2012 Kia Soul

Posted: April 25, 2012 in Vehicle Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

The Soul is most recognized as a dancing hamster-mobile, but can it also transport dogs? The answer is “yes, but only loose or belted, not crated” from my perspective. With the rear seats up there is next to no cargo space behind them and the seats, as in the other Kias Four Paw Drive had reviewed, do NOT fold flat. The interior space is great for a vehicle of this size thanks to the boxy design, but will not accommodate crating without some form of platform to level the floor surface.


If you’re handy with tools or ride with your dogs out of crates, the Soul does still have some possibilities, so here are its dimensions:

Width between wheel wells (narrowest part of the vehicle): 43.75″

Width at widest point: 51.25″ at the edge of the passenger doors

Tallest point: 33.5″

Lowest point: 30″ for 6″ starting at the hatch

Cargo depth with all rows up: At the floor, 24.25″, but at the narrowest point, only 16″ which is too narrow for any crate but those small enough to stop before reaching the back of the seat.

Cargo depth with the second (and only) row down: 47.75″ – the second row does NOT fold flat, so crates would need to have something to rest on other than the seat backs to remain level.

Hatch measurements: 32-37″ wide, with the narrowest point at the top, 29″ tall



MPG city: base model 4 cylinder, fuel injected engine: 27 mpg; engine in other packages: 26 mpg.

MPG highway: base model 4 cylinder, fuel injected engine: 36 mpg; engine in other packages: 34 mpg.

The Soul does offer several helpful features for those transporting dogs regularly, though:

  • Optional power outlets in the rear cargo area
  • Optional sunroof that opens completely

The optional sunroof and the shallow cargo area does mean that air circulation in the rear of the vehicle is quite generous, even without extra vents in the rear passenger or cargo areas. Unfortunately, there is no included spare tire, but space under the flooring of the rear cargo area holds either the included inflation kit or a spare tire you provide, so if you need to replace a tire, all items in the cargo area must be removed!

The Soul is a unique small passenger vehicle, but if you’re looking to travel with crated dogs, there are many better options out there. If Kia does offer fold flat seats at some point, it will greatly enhance the Soul’s function as a dog vehicle, so it’s always wise to look at the enhancements made between model years.

  1. Courtenay says:

    You’ve mentioned this several times, and I just wanted to provide an alternative opinion.
    I use a Hyundai Santa Fe (2003) as a dog vehicle quite a lot. It’s my mom’s car, but I’ve hauled everything from loose dogs in the cargo area, seatbelted dogs, tethered dogs, crated dogs.. in it. We’ve put over 330 000km on it, so it’s got some history!
    Anyway, the seats in the SF don’t fold flat, much like the Kia ones. This has not proven to be a problem for us, the crates, or the dogs. I will crate two large dogs side by side across the car (doors towards the sides, not the rear hatch), which means one is on a bit of a slant. No one seems to notice. I can also place crates doors-facing-back, which lifts the rear of the crate up a bit. Again, not a problem. The only time I even notice the slope is when I’m trying to move a loaded crate towards the front of the car. Moving 65 lbs of dog plus a crate up hill is a bit challenging, but still doable!
    Anyway, JMO!

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