2020 Kia Soul vs. 2019 Jeep Renegade

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Renegade doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Soul and the Renegade 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.

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 Renegade’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 Renegade. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Renegade 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 Renegade’s 500-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.

Engine

The Soul GT-Line Turbo’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 21 more horsepower (201 vs. 180) and 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 175) than the Renegade’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Kia Soul 2.0 4 cyl. is faster than the Jeep Renegade 2.4 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

Soul

Renegade

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

9.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

24.7 sec

32.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.2 sec

9.9 sec

Quarter Mile

16.4 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86 MPH

81 MPH

Top Speed

120 MPH

114 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

Renegade

FWD

Auto

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

1.3 turbo 4 cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

1.3 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/29 hwy

Trailhawk 1.3 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

Regardless of its engine, the Soul’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Renegade 2.4-liter doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Soul uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Renegade with the 1.3 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Soul has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Renegade (14.3 vs. 12.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

The Soul stops much shorter than the Renegade:

Soul

Renegade

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

126 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 Renegade (235/45R18 vs. 225/55R18).

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 Renegade’s standard 65 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Soul’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the Renegade (102.4 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Soul is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Renegade.

The Soul X-Line handles at .91 G’s, while the Renegade Latitude 4x4 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Soul GT-Line Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the Renegade Trailhawk 4x4 (26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 29 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Soul’s turning circle is .5 feet tighter than the Renegade Trailhawk 4x4’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.3 feet). The Soul’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the Renegade’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.3 feet).

Chassis

The Kia Soul may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 500 pounds less than the Jeep Renegade.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Soul has standard flush composite headlights. The Renegade has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space

The Soul has 2.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Renegade (102.2 vs. 100.1).

The Soul has .4 inches more front hip room, 3.7 inches more rear legroom and .9 inches more rear hip room than the Renegade.

The front step up height for the Soul is 3.2 inches lower than the Renegade (16.2” vs. 19.4”). The Soul’s rear step up height is 2.2 inches lower than the Renegade’s (17.4” vs. 19.6”).

Cargo Capacity

The Soul has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Renegade with its rear seat up (24.2 vs. 18.5 cubic feet). The Soul has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Renegade with its rear seat folded (62.1 vs. 50.8 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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

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 automatic headlight on/off feature is not available on the Renegade Sport.

The Soul has standard power remote mirrors. The Renegade only comes with remote mirrors at extra cost. Without them the driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

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 Renegade 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 Renegade because typical repairs cost much less on the Soul than the Renegade, including $49 less for a water pump, $111 less for a muffler, $146 less for front brake pads, $360 less for a starter, $96 less for a fuel pump and $314 less for front struts.

Recommendations

The Kia Soul outsold the Jeep Renegade by 8% during 2018.

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

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