2020 Kia Soul vs. 2019 Buick Encore

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 2019/10/21

The Soul S/EX/GT-Line has standard Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Encore offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The Soul S/EX/GT-Line’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 Encore doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Soul and the Encore 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 lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The Soul comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Encore’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Soul 4 years and 30,000 miles longer than Buick covers the Encore. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Encore ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.

Reliability

© 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 2019/10/21

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Soul has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Encore’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Soul has a standard 760-amp battery. The Encore’s 438-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 11th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 14 places higher in reliability than Buick.

Engine

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The Soul’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 9 more horsepower (147 vs. 138) than the Encore’s standard 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The Soul GT-Line Turbo’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 48 more horsepower (201 vs. 153) and 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 177) than the Encore’s optional 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Kia Soul 2.0 4 cyl. is faster than the Buick Encore (base engine) (automatics tested):

Soul

Encore

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

9.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

24.7 sec

34.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.2 sec

10.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.4 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86 MPH

80 MPH

Top Speed

120 MPH

116 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Soul GT-Line Turbo is faster than the Buick Encore (153 HP engine) (automatics tested):

Soul

Encore

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

10.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.7 MPH

77.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2019/10/21

On the EPA test cycle the Soul gets better fuel mileage than the Encore:

MPG

Soul

FWD

Manual

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

Auto

EX 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/35 hwy

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/33 hwy

GT Turbo 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

27 city/32 hwy

Encore

FWD

Auto

1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

1.4 DI turbo 4 cyl.

26 city/31 hwy

AWD

Auto

1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

24 city/29 hwy

1.4 DI turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

Regardless of its engine, the Soul’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.) Buick only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Encore w/Direct Injection Engine.

Transmission

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The Soul offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Encore doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Kia Soul GT-Line Turbo, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Encore.

The Soul offers an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Encore doesn’t offer a CVT.

The Soul offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Encore doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2019/10/21

For better stopping power the Soul GT-Line Turbo’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore:

Soul GT-Line Turbo

Encore

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.2 inches

10.6 inches

The Soul stops much shorter than the Encore:

Soul

Encore

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2019/10/21

For better traction, the Soul X-Line/GT-Line’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Encore (235/45R18 vs. 215/55R18).

The Soul X-Line/GT-Line’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Encore’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Soul’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the Encore (102.4 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Soul is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Encore.

The Soul X-Line handles at .91 G’s, while the Encore pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Soul GT-Line Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.8 seconds quicker than the Encore AWD (26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 29.6 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Soul’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Encore’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

Chassis

© 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 2019/10/21

The Kia Soul may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 450 pounds less than the Buick Encore.

The Soul is 3.2 inches shorter than the Encore, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Soul has 9.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Encore (102.2 vs. 92.8).

The Soul has .3 inches more front legroom, 1.8 inches more front hip room, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 3 inches more rear legroom, 2.7 inches more rear hip room and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore.

Cargo Capacity

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The Soul has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Encore with its rear seat up (24.2 vs. 18.8 cubic feet). The Soul has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Encore with its rear seat folded (62.1 vs. 48.4 cubic feet).

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

Soul

Encore

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

26”/59”

28.5”/55.8”

Max Width

45.6”

39.5”

Min Width

41.5”

36”

Height

33”

31.8”

Servicing Ease

© 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 2019/10/21

The Soul uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Encore uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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The Soul GT-Line Turbo has a standard heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Encore doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Soul GT-Line Turbo 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 Encore doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia Soul (except LX/S/X-Line) offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) on the dashboard. The Encore doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Soul owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Soul with a number “1” insurance rate while the Encore is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Soul is less expensive to operate than the Encore because typical repairs cost less on the Soul than the Encore, including $32 less for a water pump, $181 less for a muffler, $163 less for front brake pads, $144 less for a fuel pump, $28 less for front struts and $137 less for a timing belt/chain.

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 2019/10/21

The Kia Soul outsold the Buick Encore by 13% during 2018.

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

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