2020 Jeep Cherokee vs. 2020 Kia Soul

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

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

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Cherokee Limited/Trailhawk/Overland offers optional Parksense with Rear Stop 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 Cherokee 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 Cherokee’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 Cherokee 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, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The Jeep Cherokee weighs 554 to 1448 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.

Warranty

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The Cherokee’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Soul runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Jeep dealers as there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Cherokee’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Cherokee has a standard 160-amp alternator (180-amp - Cherokee optional). The Soul’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine

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The Cherokee has more powerful engines than the Soul:

Horsepower

Torque

Cherokee 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

180 HP

171 lbs.-ft.

Cherokee 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

270 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Cherokee 3.2 DOHC V6

271 HP

239 lbs.-ft.

Soul 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

147 HP

132 lbs.-ft.

Soul GT-Line Turbo 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

201 HP

195 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Jeep Cherokee turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Kia Soul 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

Cherokee

Soul

Zero to 30 MPH

3.2 sec

3.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.5 sec

8.8 sec

Quarter Mile

16 sec

16.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

84 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regardless of its engine, the Cherokee’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Kia only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Soul Auto.

The Cherokee has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Soul (15.9 vs. 14.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Cherokee has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Soul doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

Cherokee

Soul

Soul GT-Line Turbo

Front Rotors

13 inches

11 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

10.95 inches

10.3 inches

11.2 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

The Cherokee stops shorter than the Soul:

Cherokee

Soul

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Cherokee has larger standard tires than the Soul (225/60R17 vs. 205/60R16). The Cherokee Trailhawk’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Soul (245/65R17 vs. 235/45R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cherokee has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Soul LX/S. The Cherokee’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Soul X-Line/GT-Line.

The Cherokee has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Soul doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Cherokee offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Soul, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

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

The Cherokee 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.

The Cherokee’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Soul doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Cherokee’s wheelbase is 4.1 inches longer than on the Soul (106.5 inches vs. 102.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Cherokee is 1.2 inches wider in the front and .9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Soul.

Chassis

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The front grille of the Cherokee (except Overland/Trailhawk) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Soul doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Cherokee Overland offers available computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Soul doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Cherokee has .3 inches more front hip room, 2.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Soul.

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

Cargo Capacity

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The Cherokee has a much larger cargo volume than the Soul with its rear seat up (27.6 vs. 24.2 cubic feet).

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

Cherokee

Soul

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

33.9”/67.6”

26”/59”

Max Width

49.2”

45.6”

Min Width

39.4”

41.5”

Height

28.8”

33”

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Cherokee. The Soul doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Cherokee offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Soul doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

The Cherokee offers a 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 two different drivers share the Cherokee (except Latitude/Latitude Plus), the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle and radio stations. The Soul doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Cherokee’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Soul has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

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

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

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

The Cherokee’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Kia only offers heated mirrors on the Soul EX/GT-Line Turbo.

Both the Cherokee and the Soul offer available heated front seats. The Cherokee Overland also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Soul.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Cherokee (except Latitude/Latitude Plus) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Soul doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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

The Cherokee offers an optional 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.

The Cherokee Limited/Trailhawk/Overland’s optional ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Soul doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Cherokee is less expensive to operate than the Soul because it costs $528 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Cherokee than the Soul, including $82 less for fuel injection and $462 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

The Jeep Cherokee outsold the Kia Soul by over two to one during 2018.

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

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