2019 Kia Soul vs. 2018 Jeep Renegade

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 2020/06/03

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Autonomous Emergency Braking optional in the Soul as “Superior.” The Renegade scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Both the Soul and the Renegade 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 daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems 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 Kia Soul is safer than the Jeep Renegade:

 

Soul

Renegade

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

181

207

Neck Injury Risk

25%

26%

Neck Stress

248 lbs.

332 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

40/87 lbs.

343/366 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.7 inches

Neck Stress

142 lbs.

221 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

197/76 lbs.

290/322 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 and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Kia Soul is safer than the Jeep Renegade:

 

Soul

Renegade

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

97

140

Chest Movement

.8 inches

.8 inches

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

231

322

Hip Force

727 lbs.

1087 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

41 G’s

Hip Force

591 lbs.

593 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Soul its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2018, a rating granted to only 27 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Renegade has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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

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

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Soul’s engine. A rubber belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Renegade 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.’s camshafts. If the Renegade’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Soul has a standard 550-amp battery. The Renegade’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Soul’s reliability 25 points higher than the Renegade.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 66 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 28th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia third in reliability. Jeep is ranked 20th.

Engine

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The Soul !’s 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 21 more horsepower (201 vs. 180) and 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 175) than the Renegade’s optional 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Kia Soul is faster than the Jeep Renegade 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

 

Soul +

Soul !

Renegade

Zero to 30 MPH

3.3 sec

n/a

3.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.8 sec

6.5 sec

9.9 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.7 sec

n/a

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.9 sec

15.1 sec

17.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

85 MPH

93 MPH

81.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Soul Auto with its standard 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Renegade FWD 4 cyl. (26 city/31 hwy vs. 22 city/31 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Soul + offers an optional system to automatically turn off the engine when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Renegade doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Soul uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Renegade with the 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Soul has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Renegade (14.2 vs. 12.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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The Soul offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Renegade doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Soul stops much shorter than the Renegade:

 

Soul

Renegade

 

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Soul !’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Renegade (235/45R18 vs. 225/55R18).

The Soul’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Renegade’s standard 65 series tires. The Soul !’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Renegade’s optional 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Soul has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Renegade’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Soul is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Renegade.

The Soul ! handles at .82 G’s, while the Renegade Latitude 4x4 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Soul ! executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Renegade Trailhawk 4x4 (27.9 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 29 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Soul’s turning circle is .5 feet tighter than the Renegade Trailhawk 4x4’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.3 feet). The Soul’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the Renegade’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.3 feet).

Chassis

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The Soul is 3.6 inches shorter than the Renegade, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Soul has standard flush composite headlights. The Renegade has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Soul + is quieter than the Renegade Limited 4x4 (36 vs. 41 dB).

Passenger Space

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The Soul has .1 inches more front hip room and 4 inches more rear legroom than the Renegade.

The front step up height for the Soul is 2.5 inches lower than the Renegade (16.9” vs. 19.4”). The Soul’s rear step up height is 2.9 inches lower than the Renegade’s (16.7” vs. 19.6”).

Cargo Capacity

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The Soul has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Renegade with its rear seat up (24.2 vs. 18.5 cubic feet). The Soul has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Renegade with its rear seat folded (61.3 vs. 50.8 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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The Soul uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Renegade 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

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The Soul has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Renegade doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Consumer Reports rated the Soul’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Renegade’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Soul’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Renegade’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

The Soul has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The automatic headlight on/off feature is not available on the Renegade Sport.

The Soul has standard power remote mirrors. The Renegade only comes with remote mirrors at extra cost. Without them the driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

Both the Soul and the Renegade offer available heated front seats. The Soul +/! also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Renegade.

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

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Soul + offers an optional Smart Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Renegade doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Soul, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Renegade.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Soul owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Soul with a number “1” insurance rate while the Renegade is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Soul is less expensive to operate than the Renegade because typical repairs cost much less on the Soul than the Renegade, including $48 less for a water pump, $106 less for a muffler, $139 less for front brake pads, $338 less for a starter, $91 less for a fuel pump and $314 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Soul will be $2168 to $2768 less than for the Jeep Renegade.

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 2020/06/03

The Kia Soul has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

Soul

Renegade

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its September 2015 issue and they ranked the Kia Soul + higher than the Jeep Renegade Latitude 4x4.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Soul first among compact MPVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Renegade isn’t in the top three.

The Soul was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 2 years. The Renegade has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Kia Soul outsold the Jeep Renegade by 12% during 2017.

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

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