2019 Volkswagen e-Golf vs. 2019 Kia Soul EV

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The e-Golf has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Soul EV doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The e-Golf offers optional Autonomous Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Soul EV doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The e-Golf has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Soul EV 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 e-Golf SEL Premium has standard Maneuver Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Soul EV doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The e-Golf SEL Premium’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Soul EV doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The e-Golf’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Soul EV doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the e-Golf’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Soul EV doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the e-Golf and the Soul EV 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

Warranty

The e-Golf’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Soul EV’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

Engine

The e-Golf’s electric motor produces 25 more horsepower (134 vs. 109) and 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (214 vs. 210) than the Soul EV’s electric motor.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the e-Golf gets better fuel mileage than the Soul EV (126 city/111 hwy vs. 124 city/93 hwy MPGe).

The e-Golf’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 125 miles on a full charge, 13% further than the Soul EV’s 111-mile range.

Brakes and Stopping

The e-Golf stops shorter than the Soul EV:

e-Golf

Soul EV

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The e-Golf’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 EV’s standard 60 series tires.

The e-Golf has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Soul EV; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Volkswagen e-Golf 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 EV has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the e-Golf’s wheelbase is 2.3 inches longer than on the Soul EV (103.5 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

The e-Golf handles at .83 G’s, while the Soul EV + pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space

The e-Golf has .3 inches more front legroom and .4 inches more front shoulder room than the Soul EV.

Cargo Capacity

The e-Golf has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Soul EV with its rear seat up (22.8 vs. 18.8 cubic feet). The e-Golf has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Soul EV with its rear seat folded (52.7 vs. 49.5 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The e-Golf’s 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 EV’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the e-Golf the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows with the driver’s door power window switch. The driver of the Soul EV can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The e-Golf’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Soul EV’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the e-Golf SEL Premium has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Soul EV doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The e-Golf’s 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 EV doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

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

The e-Golf SEL Premium’s Parking Steering Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Soul EV doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2015 issue and they ranked the Volkswagen e-Golf first. They ranked the Kia Soul EV + third.

The Golf was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 13 of the last 13 years. The Soul EV has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Golf as their 2015 Car of the Year. The Soul EV has never been chosen.

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

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