2020 Kia Soul vs. 2019 MINI Cooper Clubman

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Kia Soul are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The MINI Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Soul S/EX/GT-Line’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Soul (except LX)’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Soul (except LX)’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Soul GT-Line Turbo has standard 911 Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Soul and the Cooper Clubman have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes 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 Cooper Clubman’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Soul 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than MINI covers the Cooper Clubman. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Cooper Clubman ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 6 times as many Kia dealers as there are MINI 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 MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 37 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 4 places higher in reliability than MINI.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Soul GT-Line Turbo is faster than the Cooper Clubman S (automatics tested):

Soul

Clubman

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.7 MPH

90.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

Clubman

FWD

Manual

S 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

Auto

1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

S 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

AWD

Manual

1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

22 city/32 hwy

S 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/30 hwy

Auto

1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

S 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/31 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.) MINI only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Cooper Clubman Auto.

The Soul has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cooper Clubman (14.3 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 Cooper Clubman 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 Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

The Soul stops shorter than the Cooper Clubman:

Soul

Cooper Clubman

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

169 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

123 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 Cooper Clubman (235/45R18 vs. 225/45R17).

Suspension and Handling

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

For better maneuverability, the Soul’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Cooper Clubman’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.1 feet).

Chassis

The Kia Soul may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 450 pounds less than the MINI Cooper Clubman.

The Soul is 3.1 inches shorter than the Cooper Clubman, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Soul has 9.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Cooper Clubman (102.2 vs. 92.5).

The Soul has .8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 4.5 inches more rear legroom and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cooper Clubman.

Cargo Capacity

The Soul has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Cooper Clubman with its rear seat up (24.2 vs. 17.5 cubic feet). The Soul has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Cooper Clubman with its rear seat folded (62.1 vs. 47.9 cubic feet).

The Soul’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Cooper Clubman’s two swing out doors impair rear visibility, need a lot of clearance, and can block loading in tight quarters.

Ergonomics

The Soul’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them. MINI does not offer a locking feature on the Cooper Clubman’s standard power windows.

The Soul’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Cooper Clubman’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

The Smart Key optional on the Soul (except LX/S/X-Line) allows you to unlock the driver’s door, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The MINI Cooper Clubman’s Start/Stop Switch doesn’t unlock the doors or the trunk.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Soul has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Cooper Clubman only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Soul has standard extendable sun visors. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer extendable visors.

On extremely cold winter days, the Soul GT-Line Turbo’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Cooper Clubman 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 Cooper Clubman because typical repairs cost much less on the Soul than the Cooper Clubman, including $143 less for a water pump, $72 less for a muffler, $42 less for front brake pads, $163 less for a starter, $295 less for a fuel pump, $188 less for front struts, $222 less for a timing belt/chain and $355 less for a power steering pump.

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

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