2020 Kia Soul vs. 2019 Fiat 500X

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 2019/10/22

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 500X doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Soul and the 500X have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, 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 500X’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Soul 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Fiat covers the 500X. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the 500X ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 84 percent more Kia dealers than there are Fiat dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Soul’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Soul has a standard 760-amp battery. The 500X’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 123 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 31st.

Engine

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The Soul GT-Line Turbo’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 24 more horsepower (201 vs. 177) than the 500X’s 1.3 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Soul gets better fuel mileage than the 500X:

MPG

Soul

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

500X

Auto

1.3 turbo 4 cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Soul uses regular unleaded gasoline. The 500X requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Soul has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 500X (14.3 vs. 12.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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The Soul offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The 500X doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

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 500X 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 500X doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Soul stops shorter than the 500X:

Soul

500X

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

163 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Soul X-Line/GT-Line’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 500X (235/45R18 vs. 215/60R17).

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 500X AWD Trekking/Trekking Plus’ optional 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Soul’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the 500X (102.4 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Soul is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the 500X.

The Soul X-Line handles at .91 G’s, while the 500X pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Soul GT-Line Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the 500X Trekking (26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Soul’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the 500X’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.3 feet).

Chassis

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The Kia Soul may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 500 pounds less than the Fiat 500X.

Passenger Space

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The Soul has 10.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 500X (102.2 vs. 91.7).

The Soul has .3 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, 4 inches more rear legroom, .6 inches more rear hip room and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the 500X.

The front step up height for the Soul is 3.2 inches lower than the 500X (16.2” vs. 19.4”). The Soul’s rear step up height is 2.2 inches lower than the 500X’s (17.4” vs. 19.6”).

Cargo Capacity

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The Soul has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the 500X with its rear seat up (24.2 vs. 12.2 cubic feet). The Soul has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the 500X with its rear seat folded (62.1 vs. 32.1 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Soul easier. The Soul’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.8 inches, while the 500X’s liftover is 31.4 inches.

The Soul’s cargo area is larger than the 500X’s in every dimension:

Soul

500X

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

26”/59”

n/a

Max Width

45.6”

41.3”

Min Width

41.5”

37.8”

Height

33”

28.8”

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 2019/10/22

The Soul uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The 500X 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 500X doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Soul has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The 500X only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

On extremely cold winter days, the Soul GT-Line Turbo’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The 500X doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Soul EX/GT-Line Turbo has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The 500X doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Soul has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The 500X doesn’t offer rear vents.

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 500X 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 500X 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 500X because typical repairs cost much less on the Soul than the 500X, including $128 less for a water pump, $6 less for front brake pads, $143 less for fuel injection and $288 less for a fuel 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 2019/10/22

The Kia Soul outsold the Fiat 500X by over 20 to one during 2018.

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