2020 Kia Soul vs. 2019 Honda Fit

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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To help make backing safer, the Soul (except LX)’s optional 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 Fit doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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 Fit doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Soul GT-Line Turbo has standard 911 Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Fit doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Soul and the Fit 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 and blind spot warning systems.


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 Fit’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 Fit. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Fit ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.


To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Soul has a standard 760-amp battery. The Fit’s 340-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.


The Soul’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 19 more horsepower (147 vs. 128) and 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (132 vs. 113) than the Fit Auto’s standard 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Soul’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 17 more horsepower (147 vs. 130) and 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (132 vs. 114) than the Fit’s standard 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Soul GT-Line Turbo’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 71 more horsepower (201 vs. 130) and 81 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 114) than the Fit’s standard 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Soul GT-Line Turbo is faster than the Honda Fit (automatics tested):



Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

9.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.7 MPH

85.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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 Fit doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Soul has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Fit (14.3 vs. 10.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.


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 Fit doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Soul’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Fit:


Soul GT-Line Turbo


Front Rotors

11 inches

12 inches

10.3 inches

Rear Rotors

10.3 inches

11.2 inches

7.9” drums

The Kia Soul has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Fit. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Soul stops much shorter than the Fit:



70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Soul has larger standard tires than the Fit (205/60R16 vs. 185/60R15). The Soul X-Line/GT-Line’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Fit (235/45R18 vs. 185/60R15).

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 Fit Sport/EX/EX-L’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Soul LX/S has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Fit. The Soul X-Line/GT-Line’s 18-inch wheels are larger than the 16-inch wheels on the Fit Sport/EX/EX-L.

The Kia Soul’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Honda Fit only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Soul’s wheelbase is 2.8 inches longer than on the Fit (102.4 inches vs. 99.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Soul is 3.8 inches wider in the front and 4.5 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Fit.

The Soul X-Line handles at .91 G’s, while the Fit EX pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Soul GT-Line Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the Fit EX-L (26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Soul has 6.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Fit (102.2 vs. 95.7).

The Soul has 2 inches more front hip room, .7 inches more front shoulder room, 2 inches more rear headroom, 7.7 inches more rear hip room and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Fit.

Cargo Capacity

The Soul has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Fit with its rear seat up (24.2 vs. 16.6 cubic feet). The Soul has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Fit with its rear seat folded (62.1 vs. 52.7 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

The Soul uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Fit 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.


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 Fit doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Soul and the Fit 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 Fit 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 Fit’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 S/EX/GT-Line’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Fit EX/EX-L’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Soul’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Fit doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

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 Fit 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 Fit doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Soul EX/GT-Line Turbo’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Fit doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The Soul EX/GT-Line Turbo’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Fit doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

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 Fit 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 Fit because typical repairs cost much less on the Soul than the Fit, including $5 less for fuel injection, $151 less for a fuel pump and $228 less for front struts.


The Kia Soul outsold the Honda Fit by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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