2019 Buick Encore vs. 2019 Kia Soul

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/02

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Buick Encore are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Kia Soul has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The Encore offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Soul doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Compared to metal, the Encore’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Kia Soul has a metal gas tank.

Both the Encore and the Soul 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, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Buick Encore is safer than the Kia Soul:

 

Encore

Soul

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

122

181

Neck Compression

12 lbs.

51 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

207

394

Chest Compression

.3 inches

.4 inches

Neck Injury Risk

38%

42%

Neck Stress

122 lbs.

142 lbs.

Neck Compression

104 lbs.

172 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Buick Encore is safer than the Kia Soul:

 

Encore

Soul

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

73

97

Chest Movement

.7 inches

.8 inches

Abdominal Force

120 G’s

190 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

100

231

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

79 G’s

Hip Force

672 lbs.

727 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

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The Encore’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Soul’s (6/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

Buick pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Encore. Buick will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Soul.

There are almost 3 times as many Buick dealers as there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Encore’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Encore has a standard 130-amp alternator. The Soul’s standard 110-amp alternator and largest (+/!) 120-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked fifth.

Engine

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The Encore has more powerful engines than the Soul:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Encore 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

138 HP

148 lbs.-ft.

Encore 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

153 HP

177 lbs.-ft.

Soul 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

130 HP

118 lbs.-ft.

Soul + 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

161 HP

150 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/02

On the EPA test cycle the Encore gets better fuel mileage than the Soul:

 

 

Encore

Soul

 

FWD

 

n/a

24 city/30 hwy

1.6 4 cyl./Manual

 

 

n/a

26 city/31 hwy

1.6 4 cyl./Auto

 

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (138 HP)/Auto

25 city/33 hwy

25 city/30 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

 

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (153 HP)/Auto

26 city/31 hwy

26 city/31 hwy

1.6 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

4WD

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (153 HP)/Auto

25 city/30 hwy

n/a

 

The Encore has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Soul doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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The Buick Encore comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Soul.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Encore’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Soul:

 

Encore

Soul

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

10.6 inches

10.3 inches

The Encore stops shorter than the Soul:

 

Encore

Soul

 

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

116 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

134 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Encore has larger tires than the Soul (215/55R18 vs. 205/60R16).

The Encore’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Soul’s standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Encore has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Soul.

Suspension and Handling

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The Encore handles at .82 G’s, while the Soul + pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The Encore uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Soul doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Encore easier. The Encore’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.8 inches, while the Soul’s liftover is 31.1 inches.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Kia. J.D. Power ranks Buick 9th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 24% lower rating, Kia is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

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When two different drivers share the Encore Essence, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Soul doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Encore Essence’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Soul doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Encore’s front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its driver’s window also automatically closes, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Soul’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically. The Soul +/!’s rear windows don’t open automatically.

The Encore Essence’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Soul’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Encore’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Kia only offers heated mirrors on the Soul +/!.

When the Encore Essence is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Soul’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Encore’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Soul doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The Encore offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Soul doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/02

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Encore is less expensive to operate than the Soul because it costs $234 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Encore than the Soul, including $121 less for a starter, $155 less for fuel injection and $335 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/02

The Buick Encore has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

Encore

Soul

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

TRUE

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