Khan was born into the family of nawabs of Pataudi. Her father, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, the current nawab, is a former captain of the Indian cricket team.
Her mother, Sharmila Tagore, is a noted film actress, and a distant relative of the nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Her brother, Saif Ali Khan is also a Bollywood actor and sister Saba Ali Khan.
She attended The British School in New Delhi, then followed on to study History at Balliol College, Oxford University and has a Masters in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. Before embarking upon her film career, Soha worked for the Ford Foundation and Citibank. She is involved in a range of activities outside the acting world, including serving on the Advisory Board for a new project of the public entrepreneur group, Res Publica. She has also recently modeled for the spring-summer collection of Globus, an Indian chain of boutiques. Soha made her acting debut with the Bollywood production Dil Maange More (2004), where she shared credits with Shahid Kapoor and two other leading ladies(Ayesha Takia and Tulip joshi).She has since received critical acclaim for her performances in the Bengali film Antar Mahal (2005) and Rang De Basanti (2006). Her latest release Khoya Khoya Chand (Sudhir Mishra)(2007) though did not do well at the boxoffice, earned her critical acclaim.