Kia Soul in Snow & Winter Driving? (Solved & Explained)

The Kia Soul combines SUV cargo capacity with the practicality and convenience of a compact car.

This car has plenty of interior space, although its exterior design is not for everyone; with its combination of boxy style and modern features, this car is certainly unique.

But how well does this fun sized SUV perform in snow and winter conditions?

Read on to find out…

Here is the short answer about whether the Kia Soul is good for snow and winter driving:

The Kia Soul can handle snow reasonably well when equipped with snow tires. The Soul comes with front-wheel-drive, which combined with the weight of the engine over the wheels gives good traction. The Soul has a number of safety and comfort features that make it a fair choice for winter driving.

Is a Kia Soul Good in the Snow?

The Kia Soul can hold its own in light snow. However, it is not designed to handle more extreme winter conditions, this is in part due to its 6.7 inch ground clearance.

The Soul’s base 2.0-liter engine delivers more than enough power for your daily commute, though acceleration is leisurely and thus would struggle to pull its way through much thicker, deeper snow.

When equipped with a good set of snow tires the Soul can certainly handle its own in the winter, the stock tires and snow-covered roads are a bad combination and inevitably will lead to sliding.

What Features Will Improve Winter Driving? 

The Kia Soul has a number of helpful features that bolster its winter driving performance.

Forward Collision Assist

Forward collision assist is a feature added to the Kia Soul which uses a radar to detect any potential hazards or dangers in the road in front of the vehicle.

Once the radar detects a hazard it will automatically apply the brakes.

This is helpful in the snow as braking distances become greatly increased in the slippery and snowy conditions.

The forward collision assist will also help the driver to apply the brakes in a possible situation where the car in front suddenly brakes. The vehicle will assist the driver in slowing their car down even if they are slow to react.

Blind-spot Collision Warning

The blind-spot collision warning system detects objects next to the car that may be out of the driver’s field of view.

The system sends out auditory and visual cues to alert the driver that there may be another car or object in their blind spot.

This is extremely helpful in snowy conditions as it will assist the driver with their visuals.

The driver may be driving in poor visibility conditions which will affect their ability to see cars in their blind spot. The system would prevent a collision in this case.

The system will also allow the driver to keep their eyes on the road as opposed to turning their head to check if their blind spot is clear.

Lane Keeping Assist

The Kia Soul features a lane keeping assist system which is also very clever.

The forward scanning radar will detect if the driver is drifting out of the lane unintentionally. The system will then apply gentle steering corrections in order to keep the vehicle in its own lane.

This is useful in snowy conditions as it can sometimes be difficult to stay in your lane as the car drifts and slides over the slippery surfaces.

In addition, it can also be difficult to see the lanes in thicker snow, and the system will help to keep the driver in position.

Smart Cruise Control

Smart cruise control is a safety and luxury feature implemented in the Kia Soul which adapts the speed of the vehicle based on the one in front of it.

For example, if the car in front is slowing down, the Kia Soul will automatically decelerate. 

This feature is excellent for snowy conditions as it helps the driver to control their speed and keep their vehicle at a safe distance to the car ahead.

It can be effective during times of low visibility as well. The car will assist in avoiding collisions due to tailgating and excessive speeding.

You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Mini Coopers Last?

Heated Seats and Steering

Heated seats and heated steering are a luxury feature available in the Kia Soul.

The heated seats and steering wheel can be used in order to keep the driver comfortable in the car. The heat settings can be adjusted in order for the driver to find their perfect temperature and comfort level.

This is helpful in cold and snowy conditions as it keeps the driver comfortable, awake and alert.

A driver that is uncomfortable and cold is easily distracted and they are not able to focus for longer periods of time. The heated steering and seats in the Kia Soul solve this problem.

Does a Kia Soul Have a Snow Mode?

The Kia Soul does not have a specific snow mode feature installed into the car.

However, the car does feature traction control which is extremely helpful in snowy conditions as it limits the amount of torque that is sent to the wheels.

This helps to prevent the driven wheels from spinning when accelerating on slippery surfaces.

Can You Install Additional Snow Gear on a Kia Soul?

The Kia Soul is able to have snow gear attached to it. These items will greatly assist the vehicle in its performance in colder and snowier conditions. The gear you can install on the Kia Soul is:

  • Snow tires
  • Studded Tires
  • Snow Socks
  • Snow Chains

You might also be interested in our article: Buick Encore in snow and winter driving

How Much Snow Can a Kia Soul Handle?

The Kia Soul has a reasonable ground clearance of 6.7 inches.

Due to the fact that this car isn’t necessarily very powerful, it would struggle with any snow deeper than 5 inches. The lack of power means that the vehicle will struggle to pull itself through thicker snow.

The Kia Soul may become beached on more compact deep snow.

The ground clearance is not the only factor here, the car is also awkwardly long and bulky, making it more of a wagon than an SUV.

This means that if the Soul treads into snow that is too deep and too thick, it may become stuck.

How Does the Kia Soul Handle Low Winter Temperatures?

The Kia Soul handles the cold temperatures reasonably well. The modern technology installed into the engine means that there is no need to excessively warm the engine up in colder temperatures.

The heated seats and steering help to keep its driver and passengers warm and comfortable in cold conditions as well.

Related: Best & Worst Years For The Kia Soul? (With Facts & Statistics)

Can a Kia Soul Drive on Ice? 

The Kia Soul can drive on ice at extremely slow speeds.

Studded ice tires are an absolute necessity in these types of conditions.

The vehicle is light and bulky and therefore would struggle more than other cars to grip in icy conditions. 

With studded tires and a very smooth and careful use of the throttle and steering will help the Soul to gently make its way down an icy road. 

Does the Kia Soul Have 4WD?

Unfortunately, the Kia Soul is not offered in a four-wheel drive model and instead uses front wheel drive.

The Soul is a modernized compact family wagon, and as such will not be used in off-road conditions.

The Kia Soul should not be used in any circumstances where it may require difficult maneuvering or an all-wheel drive system.

What About Older Kia Soul Models and Winter Driving?

Older models of the Kia Soul are still not great in the snow.

Older models of the Soul have less technology and fewer safety features than the latest model – this means that they are even worse than the latest model and can be unsafe to drive in wintertime.

Does the Kia Soul Need Snow Tires?

The Kia Soul does need snow tires in order to properly perform in wintertime conditions.

The large and bulky stature of the vehicle means that it does not handle well even in summer conditions. Snow tires will be a necessity in order for the Soul to have enough grip to stay on the road in snowy conditions.

Can You Mount a Snow Plow on a Kia Soul?

It is not recommended to use a snow plow on a Kia Soul. The lack of power available on the Kia Soul means that the snow plow may be too heavy for the vehicle and it may struggle to push snow. 

Please also read our article about where Kia Soul’s are made



  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...