2018 Kia Soul EV vs. 2017 Honda Clarity Electric

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Soul EV and the Clarity Electric have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

Warranty

The Soul EV comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Clarity Electric’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Soul EV 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Honda covers the Clarity Electric. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Clarity Electric ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 33 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 5 places higher in reliability than Honda.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Soul EV’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 111 miles on a full charge, 25% further than the Clarity Electric’s 89-mile range.

Suspension and Handling

The Soul EV has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Clarity Electric doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better maneuverability, the Soul EV’s turning circle is 3.4 feet tighter than the Clarity Electric’s (35 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

The Kia Soul EV may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 750 pounds less than the Honda Clarity Electric.

The Soul EV is 2 feet, 5.7 inches shorter than the Clarity Electric, making the Soul EV easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Soul EV has .5 inches more front headroom and 2.4 inches more rear headroom than the Clarity Electric.

Cargo Capacity

The Soul EV has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Clarity (18.8 vs. 14.3 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Soul EV’s cargo door uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Clarity Electric’s useful trunk space.

Servicing Ease

The Soul EV uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Clarity Electric uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Soul EV and the Clarity Electric have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Soul EV is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Clarity Electric prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Soul EV has a standard rear wiper. The Clarity Electric doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Soul EV + keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Clarity Electric doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Soul EV’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Clarity Electric doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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