2020 Kia Soul vs. 2019 Honda CR-V

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Soul and the CR-V 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 crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear cross-path warning and driver alert monitors.

Warranty

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 CR-V’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

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

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Soul has a standard 760-amp battery. The CR-V’s 410-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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, 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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 10 places higher in reliability than Honda.

Engine

The Soul GT-Line Turbo’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 11 more horsepower (201 vs. 190) and 16 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 179) than the CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Soul GT-Line Turbo is faster than the CR-V 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

Soul

CR-V

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

8.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.7 MPH

84.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Soul EX Auto gets better fuel mileage than the CR-V LX FWD (29 city/35 hwy vs. 26 city/32 hwy). The Soul EX Auto gets better fuel mileage than the CR-V 1.5T FWD (29 city/35 hwy vs. 28 city/34 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Soul Auto’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The CR-V doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Soul GT-Line Turbo

CR-V

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.1 inches

Rear Rotors

11.2 inches

10.2 inches

The Soul stops much shorter than the CR-V:

Soul

CR-V

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Soul LX/S’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CR-V LX’s standard 65 series tires. The Soul X-Line/GT-Line’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s 60 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Soul has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CR-V’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Soul X-Line handles at .91 G’s, while the CR-V Touring AWD 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 1.5 seconds quicker than the CR-V Touring AWD (26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Soul’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the CR-V’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

The Kia Soul may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 pounds less than the Honda CR-V.

The Soul is 1 foot, 3.4 inches shorter than the CR-V, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Soul has .3 inches more rear headroom and 3.3 inches more rear hip room than the CR-V.

The front step up height for the Soul is 2.8 inches lower than the CR-V (16.2” vs. 19”). The Soul’s rear step up height is .6 inches lower than the CR-V’s (17.4” vs. 18”).

Servicing Ease

The Soul uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The CR-V 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

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 CR-V doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Soul and the CR-V have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Soul is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CR-V prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Soul’s standard variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The CR-V LX’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

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 CR-V has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the EX/EX-L/Touring.

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 CR-V doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 CR-V doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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 CR-V is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Soul is less expensive to operate than the CR-V because typical repairs cost much less on the Soul than the CR-V, including $225 less for a starter, $82 less for fuel injection, $200 less for a fuel pump and $64 less for front struts.

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

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