2020 Chevrolet Trax vs. 2019 Kia Soul

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Trax offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Soul doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Compared to metal, the Trax’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 Trax 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, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors 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 Chevrolet Trax is safer than the Kia Soul:

Trax

Soul

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

122

181

Neck Compression

12 lbs.

51 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

207

394

Chest Compression

.3 inches

.4 inches

Neck Injury Risk

38%

42%

Neck Stress

122 lbs.

142 lbs.

Neck Compression

104 lbs.

172 lbs.

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

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, results indicate that the Chevrolet Trax is safer than the Kia Soul:

Trax

Soul

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

73

97

Chest Movement

.7 inches

.8 inches

Abdominal Force

120 G’s

190 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

100

231

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

79 G’s

Hip Force

672 lbs.

727 lbs.

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

Warranty

The Trax’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Soul’s (6/100,000 vs. 5/100,000).

There are almost 4 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Trax’s warranty.

Reliability

The Chevrolet Trax’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.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Trax has a standard 130-amp alternator. The Soul’s standard 110-amp alternator and largest (+/!) 120-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.

Engine

The Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. produces 8 more horsepower (138 vs. 130) and 30 lbs.-ft. more torque (148 vs. 118) than the Soul’s standard 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

Transmission

The Chevrolet Trax 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 Trax’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the Soul:

Trax

Soul

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

11 inches

The Trax stops shorter than the Soul:

Trax

Soul

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

169 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

116 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Trax 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; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The Trax Premier AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the Soul + pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Trax easier. The Trax’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.8 inches, while the Soul’s liftover is 31.1 inches.

Ergonomics

The Trax’s front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its driver’s window also automatically closes, 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. The Soul +/!’s rear windows don’t open automatically.

The Trax’s power window, power lock and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Soul’s passenger power window switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Trax LT/Premier has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Soul doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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

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