2019 Kia Soul vs. 2019 Hyundai Tucson

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Soul and the Tucson 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 crash mitigating brakes, 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 Hyundai Tucson:

 

Soul

Tucson

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

97 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 Hyundai Tucson:

 

Soul

Tucson

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

231

241

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

14 inches

HIC

255

312

Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

48 G’s

Hip Force

591 lbs.

1028 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 Tucson is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2018.

Reliability

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 53 points higher than the Tucson.

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 Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked third.

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 Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 6th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia third in reliability. Hyundai is ranked 10th.

Engine

The Soul !’s 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (201 vs. 181) and 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 175) than the Tucson SEL/Sport/Limited’s optional 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Soul + is faster than the Tucson SE/Value 2.0 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

 

Soul

Tucson

Zero to 30 MPH

3.3 sec

4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.8 sec

11 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.7 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

16.9 sec

18.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

85 MPH

80.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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 Tucson doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping

The Soul stops much shorter than the Tucson:

 

Soul

Tucson

 

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Chassis

The Kia Soul may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 pounds less than the Hyundai Tucson.

The Soul is 1 foot, 1.2 inches shorter than the Tucson, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Soul has .3 inches more rear headroom and .9 inches more rear legroom than the Tucson.

The front step up height for the Soul is 2.1 inches lower than the Tucson (16.9” vs. 19”). The Soul’s rear step up height is 3.3 inches lower than the Tucson’s (16.7” vs. 20”).

Servicing Ease

The Soul uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Tucson 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 Soul +/!’s front power windows open fully with one touch of the switches, and the 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 Tucson SEL/Value/Limited’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

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 Tucson’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”

Economic Advantages

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 Tucson is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Soul is less expensive to operate than the Tucson because it costs $18 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Soul than the Tucson, including $2 less for a water pump, $145 less for a muffler, $39 less for fuel injection, $32 less for a fuel pump and $19 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 $2128 to $3916 less than for the Hyundai Tucson.

Recommendations

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

 

Soul

Tucson

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

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 Tucson isn’t in the top three in its category.

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

The Kia Soul outsold the Hyundai Tucson by 977 units during 2017.

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

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