kia soul

Can You Flat Tow a Kia Soul?

The short answer is no. Despite what most of the internet says, the answer is “no”. Even the manual version of the Kia Soul is not flat towable. Don’t believe us? Read on for more details!

The Owner’s Manual – Can you Flat Tow a Kia Soul?

The most reliable method to determine whether your car is flat towable (or “four-wheels-down towable”, or “Dinghy towable”) is to look in the owner’s manual. We did… and this is what we found. 

can you flat tow a kia soul

It’s pretty clear, right?

You cannot flat tow the Kia Soul. 

There is no mention of a special allowance for the manual transmission version either. More on that later…

This example is from the 2020 owner’s manual, but there is the same story in all the recent years. 

Can you Flat Tow the Manual Kia Soul?

In 2022 Kia discontinued the manual transmission model of the Soul. Previously a manual version was available in the LX trim. But no more. 

Kia now only had one vehicle with a manual transmission. This is the Kia Forte.

 It’s tempting to think that you can put your manual car in neutral and simply flat tow the vehicle with the wheels running freely. However, it is not as simple as that. 

Can you Flat Tow all Manual Cars?

The answer is no. It’s a mistake to think that simply putting the drive in neutral the wheels somehow disconnect from the transmission and you can avoid damage with flat towing. 

The reality is that often the output shaft still turns within the transmission. This might be lubricated with a “splash” method, or some might be lubricated with a pump. The lubrication of the transmission and output shaft is critical in determining whether your vehicle can be flat towed. The owner’s manual will tell you whether you can flat tow or not. 

Are some car manufacturers conservative in declaring that their vehicle are not flat towable?

That’s possible. You could certainly visit a transmission tech who specializes in your vehicle to get an opinion. But note that they will not be able to give you an official pronouncement. Ultimately it is at your own risk.

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Can you Tow a Kia Soul on a Dolly?

Kia indicates that it is acceptable to tow a FWD Soul with the front wheels raised. Since all the Soul models are FWD, and they do not produce an AWD drive version then you are good to go. 

However, before towing on a dolly you must ensure;

  • The front wheels are raised, not the rear wheels
  •  Set the ignition in the ACC position. Place the transmission in neutral and release the parking brake.

Frequently asked questions

Can you flat tow a Kia Soul automatic?

No, you cannot. The owner’s manual is specific on this point. 

Can I flat tow a 2020 Kia Soul?

No, you cannot. The owner’s manual is specific on this point. 


There is a lot of jargon out there, so let’s break it down!

  • Differential. When your car goes around a corner the wheels on the outside of the curve travel further than those on the inside of the curve. It’s just geometry! This is why it’s not generally desirable to have wheels that are connected by a rigid axle (like in a Hot Wheels model car). A differential allows the wheels on the same axle to turn at different rates. This also helps distribute power from the engine to the wheels. 
  • Transfer Case. The transfer case is required on 4×4 or AWD vehicles. It distributes engine power to both the rear and front axles. The differentials  then distribute power from the axle to the wheels. The transfer case can be thought of as a differential between the front and rear axles. It helps ensure both front and rear wheels are turning at the same speeds and synchronized. This is not necessarily a given, since different gearing ratios, or different tire sizes can cause unequal speeds to develop. Many transfer cases allow the driver to switch between 4WD and 2WD modes. 
  • Transmission. The transmission connects the engine to the axle(s) and ultimately the wheels. It’s the connection that provides power to the wheels. It contains the gearbox and helps regulate the power that is being delivered to the wheels. When you are standing idle in your car at the traffic lights the transmission disconnects the engine from the wheels so the engine can continue without delivering power to the wheels. Transmissions are generally either manual or automatic, depending on whether the driver is operating the clutch to change gears. 

The Kia Soul cannot be flat towed. Despite what you might see on the internet.

More Questions? Important Notes

If you have remaining questions please contact us.
Please refer to the disclaimer for important notes and limitations on this article

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