2020 Kia Soul vs. 2019 Hyundai Elantra GT

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Soul and the Elantra GT 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.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Soul has a standard 760-amp battery. The Elantra GT’s 550-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 Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked third.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 5 places higher in reliability than Hyundai.

Engine

The Soul GT-Line Turbo’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 39 more horsepower (201 vs. 162) and 45 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 150) than the Elantra GT’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

Elantra GT

Manual

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

Sport 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

Sport 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.

26 city/32 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 Elantra GT doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 Elantra GT doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Soul stops shorter than the Elantra GT:

Soul

Elantra GT

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

118 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Soul X-Line/GT-Line’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Elantra GT (235/45R18 vs. 225/45R17).

Suspension and Handling

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

Chassis

The Soul is 5.7 inches shorter than the Elantra GT, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Soul has 5.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Elantra GT (102.2 vs. 96.5).

The Soul has .3 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more rear headroom and 4 inches more rear legroom than the Elantra GT.

Cargo Capacity

The Soul has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Elantra GT with its rear seat folded (62.1 vs. 55.1 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Soul to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Hyundai doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Elantra GT.

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 Elantra GT doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Soul and the Elantra GT 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 Elantra GT prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Elantra GT’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Elantra GT 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 Elantra GT doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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

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