Kia Soul is a top-notch subcompact SUV and has a high-reliability rating. While it performs well on the road, taking it off-road might be a bit of a challenge. So, can you lift a Kia Soul to go about this problem?
Many lift kits are available for Kia Soul, such as “Spaccer Lift Kit.” You can install this kit, but you need to pay attention to the ground clearance and get the correct measurements. Generally speaking, lightweight off-roading trails are no problem for the Kia Soul. However, it lacks essential components to navigate more challenging terrain, which is why a lift kit can help here.
Read on to learn more about lifting your Kia Soul and its safety for off-roading.
How to Lift a Kia Soul
Kia Soul is an excellent subcompact SUV for city driving. It boasts a sleek but tough design with plenty of room for people and goods. However, it might not be the ideal option when traveling off-road.
You need four-wheel drive and a lot of ground clearance in an off-road vehicle; that is where the Kia Soul fails. The Kia Soul can manage some very light off-roading on well-maintained trails, but you are not always lucky to find such routes.
You should think about your car’s powertrain if you plan to travel off-road too, which is why a 4×4 drivetrain is an excellent option. The engine distributes power to all four wheels, giving the vehicle the best traction on slippery surfaces like sand, snow, or loose mud.
All-wheel drive delivers power to the back wheels when sensors detect a loss of grip. Unfortunately, Kia Soul is not this type of vehicle, so lifting kits can help here.
Kia Soul Lift Kits
Lift kits for Kia Soul usually cost around $300. When using these kits, people generally aim for no more than a 3″ lift.
Now, of course, you can go higher than that, but once you do, you will need to change the drive shaft coming out of the transmission. Moreover, once they finish lifting, they also like to install 27 x 9.5 x 15 all-terrain tires.
This one is up to you, but you could quickly put 30 x 9.5s or even 25-inch rims if the city look is your thing.
Suppose you get your Kia Soul lifted by a mechanic; installation and alignment cost around $100. Remember that alignment is the first and most important thing you should do when raising your car.
What to Look for in a Lift Kit
Perhaps the one thing you should look for in a lift kit allows for a “gradual elevation.” Ideally, you would want to go with 12 mm, 24 mm, 36 mm, and 48 mm. You will also need to ensure that the components mix subtly with the strut/spring from a visual standpoint.
Moreover, you will probably need to provide the chassis number (FIN) of your Kia Soul to the manufacturer so that the kit can be specifically tailored to your car’s corresponding shock absorber/suspension.
It should allow you to install the shock absorber without removing the spring.
Ultimately, a good lift kit should provide the following:
- 12 mm, 24 mm, 36 mm, or 48 mm of increased clearance (0.47 in, 0.94 in, 1.42 in, or 1.89 in)
- Firm control for heavy loads
- Superior body-to-tire clearance
- A sportier off-road appearance
- Enhanced comfort for maneuvering
- A TÜV test report and a full installation manual
Is Spaccer Lift Kit Good?
Easy to Install
Installing the Spaccer lift kit is easy even if your Kia Soul has been lowered. You can easily fit it on the front axle, the back axle, or both.
Spacers Are Made of Unique High-grade Aluminum
Spacers are made of unique high-grade aluminum and can last very long. No components of the car will be altered or removed.
Enhance Car’s Driving Behavior
A typical Kia Soul usually looks spongy and oversteers due to the excessively lengthy original shock absorber piston rods. Spaccers can improve that. Once correctly installed, they can enhance your car’s driving behavior, especially when you go off-roading.
They also raise the springs and offer a multi-stage lift of 12 mm, 24 mm, 36 mm, and 48 mm with or without a rubber profile (1 Spaccer = 12 mm lift + 3 mm per Spaccer for a rubber profile).
No other manufacturer can provide that. You get exactly what you want from the Spaccer system without negatively affecting the driving dynamics.
How to Install Spaccer Lift Kit
1. Raise the Vehicle Using a Jack and Remove the Wheels
Remove the coil spring. Removing the coil is not required if the coil spring in your Kia Soul can be compressed using a spring compressor so you can mount the Spaccers on top.
2. Add the Spaccer on Top of or Beneath the Spring
Add the Spaccer on top of or beneath the spring. Follow the installation manual to the letter for the exact mounting position.
3. Install the Spring
Install the coil spring, and you are done.
How to Calculate the Maximum Suspension Lift
The amount of suspension travel determines the maximum height of the suspension lift. The Road Traffic Licensing Act stipulates that a suspension lift must leave at least 4 cm of suspension travel before you make a TÜV registration.
Leaving 4 cm will ensure a trouble-free suspension lift while brake hoses, drive shafts, axles, and the chassis continue to fall within the TÜV’s TÜV’sance testing range.
- Mark the wheel’s center using sticky tape, and then take a vertical measurement up to the mudguard’s edge.
- Measure the vertical distance between the wheel’s indicated center and the edge of the mudguard above it while the car is stationary and record the measurement’s value. Remember always to measure the vehicle at rest first and then in a rebounded state.
- Raise the body using a jack or hoist.
- Now that the car has rebounded, the wheels are off the ground. So, measure the distance between the wheel’s center and the mudguard’s lower edge.
How to Optimize the Suspension Travel
To determine how much suspension travel is free toward the top, measure it before unscrewing the shock absorber. Alternatively, you can put washers in the vicinity of this vacant space. This lengthens the suspension remaining travel, which provides more comfort while driving.
Suspension top cap washers can extend the suspension travel too. You should insert them between the piston rod and the upper suspension strut mount. This should well optimize the remaining suspension travel.
Can You Go Off-roading with Kia Soul?
Kia Soul Can Navigate Lightweight Trails
The Kia Soul should be able to navigate lightweight trails. However, the more challenging the terrain, the more difficult it gets to drive.
Off-road Inspired Soul X-Line
Kia Soul has various trim levels. Their “off-road inspired” Soul is referred to as the Soul X-Line. Off-road vehicles may have served as inspiration for the X-Line, but this influence is primarily external.
The 18-inch alloy wheels unique to the X-Line are stylish and an improvement over the steel tires on the LX, but the premium finish would quickly wear off with any severe off-roading.
In addition, the sport-tuned suspensions may make any off-road activities a little uncomfortable for you.
Most crucially, though, the X-Line offers just front-wheel drive, the same drivetrain options as the other Soul trim levels. While the X-Line has an off-road-inspired style and a sleek appearance, it isn’t more capable of off-roading than the different Soul trim levels.
Handles Well in Light Snow
The Kia Soul handles surprisingly well in light snow, even though a four-wheel drive is better suited for driving in the snow.
High Ground Clearance
The Soul’s ground clearance is high for a car, even if it is on the lower end for a crossover. While light snow is okay, heavier snow could harm your Kia Soul.
This is why it is essential to use well-maintained winter tires in such a case.
Again, can Kia Soul go off-road? Kia Soul is not designed for rugged trails or off-roading. This is why you need lift kits, such as Spaccer Lift Kit. With a lifted Kia Soul, you can navigate challenging terrains.
How to Choose an Off-road Vehicle?
Here are some factors you should consider before buying an off-road vehicle:
1. Ground Clearance
For a perfect off-roading experience, ground clearance must be your number 1 priority. The difference between quickly climbing over a boulder and scuffing the paint off your front bumper depends on the vehicle’s clearance level.
Kia Soul was designed to be a city car, given its low ground clearance of just 6.7 inches. The perfect off-road vehicle would measure between 8.8 and 10.8 inches, so lifting your Kia Soul is a must when you go off-roading.
This is because your car’s undercarriage has several exposed essential parts that are vulnerable to harm from debris and obstructions when you go off-roading.
The standard tires for the Kia Soul are P205/60HR16. This means that the Soul is fitted with versatile mid-size tires (16 inches in diameter) that can easily handle city roads.
Invest in all-terrain tires if you intend to take your Kia Soul off-road. Although they might degrade quickly, the added traction will be invaluable on uneven terrain!
Low-end torque is another element of a successful off-roading experience. A car with low-end torque produces a lot of torque at low RPMs, enabling it to accelerate slowly and reach full power.
So, where does the Kia Soul fit here? At 4500 RPM, the 1.6L four-cylinder engine of the Soul generates 132 lb-ft of torque. That is enough to navigate a few small potholes and roadside obstacles, but it is insufficient to climb a challenging mountain trail or wade through ankle-deep mud.
A true trail fighter needs all-wheel drive because it effectively distributes power to each tire. The Kia Soul is not the ideal car for extreme off-roading because it only comes with a front-wheel drive.
Departure and approach angles are of vital importance. What do we mean by that?
- An approach angle is the highest angle your Kia Soul can climb without being impeded.
- A departure angle is the maximum angle at which your Kia Soul can descend without interruption.
This is incredibly important because you will perform a lot of ascending and descending while on the trail.
The Kia Soul performance is good in this regard, with both angles settling at 28 degrees, which is good news. That is better than most crossovers, including the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer, but not quite as good as all-terrain Jeeps and Fords.
6. Strut Spacers
When using strut spacers on your Kia Soul, there are a few things to be mindful of. For instance, you may experience problems with the tire contacting the bottom of the strut spring mounting plate if you decide to run a larger diameter rim and tire combination.
The strut spacers install on top of the strut, but they raise your car. Therefore, these won’t function if your tire strikes your bottom spring perch. This is why having the proper offset rim is crucial. You can also use wheel spacers to move the tire away from the spring perch.
There are also modified struts that are longer at the bottom so that your tire won’t collide with the spring perch. Almost all cars on the road today have modified struts.
Most people use it to mount larger wheels on their cars. The strut spacers are the best option if you only need a bit more ground clearance.
We should also add that strut spacers increase your wheel clearance when using factory tires.
Lifted Kia Soul EV Boardmasters Edition: Is It Good for Off-roading?
Comes with 16-inch Steel Wheels
The Kia Soul EV Broadmasters Edition comes with 16-inch steel wheels wrapped in a 30-inch-diameter 265/75 R16 Maxxis Bighorn tire.
Improved Suspension Geometry
The suspension geometry has also seen improvements by Kia engineers, resulting in a ground clearance that is much higher than the stock vehicle’s 153 mm at the front and 320 mm at the back (6 inches).
Can Be Driven on Sandy Beaches
Even though it is still front-wheel-drive, it will be possible to drive the Kia Soul EV on sandy beaches.
Has the Most Potent Electric Motor Available
Moreover, the Kia Soul EV has the most potent electric motor available, providing 201 horsepower (150 kW/204 PS) and 395 Nm (291 lb-ft) of torque, together with a long-range 64 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
While Kia acknowledges that the new suspension may reduce the 280-mile range, they still think it will be higher than comparable electric cars in the Soul’sSoul’sng range.
Other visual changes include the addition of plastic fender add-ons, a roof rack made specifically for the Kia Soul EV out of lightweight steel, roof-mounted Lazer ST4 Evolution LED spotlights, and white graphics on the Neptune Blue metallic paint.
The height has also been significantly increased (to an impressive 1,950 mm or 76.8 inches). Two 7ft 9 boards may fit on the roof rack, and there is enough room in the load space for surfers’ equipment.
Cabin Resembles That of a Light Commercial Vehicle
Speaking of luggage, the cabin of the Kia Soul EV resembles that of a light commercial vehicle due to the removal of the rear seats and replacement with a waterproof hardwood decking made of sustainable PEFC-certified spruce.
A swing-out arm for hanging wetsuits and towels and a wooden beach bench where you can rest and take in the view are visible when you open the boot.
Equipped with Solar Panels
To extend the car’s range, the roof-mounted solar panels can power a mini-fridge or other appliances with a separate 12V recreational battery.
Comes with an Infotainment Display
Similar to the e-Soul that travels on the road, the dashboard has a 10.25-inch infotainment display and a 10-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system.
Conclusion – How to Lift Your Kia Soul
The Kia Soul is a great city car with a stylish and durable design. While it is excellent for driving in the city, it won’t perform well when you go off-roading. An off-road vehicle needs four-wheel drive and high ground clearance, and the Kia Soul falls short in both areas.
This is why lifting your Kia Soul is an excellent idea, and there are many lift kits such as “Spaccer.” When installing a lift kit, be mindful of the following:
- Ground clearance
- Angles (both departure and approach angles)
- Strut spacers
Once lifted, an off-road Kia Soul will be a real thing!