2019 Lexus UX Series vs. 2019 Kia Soul

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Lexus UX Series have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Kia Soul doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The UX Series has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Front Seatbacks, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Front Seatbacks system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Soul doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The UX Series has standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Soul doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The UX Series offers optional Parking Support Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Soul doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The UX 250h has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Soul doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The UX Series’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Soul doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the UX Series’ 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 UX Series and the Soul have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked fifth.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Kia is ranked fifth.

Engine

The UX Series has more powerful engines than the Soul:

 

Horsepower

Torque

UX 200 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

169 HP

151 lbs.-ft.

UX 250h 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

181 HP

n/a

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

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

 

 

 

MPG

UX Series

FWD

Auto

200 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/37 hwy

AWD

Auto

200h 2.0 4 cyl. Hybrid

41 city/38 hwy

Soul

FWD

Manual

1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

 

Auto

1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/31 hwy

 

 

+ 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

 

 

! 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

26 city/31 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the UX 250h’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Soul doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

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

The UX Series has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Soul doesn’t offer a CVT.

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the UX Series F Sport has a standard up-shift light to indicate when the engine is approaching redline. The Soul doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the UX Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Soul:

 

UX Series

Soul

Front Rotors

12 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

10.3 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the UX Series has larger tires than the Soul (225/50R18 vs. 205/60R16).

The UX Series’ tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 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 UX Series has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Soul.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the UX Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Soul doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Lexus UX Series has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Kia Soul has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The UX Series has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the UX Series flat and controlled during cornering. The Soul’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the UX Series’ wheelbase is 2.7 inches longer than on the Soul (103.9 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better maneuverability, the UX Series’ turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Soul’s (34.2 feet vs. 34.8 feet).

Passenger Space

The UX Series has 1.2 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more front hip room and 3 inches more rear hip room than the Soul.

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the UX Series. The Soul doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the UX Series’ power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Soul doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Kia. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 45% lower rating, Kia is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

When three different drivers share the UX Series, the optional memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The Soul doesn’t offer a memory system.

The UX Series’ optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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 UX Series offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Soul doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The UX Series’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, 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. With the Soul +/!’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the UX Series the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Lexus service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Soul can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The UX Series’ 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.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The UX Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Soul doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the UX Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Soul doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the UX Series F SPORT has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Soul doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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

When the UX Series with available tilt-down mirrors 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 UX Series offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Soul offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The UX Series’ standard 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.

Both the UX Series and the Soul offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the UX Series has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Soul doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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

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