Can a Kia Soul Be Flat Towed? Your Ultimate Guide to Stress-Free Towing Adventures

Can a Kia Soul Be Flat Towed?

The distinctive box-shaped design sets the Kia Soul apart from typical small SUVs, providing ample interior and cargo space for those seeking adventurous journeys.

If you’re embarking on an RV camping trip, the Kia Soul could serve as an excellent choice to accompany you on your expedition.

Its compact size makes it advantageous for towing, especially in navigating narrow roads or making town visits for shopping.

Yet, the question remains: Can a Kia Soul Be Flat Towed?

As per Kia’s specifications, the Kia Soul can be flat-towed with all four wheels down when equipped with a manual transmission.

Opting for the Kia Soul GT is particularly advantageous for flat towing, thanks to its ability to disengage the DCT into neutral.

Additionally, its lightweight design, at 2,800 pounds, facilitates effortless towing.

Great news! The manual transmission Kia Soul is suitable for flat towing.

If you’re in the market for one and don’t own one yet, it’s essential to gather more information before making a final decision.

In this article, we’ll discuss flat towing the Kia Soul and explore alternative options for towing a vehicle behind your RV or motorhome.

Can A Kia Soul Be Flat Towed? An image of a car towed behind a trailer
An image of a car towed behind a trailer. PHOTO: Freepik

 

What Is Flat Towing?

Before delving into the specifics of flat towing the Kia Soul and other flat-towable Kia vehicles, it’s essential to grasp the concept of flat towing itself.

Flat towing, also known as dinghy towing, neutral towing, or four-wheel towing, involves pulling a vehicle in a manner that keeps all four wheels on the ground.

This towing method is commonly employed to tow cars or four-wheel-drive vehicles behind larger trucks or RVs.

Executing a flat tow requires a compact set of equipment to connect another vehicle to your own RV.

The preparation time and effort for a flat tow are minimal when compared to alternative towing methods.

Flat towing is a relatively straightforward system for towing a vehicle as it eliminates the need to purchase or set up trailers or dollies.

The majority of the requirements for a successful flat tow are addressed by a flat tow kit, assuming you have a vehicle that can be safely flat towed.

What Kia Vehicles Can Be Flat Towed

  • THE KIA VEHICLES THAT YOU CAN CURRENTLY FLAT-TOW

At present, Kia presents an extensive range of sedans and SUVs, spanning from compact to full-size models.

Luckily, within this selection, there are specific vehicles suitable for flat towing.

To begin, let’s focus on the smallest option: the Kia Soul.

KIA SOUL GT

Introduced to the market in 2008, the Kia Soul emerged as a distinctive subcompact crossover SUV catering to those seeking a blend of stylish aesthetics and practicality.

Right from its debut, it garnered commercial success, establishing a reputation for its enjoyable driving experience and impressive interior dimensions.

Over the years, the Kia Soul has undergone three generations, with the second hitting the market in 2013 and the third in 2019.

The current iteration boasts a range of transmission options, including a six-speed manual, a six-speed automatic, and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) exclusive to the GT model.

Notably, the Kia Soul GT, equipped with the DCT, proves to be an optimal choice for flat towing, as the transmission can easily disengage into neutral.

With a weight of 2,800 pounds, it is a lightweight option, making it effortlessly towable by any RV.

Interestingly, for the year 2021, the Soul with a manual transmission does not make the list of vehicles suitable for flat towing.

KIA FORTE GT

Similar to the Soul, the Kia Forte made its debut in the US market back in 2008 as an affordable, compact sedan with a focus on practicality and simplicity.

However, as Kia’s brand identity evolved over the years, so did the Forte.

It underwent a transformation with more assertive styling and more potent engines, turning it into a lively and distinctive compact car that garnered widespread appeal.

Having experienced three generations, the most recent version arrived in 2018, followed by a 2019 model for the US market.

This update brought enhancements such as new transmissions, sturdier construction, and the introduction of the Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT).

In 2020, Kia made strategic changes by discontinuing the S trim level and the six-speed automatic transmission.

Instead, they introduced the GT variant, equipped with the newly incorporated DCT.

Powered by a 1.6L inline-four-cylinder gasoline engine delivering 200 horsepower, the Forte stands out as an excellent choice for a secondary vehicle.

Its manageable weight of 3,100 pounds makes it easily towable by various recreational vehicles.

Even if you own an older Kia model, there’s no need to fret.

Certain previous Forte models are suitable for flat towing, as explored in the following section.

  • THESE ARE SOME OLDER KIA MODELS THAT YOU CAN FLAT-TOW

It might pique the interest of certain readers that, at present, only the Kia Soul GT equipped with a DCT is approved for flat towing.

However, Kia continues to manufacture the Soul with a manual transmission, prompting the question: why does this discrepancy exist?

Some manufacturers opt to exclude their vehicles from the list of flat-towable options due to concerns about warranty implications and to steer clear of potential disputes with customers.

Unfortunately, such occurrences are not uncommon, and Kia is no stranger to this practice.

Upon perusing various towing magazines, we stumbled upon intriguing revelations.

In the following section, we will delve into historical guidelines related to Kia and examine any noteworthy changes that have occurred.

2020 TOWING GUIDES

Surprisingly, numerous 2020 manuals don’t feature any Kia vehicles.

However, this isn’t an issue.

You can tow the Soul and Forte from that year using flat-towing, provided they possess the required features, such as a DCT.

2019 TOWING GUIDES

In 2019, numerous guides suggested the Kia Rio LX with manual transmission for flat towing.

However, more recent guides no longer include this recommendation due to Kia discontinuing the manual transmission option in the US market.

The current offering is limited to an Intelligent Variable Automatic Transmission (IVT), which lacks the ability to shift into neutral.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that in the latest guide, only the Kia Soul base model with a manual transmission is mentioned.

While there is a possibility of flat-towing a 2021 Kia Soul with these specifications, it comes with a caveat – there is no guarantee of coverage for potential damages in the event of an issue.

2018 TOWING GUIDES

In 2018, the Forte was available in two trims: the S and the LX.

However, these trims were not present in the 2019 edition, with the sole condition being the inclusion of a manual transmission.

The list also includes the Rio LX with a manual transmission and the Soul Base.

2017 TOWING GUIDES

There weren’t many updates in this year’s guide, except for the inclusion of the discontinued Forte Koup.

The sole prerequisite is a manual transmission.

2016 TOWING GUIDES

The lineup for 2016 retained its consistency, as all models continued to necessitate a manual transmission.

It’s noteworthy that over the years, there have been no imposed speed or distance restrictions.

This characteristic renders Kia vehicles a superb choice for flat towing.

How To Flat Tow A Kia Soul?

While it is not advisable, you can tow your Kia Soul using the following steps.

In case of an emergency, these safety measures can be followed to ensure a secure flat tow service.

Can a Kia Soul Be Flat Towed? An infographic on safety measures that can be followed to ensure a secure flat tow service
An infographic on safety measures that can be followed to ensure a secure flat tow service.

 

  • Ensure Control

In the event of an emergency where alternative options are unavailable, Kia allows for the towing of the Soul using a towing cable.

Nevertheless, this action should be limited to a short duration and carried out solely on smooth, level pavement.

Additionally, a driver must be present at the Soul’s wheel to maintain control over the vehicle’s braking and steering functions.

  • Baseplate

To tow a car behind a motorhome, all you’ll require are a baseplate, a tow bar, and some supplementary attachments.

If you happen to own a Kia Soul with an automatic transmission, you have the option of either using a flatbed for transportation or installing aftermarket components that simplify the towing process.

To link up the tow bar, a base plate serving as a metal support structure is essential.

  • Tow Dolly

Alternatively, you have the option of flat-towing with a tow dolly, eliminating the need for a baseplate in this scenario.

To link the tow bar to your motorhome, it’s essential to have a receiver hitch installed on the rear bumper of the motorhome.

Should there be a height disparity exceeding three inches between the tow bar and the receiver hitch, a hitch adapter becomes necessary to adjust the receiver hitch to the correct height.

Can You Flat Tow A Kia Soul Behind A Motorhome?

Flat towing a Kia Soul behind a motorhome is only feasible if it is an older model Kia Soul Crossover equipped with a manual transmission.

Flat towing is exclusively feasible with a manual transmission system; attempting this with an automated and modern vehicle may result in significant damage to the entire engine system.

For owners of older Kia Soul models, such as the 2021 version, flat towing behind a large motorhome is a safe option.

The substantial power of the motorhome enables secure towing of subcompact crossovers, making it suitable for older model Kia Soul vehicles equipped with a manual transmission system.

Engaging in flat towing for a Kia Soul poses considerable difficulty and challenges, requiring a comprehensive understanding of the transmission system and adherence to manufacturer specifications.

Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in damage to your vehicle, and in such cases, insurance claims and free services from the seller or manufacturer may be unavailable.

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