2020 Kia Soul vs. 2019 Hyundai Tucson

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Soul and the Tucson 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, 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 Tucson’s 600-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 20 more horsepower (201 vs. 181) and 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 175) than the Tucson SEL/Sport/Limited/Ultimate’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Soul GT-Line Turbo is faster than the Tucson 2.4 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

Soul

Tucson

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

8.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.7 MPH

84.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

Tucson

FWD

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/25 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

21 city/26 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 Tucson 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 Tucson doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Soul stops much shorter than the Tucson:

Soul

Tucson

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The Soul GT-Line Turbo handles at .86 G’s, while the Tucson Limited AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Soul GT-Line Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Tucson SE (26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.9 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

The Kia Soul may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 600 pounds less than the Hyundai Tucson.

The Soul is 11 inches shorter than the Tucson, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Soul has .3 inches more rear headroom and .6 inches more rear legroom than the Tucson.

The front step up height for the Soul is 2.8 inches lower than the Tucson (16.2” vs. 19”). The Soul’s rear step up height is 2.6 inches lower than the Tucson’s (17.4” vs. 20”).

Servicing Ease

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

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 Tucson 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 Tucson because it costs $18 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Soul than the Tucson, including $2 less for a water pump, $152 less for a muffler, $41 less for fuel injection, $34 less for a fuel pump and $19 less for front struts.

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

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