2019 Volkswagen Tiguan vs. 2020 Kia Soul

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Tiguan 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 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 Tiguan (except S/SE) offers optional Maneuver Braking 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 Tiguan offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Soul doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Tiguan SEL Premium has a standard Overhead View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Soul only offers a rear monitor.

Compared to metal, the Tiguan’s 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 Tiguan and the Soul 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, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Volkswagen Tiguan weighs 741 to 1056 pounds more than the Kia Soul. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Tiguan the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 155 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Soul has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Tiguan comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck. The Soul’s 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 12000 miles sooner.

The Tiguan’s corrosion warranty is 5 years and unlimited miles longer than the Soul’s (10/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

Reliability

The Volkswagen Tiguan’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Soul’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

Engine

The Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 37 more horsepower (184 vs. 147) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 132) than the Soul’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 26 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 195) than the Soul GT-Line Turbo’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Tiguan FWD’s standard fuel tank has a gallon more fuel capacity than the Soul (15.3 vs. 14.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Tiguan AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Soul (15.9 vs. 14.3 gallons).

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Tiguan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Soul:

Tiguan

Soul

Soul GT-Line Turbo

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

11 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

10.3 inches

11.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Tiguan has larger standard tires than the Soul (215/65R17 vs. 205/60R16). The Tiguan’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Soul (255/45R19 vs. 235/45R18).

The Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Soul X-Line/GT-Line’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Tiguan S/SE has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Soul LX/S. The Tiguan SEL Premium R-Line’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Soul X-Line/GT-Line.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Volkswagen Tiguan 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 Tiguan has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Tiguan flat and controlled during cornering. The Soul’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Tiguan has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Soul doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Tiguan’s wheelbase is 7.4 inches longer than on the Soul (109.8 inches vs. 102.4 inches).

Passenger Space

The Tiguan offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Soul can only carry 5.

The Tiguan has 21.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Soul (123.9 vs. 102.2).

The Tiguan has .2 inches more front headroom, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Soul.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Tiguan’s middle row seats recline. The Soul’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Tiguan’s cargo area provides more volume than the Soul.

Tiguan

Soul

Third Seat Folded

33 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

37.6 cubic feet

24.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

65.7 cubic feet

62.1 cubic feet

Max Cargo Volume

73.5 cubic feet

62.1 cubic feet

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

Tiguan

Soul

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

17.2”/39.7”/74.5”

n.a./26”/59”

Max Width

55”

45.6”

Min Width

39.8”

41.5”

Height

33.5”

33”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Tiguan’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Soul doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Tiguan SEL/SEL Premium has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the Tiguan SEL Premium, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Soul doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Ergonomics

The Tiguan SEL/SEL Premium has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Soul doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When three different drivers share the Tiguan SEL Premium, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Soul doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Tiguan’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’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Tiguan SE/SEL/SEL Premium 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 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Tiguan SEL Premium 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 Tiguan offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Soul doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Tiguan SEL Premium also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

When the Tiguan SEL Premium is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Soul’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Tiguan and the Soul offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Tiguan 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.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volkswagen Tiguan, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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