2020 Kia Soul vs. 2019 Lincoln MKC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the Soul and the MKC 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.


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 MKC’s 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 Lincoln covers the MKC. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the MKC ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.


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 Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked fifth.

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 Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 15 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.


As tested in Motor Trend the Soul GT-Line Turbo is faster than the Lincoln MKC 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):



Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

7.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.7 MPH

87.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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





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




2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/27 hwy



2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

18 city/25 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.) Lincoln only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the MKC 2.0 Turbo.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Soul uses regular unleaded gasoline. The MKC with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine 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 MKC doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Kia Soul GT-Line Turbo, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the MKC.

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 MKC 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 MKC doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

The Soul stops shorter than the MKC:



70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

168 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The Soul X-Line handles at .91 G’s, while the MKC AWD pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Soul GT-Line Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the MKC AWD (26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.9 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Soul’s turning circle is 3.2 feet tighter than the MKC’s (34.8 feet vs. 38 feet).


The Kia Soul may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1000 to 1050 pounds less than the Lincoln MKC.

The Soul is 1 foot, 2 inches shorter than the MKC, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Soul has 4.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MKC (102.2 vs. 97.9).

The Soul has .8 inches more rear headroom and 2 inches more rear legroom than the MKC.

Cargo Capacity

The Soul has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the MKC with its rear seat folded (62.1 vs. 53.1 cubic feet).


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 MKC 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 MKC 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 MKC because typical repairs cost much less on the Soul than the MKC, including $223 less for a water pump, $382 less for a muffler, $39 less for front brake pads, $95 less for a fuel pump, $11 less for front struts, $399 less for a timing belt/chain and $423 less for a power steering pump.


The Kia Soul outsold the Lincoln MKC by almost four to one during 2018.

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

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