2020 Kia Soul vs. 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

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 Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Soul and the Eclipse Cross 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

There are over 2 times as many Kia dealers as there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Soul’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Soul has a standard 760-amp battery. The Eclipse Cross’ 520-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 Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 51 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 30th, 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 Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.

Engine

The Soul GT-Line Turbo’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 49 more horsepower (201 vs. 152) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 184) than the Eclipse Cross’ 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Kia Soul 2.0 4 cyl. is faster than the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (automatics tested):

Soul

Eclipse Cross

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

8.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

24.7 sec

30.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.2 sec

9.2 sec

Quarter Mile

16.4 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86 MPH

83 MPH

Top Speed

120 MPH

118 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Soul

FWD

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

Eclipse Cross

FWD

Auto

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

26 city/29 hwy

AWD

Auto

ES 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/28 hwy

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/26 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Soul Auto’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Soul GT-Line Turbo’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Eclipse Cross:

Soul GT-Line Turbo

Eclipse Cross

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.6 inches

The Soul stops much shorter than the Eclipse Cross:

Soul

Eclipse Cross

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

129 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 Eclipse Cross (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 Eclipse Cross ES’ standard 70 series tires. The Soul X-Line/GT-Line’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Eclipse Cross LE/SE/SEL’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Soul is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Eclipse Cross.

The Soul X-Line handles at .91 G’s, while the Eclipse Cross SE AWD pulls only .76 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 Eclipse Cross SEL AWD (26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 29 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

Chassis

The Kia Soul may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 pounds less than the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.

The Soul is 8.2 inches shorter than the Eclipse Cross, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Soul has 7.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Eclipse Cross (102.2 vs. 94.6).

The Soul has .2 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front hip room, 2.2 inches more rear headroom, 3.5 inches more rear legroom and .8 inches more rear hip room than the Eclipse Cross.

Cargo Capacity

The Soul has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Eclipse Cross with its rear seat up (24.2 vs. 22.6 cubic feet). The Soul has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Eclipse Cross with its rear seat folded (62.1 vs. 48.9 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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 Eclipse Cross only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 Eclipse Cross has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SE/SEL.

The Soul EX/GT-Line Turbo’s standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Eclipse Cross’ available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Recommendations

The Kia Soul outsold the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross by over 11 to one during 2018.

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

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