2020 Kia Soul vs. 2019 Lexus UX Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Soul and the UX Series 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.

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 UX Series’ 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Soul 4 years and 30,000 miles longer than Lexus covers the UX Series. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the UX Series ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Kia dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Soul’s warranty.

Reliability

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 Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Soul GT-Line Turbo’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (201 vs. 181) than the UX 250h’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the UX Series Hybrid.

The Soul has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the UX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (14.3 vs. 10.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Soul has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the UX Series’ standard fuel tank (14.3 vs. 12.4 gallons).

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Soul X-Line/GT-Line’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the UX Series (235/45R18 vs. 225/50R18).

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 UX Series’ 50 series tires.

The Soul has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the UX Series; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Soul is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than on the UX Series.

Chassis

The Kia Soul may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 550 pounds less than the Lexus UX Series.

The Soul is 11.8 inches shorter than the UX Series, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Soul has 11.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the UX Series (102.2 vs. 90.4).

The Soul has 2.2 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front shoulder room, 3.2 inches more rear headroom, 5.7 inches more rear legroom, .5 inches more rear hip room and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the UX Series.

Cargo Capacity

The Soul has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the UX Series (24.2 vs. 21.7 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

The Soul uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The UX Series 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 power windows standard on both the Soul and the UX Series 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 UX Series prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

Recommendations

The Kia Soul outsold the Lexus UX Series by over 231 to one during 2018.

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

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