2020 Kia Soul EV vs. 2019 Tesla Model 3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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To help make backing safer, the Soul EV’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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 Model 3 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Soul EV and the Model 3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.


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 Model 3’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Soul EV 2 years longer than Tesla covers the Model 3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Model 3 ends after only 8 years or 100,000 miles.

The Soul EV’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and 50,000 miles longer than the Model 3’s (5/100,000 vs. 4/50,000).

There are over 12 times as many Kia dealers as there are Tesla dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Soul EV’s warranty.


From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 22 places higher in reliability than Tesla.

Brakes and Stopping

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Soul EV has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Soul EV’s turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the Model 3’s (34.8 feet vs. 38.1 feet).


The Soul EV is 1 foot, 7.6 inches shorter than the Model 3, making the Soul EV easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Soul EV is 5.2 inches narrower than the Model 3, making the Soul EV easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

Passenger Space

The Soul EV has .3 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front hip room, 1.8 inches more rear headroom, .8 inches more rear legroom, .4 inches more rear hip room and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Model 3.

Cargo Capacity

The Soul EV has a much larger cargo volume than the Model 3 (23 vs. 15 cubic feet).


To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Soul EV has a standard rear wiper. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

The Soul EV’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Tesla charges extra for heated mirrors on the Model 3.

The Soul EV’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Model 3’s power mirror controls are embedded in the infotainment system, seriously distracting drivers who have to adjust them while driving.

On extremely cold winter days, the Soul EV Designer Collection’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Model 3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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

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