The Kia Soul is a boxy SUV, the only of its kind still in production. It offers sufficient interior and cargo space for people who want to go on an adventure. If you are taking a motor home camping, a Kia Soul may be a great option to bring with you.
A dinghy vehicle comes in handy when you need to explore areas with narrow roads and when you need to tour the town and do shopping. While large motorhomes offer you the creature comforts you want while camping, they are not easy to drive in cities and on narrow roads. But can the Kia Soul be flat-towed?
Can A Kia Soul Be Flat Towed?
The Kia Soul with manual transmission is flat-towable. You only need a baseplate, a tow bar, and a few accessories to get the car behind your motorhome. If you have a Kia Soul with an automatic transmission, you can tow it on a flat bed or install aftermarket parts to facilitate the towing.
You can check the user manual that comes with your car to see if you can flat-tow it. If the manufacturer doesn’t recommend flat towing your vehicle, you will damage transmission components if you try to dinghy tow it.
If the car is flat-towable, and all models with a manual transmission are, you will need to follow the automaker’s instructions to attach it to your rig. Unlike many other brands, flat-towable Kia models do not need so much adjustment to flat tow. Read on to learn more.
Is a Kia Soul a Good Dinghy Vehicle?
If you need a roomy cabin with sufficient cargo space, a Kia Soul will offer you that for your trip. The car is available at a competitive pricing that makes it an ideal drive for people on a budget. However, the affordability does not mean that the car offers less-than-standard features and performance.
The only challenge with Kia Soul is that the manufacturer does not offer all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. You cannot take this car off the road, unless you are only doing light off-roading on areas where the terrain is not rugged.
You can use the car to tour cities and areas without rough terrain around the campground, but do not take if you are to visit snowy road conditions. Overall, I recommend this car as a dinghy vehicle.
How Does the Kia Soul Perform?
Under its hood, the Kia Soul sports a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine that produces 147 horsepower and 132 pound feet of torque. The base LX model pairs its engine with a standard six-speed manual transmission – this is the flat towable model of the Kia Soul. A CVT transmission system is available for the LX, and it is standard on all higher trims.
There is a another engine, a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder engine that produces 201 horsepower and 195 pound feet of torque. This engine pairs to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. All Soul trims offer an all-wheel drivetrain with no optional AWD or 4WD.
Besides the engine, drivetrain, and transmission, Kia Soul also offers a host of features to make the car ideal as a dinghy vehicle. The base LX model comes with features such as:
- Automatic headlights
- Adjustable driver’s seat
- 16-inch steel wheels
- 7-inch touchscreen display
- Apple CarPlay
- Android Auto
- 60/40 split folding back seat
- 6-speaker audio system
- Hill start assist
- Rearview camera
- Rear privacy glass
If you pick the model with manual transmission, you are able to flat tow it without any challenges as the manufacturer recommends it. If you pick the model with the CVT transmission, you will have other features such as body-colored mirrors, door handles, engine start-stop feature, remote locking and unlocking, cruise control, storage console under the armrest, and selectable driving modes.
If you pick any of the higher trims, you will have more comfort and luxury features. However, these higher trims only offer CVT transmission, which will be damaged if you ever flat tow. If you have any of these higher trims, talk to your mechanic and see whether you can install a driveshaft decoupler and a lube pump to make the car flat towable.
While it is possible to add aftermarket parts for most non flat-towable cars and to make them towable, you will void your warranty when you do so. If the parts are not installed as they should, you may still end up with costly damages on your transmission system.
The LX, which is the flat-towable trim, may not have the comforts you need, but it comes at a more affordable price than the other models. This way, you have an affordable car that offers you the space you need for a group of passengers, and it is easy enough to connect as a dinghy vehicle.
What Do You Need to Dinghy Tow a Kia Soul?
A tow bar and a baseplate are the primary towing tools. Tow bars connect the dinghy to the motorhome. They have tow arms that attach to the dinghy, and they form an A shape so that the small side with one arm connects to the rig.
Tow bars are available in several sizes, weight ratings, and styles. You need to ensure that you get the tow bar whose weight rating matches the weight of your Kia Soul. The Kia Soul has a curb weight of about 2,844 pounds, which is within what most tow bars can accommodate.
Next, pick a baseplate that matches with the tow bar you have already chosen or go for a universal base plate. A base plate acts as a metal frame on which you connect the tow bar. To get the right baseplate, search based on your vehicle’s year, make, and model.
You can also flat-tow with a tow dolly in which case you do not need a baseplate. You also need a receiver hitch that attaches at the back of your motorhome to connect to the tow bar. The height of the receiver hitch should be within three inches that of the tow bar – you need a hitch adapter to drop it to the correct height if the heights have a difference of more than three inches.
You need a number of accessories to make the flat towing complete and safe. For starters, you need a dinghy towing harness to connect the light of your dinghy to those of your RV. You also need a trailer braking system – and in this case, the dinghy acts as the trailer.
Most states require that you have a working braking system for your dinghy, but even if the state doesn’t require that, you need the braking system for your safety. Other accessories important for your flat towing include tow bar tabs, safety cables, and tow bar locks.
How to Flat Tow a Kia Soul Safely
As long as you have the right gear, you will be safe on the road when flat towing a Kia Soul. The Kia Soul is light, at 2,844 pounds, and so your motorhome will make a stop with it with ease. However, you still need the trailer braking system and to allow sufficient stopping distance for the motorhome.
Ensure that you have working lights for the motorhome and the dinghy so that other motorists can see you on the road. Note that, it takes longer for your RV to accelerate, stop, change lanes, and to turn with a dinghy behind it. As a driver, you have to pay attention to ensure you do not lose control of your RV.
You have to consider where you will be visiting; the condition of the roads, the accessibility, and so many other factors. These factors will help you know what to expect. Driving along the highway is easier than driving through towns and narrow roads.
The nimble size of a Kia Soul makes it an ideal dinghy vehicle. You do not need the largest motorhome as the vehicle is light and most rigs can tow it with ease. Further, you can take it anywhere, except deep off the road, and enjoy great maneuverability.
A Kia Soul is a great companion when you need to tour a city or an area with narrow roads. Because it has a spacious cabin, you can bring friends and family members and have fun together with them.
The only challenge with Kia Soul is that only the base trim has a manual transmission. This means that besides the base LX trim, there is no any other trim you can flat tow. You will miss out on a lot of features, but if you need affordability, the Kia Soul LX will be a good fit for you.
Ensure you check the flat towing laws of the state. This way, you will know the equipment to buy and how to attach them. It also helps if you do not get on the wrong side of the law during your trip. Most of these laws are meant to keep you and other motorists safe on the road, so observe them.