The 2016 Kia Soul remains surprisingly good in safety, relative to other small cars. Although it's lacking modern accident-avoidance technology, it offers far better protection than the first-generation Soul that was sold through the 2013 model year.
All models include a total of six airbags, with dual front airbags, seat-mounted side bags, and full-length side curtain bags. It's also worth noting that even the base Soul includes superior four-wheel disc brakes, while many other inexpensive small cars include just drum brakes for the rear wheels. Anti-lock braking, brake assist, hill-start assist, and electronic stability control are all included.
Outward visibility is still a mixed bag—great out in front and to the side, with a rather high driving position, but difficult for lane changes due to the thick rear pillar. A rear camera system is included with the top Exclaim model; it is included on the Soul Plus if you get the UVO eServices Package, and can now be optioned on base-model Souls once you select the automatic transmission and the UVO eServices Package.
The Soul earned top five-star overall federal safety ratings from the NHTSA, with five stars in all categories except for rollover resistance, where it scored four stars. The 2016 Soul earns the IIHS top "Good" ratings in all tests, including the new small-overlap test. The combination of ratings is good enough for a Top Safety Pick, but not good enough for Top Safety Pick+, due to lack of automatic emergency braking. For 2016 as part of the Premium Package on the top Exclaim model you get forward collision warning and lane-departure warning systems.