2019 Kia Soul vs. 2019 Jeep Cherokee

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Soul and the Cherokee 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 Jeep Cherokee:

 

Soul

Cherokee

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

25%

43%

Neck Stress

248 lbs.

430 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

40/87 lbs.

822/607 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

42%

57%

Neck Stress

142 lbs.

344 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

197/76 lbs.

305/278 lbs.

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Kia Soul is safer than the Cherokee:

 

Soul

Cherokee

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

POOR

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Steering Column Movement Rearward

1 cm

4 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Tibia index R/L

.41/.56

.84/.45

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 Cherokee:

 

Soul

Cherokee

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

231

255

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

14 inches

Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

43 G’s

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 Cherokee was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2018.

Warranty

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 Cherokee’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 Cherokee. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Cherokee ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

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 22 points higher than the Cherokee.

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

As tested in Car and Driver the Soul ! is faster than the Jeep Cherokee V6 (automatics tested):

 

Soul

Cherokee

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

6.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

18.2 sec

19.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.8 sec

7.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

90 MPH

Top Speed

124 MPH

119 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

Soul

Cherokee

 

FWD

1.6 4 cyl./Manual

24 city/30 hwy

n/a

 

 

1.6 4 cyl./Auto

26 city/31 hwy

n/a

 

 

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

25 city/30 hwy

22 city/31 hwy

2.4 4 cyl.

 

1.6 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

26 city/31 hwy

23 city/31 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

 

 

n/a

20 city/29 hwy

3.2 V6/Auto

AWD

 

n/a

21 city/29 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

 

 

n/a

21 city/29 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

 

 

n/s

19 city/27 hwy

3.2 V6/Auto

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Soul uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Cherokee with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Kia Soul higher (3 to 7 out of 10) than the Jeep Cherokee (1 to 7). This means the Soul produces up to 47 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Cherokee every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The Soul offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Cherokee doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

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 Cherokee doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

The Soul stops much shorter than the Cherokee:

 

Soul

Cherokee

 

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

166 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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 Cherokee’s 65 series tires. The Soul !’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Cherokee Overland’s 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

The Soul ! handles at .82 G’s, while the Cherokee Limited 4x4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Soul ! executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4 (27.9 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Soul’s turning circle is 2.8 feet tighter than the Cherokee’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.6 feet). The Soul’s turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the Cherokee 4x4 Trailhawk’s (34.8 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

The Kia Soul may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 750 to 900 pounds less than the Jeep Cherokee.

The Soul is 1 foot, 7 inches shorter than the Cherokee, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Soul + is quieter than the Cherokee Limited 4x4:

 

Soul

Cherokee

At idle

36 dB

44 dB

Full-Throttle

77 dB

77 dB

70 MPH Cruising

69 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space

The Soul has .2 inches more front headroom and 1 inch more rear headroom than the Cherokee.

The front step up height for the Soul is 1 inches lower than the Cherokee (16.9” vs. 17.9”). The Soul’s rear step up height is 1.4 inches lower than the Cherokee’s (16.7” vs. 18.1”).

Cargo Capacity

The Soul has a larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Cherokee with its rear seat folded (61.3 vs. 54.9 cubic feet).

The Soul’s cargo area is larger than the Cherokee’s in almost every dimension:

 

Soul

Cherokee

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

25”/58.3”

33.9”/67.6”

Max Width

50”

49.2”

Min Width

40.5”

39.4”

Height

31.5”

28.8”

Ergonomics

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 Cherokee doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Consumer Reports rated the Soul’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Cherokee’s headlights, which were rated “Poor” to “Fair” (depending on model and options).

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 Cherokee’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Marginal.”

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 Cherokee 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 Cherokee because typical repairs cost much less on the Soul than the Cherokee, including $90 less for a water pump, $459 less for a muffler, $59 less for front brake pads, $125 less for a starter, $370 less for a fuel pump, $134 less for front struts and $369 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Soul will be $7110 to $11241 less than for the Jeep Cherokee.

Recommendations

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

 

Soul

Cherokee

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 Cherokee 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 Cherokee has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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

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