2020 Kia Soul vs. 2019 Toyota Rav4

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 Rav4 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Soul and the Rav4 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 Rav4’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 Rav4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Rav4 ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

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 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 GT-Line Turbo’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. produces 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 184) than the Rav4’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Kia Soul 2.0 4 cyl. is faster than the Toyota Rav4 (automatics tested):

Soul

Rav4

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

8.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.2 sec

8.5 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Soul EX gets better fuel mileage than the Rav4 FWD (29 city/35 hwy vs. 26 city/35 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 Rav4 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

The Soul offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a manual 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 Rav4 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 Rav4 doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

The Soul stops much shorter than the Rav4:

Soul

Rav4

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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 Rav4 LE/XLE’s standard 65 series tires. The Soul X-Line/GT-Line’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Soul X-Line handles at .91 G’s, while the Rav4 Adventure pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Soul GT-Line Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.1 seconds quicker than the Rav4 Limited (26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Soul’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Rav4 LE/XLE’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.1 feet). The Soul’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

The Kia Soul may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 600 pounds less than the Toyota Rav4.

The Soul is 1 foot, 3.7 inches shorter than the Rav4, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Soul has 3.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Rav4 (102.2 vs. 98.9).

The Soul has .1 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more rear legroom and 5.1 inches more rear hip room than the Rav4.

Cargo Capacity

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 Rav4’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

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 Rav4 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Soul’s standard variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Rav4 LE’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

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 Rav4 has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited.

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 Rav4 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 Rav4 because it costs $9 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Soul than the Rav4, including $31 less for front brake pads, $130 less for a starter, $23 less for fuel injection, $294 less for a fuel pump and $492 less for a timing belt/chain.

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

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