2020 Kia Soul EV vs. 2019 Chevrolet Bolt

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Kia Soul EV are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Chevrolet Bolt doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Soul EV’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Bolt doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

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

Warranty

The Soul EV comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Bolt’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Soul EV 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Chevrolet covers the Bolt. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Bolt ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 6th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 18 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

The Soul EV’s electric motor produces 1 more horsepower (201 vs. 200) and 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (291 vs. 266) than the Bolt’s electric motor.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Soul EV

Bolt

Front Rotors

12 inches

10.9 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

10.4 inches

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Kia Soul EV 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 Chevrolet Bolt has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Soul EV is 2.5 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Bolt.

For better maneuverability, the Soul EV’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Bolt’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.4 feet).

Passenger Space

The Soul EV has 3.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Bolt (98 vs. 94.4).

The Soul EV has .2 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, .9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.6 inches more rear headroom, 2 inches more rear hip room and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Bolt.

Cargo Capacity

The Soul EV has a much larger cargo volume than the Bolt with its rear seat up (23 vs. 16.9 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Soul EV Designer Collection’s front power windows both open or close with one touch of the switches. The Bolt’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

The Soul EV’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 Bolt doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Soul EV has a standard Smart Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Bolt doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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

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