2020 BMW i3 vs. 2020 Kia Soul EV

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

The i3 has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Soul EV doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The i3 has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Soul EV doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the i3 and the Soul EV have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available crash mitigating brakes.

Warranty

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The i3’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Soul EV’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the i3 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for tire rotations, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Soul EV.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.

Brakes and Stopping

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The i3’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Soul EV are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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The i3s’ 195/50R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Soul EV’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the i3 has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 17-inch wheels are available on the Soul EV. The i3 offers optional 20-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

For better maneuverability, the i3’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the Soul EV’s (32.4 feet vs. 34.8 feet). The i3s’ turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Soul EV’s (33.8 feet vs. 34.8 feet).

Chassis

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

The BMW i3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 750 pounds less than the Kia Soul EV.

The i3s is 7.1 inches shorter than the Soul EV, making the i3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Ergonomics

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When two different drivers share the i3, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Soul EV doesn’t offer a memory system.

The i3’s front power windows 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 standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. The Soul EV Designer Collection’s rear windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the i3 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. The driver of the Soul EV can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The i3’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.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the i3 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Soul EV doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The i3’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Soul EV offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The i3’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Soul EV doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/05

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW i3, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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