2020 Kia Soul vs. 2019 Jeep Cherokee

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 Cherokee doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Soul and the Cherokee 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 and rear cross-path warning.


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 Cherokee’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 Jeep covers the Cherokee. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Cherokee 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 Cherokee’s 700-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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th, 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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 41 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 17 places higher in reliability than Jeep.


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


Cherokee turbo 4 cyl.

Cherokee V6

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

7.5 sec

7.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

15.8 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.7 MPH

87.1 MPH

87.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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





2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/31 hwy


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




2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

3.2 DOHC V6

20 city/29 hwy



2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

3.2 DOHC V6

19 city/27 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Soul uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Cherokee 2.0 turbo requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.


The Soul offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Cherokee 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 Cherokee 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 Cherokee doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

The Soul stops much shorter than the Cherokee:



70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

166 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

131 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 Cherokee’s 65 series tires. The Soul X-Line/GT-Line’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Cherokee Overland’s 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

The Soul X-Line handles at .91 G’s, while the Cherokee Limited 4x4 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 Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4 (26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Soul’s turning circle is 2.8 feet tighter than the Cherokee’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.6 feet). The Soul’s turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the Cherokee 4x4 Trailhawk’s (34.8 feet vs. 38.1 feet).


The Kia Soul may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 850 to 1050 pounds less than the Jeep Cherokee.

The Soul is 1 foot, 4.8 inches shorter than the Cherokee, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Soul has 1 inch more rear headroom and 2.9 inches more rear hip room than the Cherokee.

The front step up height for the Soul is 1.7 inches lower than the Cherokee (16.2” vs. 17.9”). The Soul’s rear step up height is .7 inches lower than the Cherokee’s (17.4” vs. 18.1”).

Cargo Capacity

The Soul has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Cherokee with its rear seat folded (62.1 vs. 54.9 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 Cherokee’s liftover is 30.9 inches.


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 Cherokee 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 Cherokee 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 Cherokee because typical repairs cost much less on the Soul than the Cherokee, including $93 less for a water pump, $484 less for a muffler, $62 less for front brake pads, $133 less for a starter, $389 less for a fuel pump, $134 less for front struts and $376 less for a timing belt/chain.

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

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