2020 Kia Soul vs. 2019 Toyota C-HR

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Soul has a standard 760-amp battery. The C-HR’s 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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Soul’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 3 more horsepower (147 vs. 144) than the C-HR’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Soul GT-Line Turbo’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 57 more horsepower (201 vs. 144) and 56 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 139) than the C-HR’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Kia Soul 2.0 4 cyl. is faster than the Toyota C-HR (automatics tested):

Soul

C-HR

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

11 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

24.7 sec

33.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.2 sec

11.8 sec

Quarter Mile

16.4 sec

18.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86 MPH

79 MPH

Top Speed

120 MPH

115 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Soul gets better fuel mileage than the C-HR:

MPG

Soul

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

C-HR

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/31 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 C-HR doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

Soul GT-Line Turbo

C-HR

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.75 inches

Rear Rotors

11.2 inches

11.1 inches

The Soul stops much shorter than the C-HR:

Soul

C-HR

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

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 C-HR (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 C-HR XLE/Limited’s 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Soul is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the C-HR.

The Soul X-Line handles at .91 G’s, while the C-HR Limited pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Soul GT-Line Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the C-HR XLE (26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Chassis

The Kia Soul may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 500 pounds less than the Toyota C-HR.

The Soul is 6 inches shorter than the C-HR, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Soul has 18.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C-HR (102.2 vs. 83.8).

The Soul has 1.3 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front hip room, 6.5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 7.1 inches more rear legroom, 4.8 inches more rear hip room and 2.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the C-HR.

Cargo Capacity

The Soul has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the C-HR with its rear seat up (24.2 vs. 19 cubic feet). The Soul has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the C-HR with its rear seat folded (62.1 vs. 36.4 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Soul easier. The Soul’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.8 inches, while the C-HR’s liftover is 31 inches.

Servicing Ease

The Soul uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The C-HR 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.

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Soul to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Toyota doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the C-HR.

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 C-HR doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 C-HR 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 C-HR doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Soul EX/GT-Line Turbo has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The C-HR doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Recommendations

The Kia Soul outsold the Toyota C-HR by over two to one during 2018.

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

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