given. 

Kia Soul Side

In this test, Kia Soul was hit by an SUV-like barrier from the side at 31 mph. The impact of the  collision on the Kia Soul structure and dummy’s head and body were then evaluated. After carrying out of the side crash test, IIHS concluded that Kia Soul handled side crashes pretty well and gave it  the “Good” safety rating in this category. This result displays how safe is Kia Soul .

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Roof Strength

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This test was done on the Kia Soul to determine the strength of its roof. The roof strength of a car  is of great importance because it provides safety to the people inside the car in case a rollover  happens. In this test, a slowly increasing force was exerted on the roof of the Kia Soul to check its  strength. Kia Soul strength-to-weight ratio was calculated as 6.24 and it was given a “Good” safety  rating for its roof strength. 

Head Restraints & Seats

Good head restraints can help prevent sprains and strain injuries in rear-end collisions. After  carrying out this test on Kia Soul, IIHS gave it a good safety rating. 

NHTSA Safety Ratings For Kia Soul

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also gives a pretty decent safety  rating to the 2020 Kia Soul. The NHTSA gives an overall 4 star out of 5 safety rating to Kia Soul .

Frontal Crash

The Kia Soul earned a collective 4-star rating for the safety tests in which it collided with a barrier  from the front. These series of tests were designed to stimulate a head-on collision between two  Kia Souls each moving with a speed of 35 mph. The front driver side was given a 5-star rating and  front passenger side was given a 4-star safety rating. 

Side Crash

An overall side crash safety rating of 5-star was given to Kia Soul after a series of tests were carried  out on its sides. Whereas Kia Soul got a 3-star side pole rating in the side pole barrier tests in which  tree or pole hits the side of the car. 


Kia Soul has a 4-star rating in the NHTSA rollover test which measures the car’s resistance to a  rollover during an accident. 

Kia Soul Safety Features 

A number of safety features are available in the Kia Soul which help in avoiding a collision at the  first place and if an accident happens, they assist to minimize the collision effect and  save the passenger lives. Most of these safety features aren’t standard on the car but are only  available with premium models of Kia Soul. These features warn Kia Soul drivers to either apply brakes or steer away because the car is too  close to another car that can result in a collision. 

Automatic emergency braking 

If the Kia Soul is about to collide due to driver’s negligence, this function will automatically apply  brakes. 

Lane-keep assist 

This feature doesn’t let the car drift out of the lane and assist the driver. 

Lane-change assist 

The lane-change assist feature helps the driver to switch between the lanes without any worries. ∙

Driver attention warning 

If you aren’t driving with attention, this feature will warn you to do so. 

Rear cross-traffic alert 

This feature helps the driver in avoiding collisions with the vehicles coming from rear. 

Our final verdict is that Kia Soul is one of the safest cars available in the compact SUV segment  but Kia should make all the safety features standard on all the models of Kia Soul which are right  now available only with the premium models of the car.

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Max Anthony

Max is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology and cars. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and a GMC truck and a Porsche 911. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on cars, trucks and more.