2020 Kia Soul vs. 2019 Nissan Rogue Sport

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 Rogue Sport doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Soul and the Rogue Sport 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 Rogue Sport’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 Nissan covers the Rogue Sport. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Rogue Sport ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Soul has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Rogue Sport’s 110-amp alternator 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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 7th.

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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 9 places higher in reliability than Nissan.

Engine

The Soul’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 6 more horsepower (147 vs. 141) than the Rogue Sport’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Soul GT-Line Turbo’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 60 more horsepower (201 vs. 141) and 48 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 147) than the Rogue Sport’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Soul GT-Line Turbo is faster than the Nissan Rogue Sport (automatics tested):

Soul

Rogue Sport

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

9.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

17.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.7 MPH

80.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

Rogue Sport

FWD

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/32 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

24 city/30 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 Rogue Sport 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 Rogue Sport:

Soul GT-Line Turbo

Rogue Sport

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.65 inches

The Soul stops much shorter than the Rogue Sport:

Soul

Rogue Sport

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

137 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 Rogue Sport (235/45R18 vs. 225/45R19).

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 Rogue Sport 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 Rogue Sport’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Soul GT-Line Turbo handles at .86 G’s, while the Rogue Sport SL 4x4 pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Soul GT-Line Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.8 seconds quicker than the Rogue Sport SL 4x4 (26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 29.6 seconds @ .53 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Soul’s turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the Rogue Sport’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.9 feet).

Chassis

The Kia Soul may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 450 pounds less than the Nissan Rogue Sport.

The Soul is 7.2 inches shorter than the Rogue Sport, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Soul has 6.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Rogue Sport (102.2 vs. 96).

The Soul has .1 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 5.4 inches more rear legroom and 5.9 inches more rear hip room than the Rogue Sport.

Cargo Capacity

The Soul has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Rogue Sport with its rear seat up (24.2 vs. 22.9 cubic feet). The Soul has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Rogue Sport with its rear seat folded (62.1 vs. 61.1 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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

The power windows standard on both the Soul and the Rogue Sport 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 Rogue Sport prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Soul S/EX/GT-Line’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Rogue Sport’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 Rogue Sport has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SV/SL.

The Soul’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Rogue Sport doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

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

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