2020 Kia Soul EV vs. 2019 Volkswagen e-Golf

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 e-Golf doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Soul EV and the e-Golf 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 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. The e-Golf’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

The Soul EV comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years 60,000 miles. Kia will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump-start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the e-Golf.

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

There are over 18 percent more Kia dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Soul EV’s warranty.

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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 11 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

The Soul EV’s electric motor produces 67 more horsepower (201 vs. 134) and 77 lbs.-ft. more torque (291 vs. 214) than the e-Golf’s electric motor.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Soul EV’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 243 miles on a full charge, almost twice as far as the e-Golf’s 125-mile range.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Soul EV

e-Golf

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

10.7 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Soul EV has larger tires than the e-Golf (215/55R17 vs. 205/55R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Soul EV has standard 17-inch wheels. Only 16-inch wheels are available on the e-Golf.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Soul EV is .8 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than on the e-Golf.

For better maneuverability, the Soul EV’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the e-Golf’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.8 feet).

Passenger Space

The Soul EV has 4.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the e-Golf (98 vs. 93.5).

The Soul EV has 1.5 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more rear headroom, .4 inches more rear legroom and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the e-Golf.

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Soul EV has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the e-Golf only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Soul EV has standard extendable sun visors. The e-Golf doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 e-Golf doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Soul EV’s standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The e-Golf’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia Soul EV Designer Collection has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) on the dashboard. The e-Golf doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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

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