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The Cooper Clubman offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Soul doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
Compared to metal, the Cooper Clubman’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Kia Soul has a metal gas tank.
Both the Cooper Clubman and the Soul 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 and rearview cameras.
The Cooper Clubman’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Soul’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).
MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cooper Clubman for 3 years and 36,000 miles. MINI will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Soul.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.
The Cooper Clubman S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 42 more horsepower (189 vs. 147) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (206 vs. 132) than the Soul’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Cooper Clubman S’ 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (206 vs. 195) than the Soul GT-Line Turbo’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. The JCW Clubman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 100 more horsepower (301 vs. 201) and 136 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 195) than the Soul GT-Line Turbo’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.
On the EPA test cycle the Cooper Clubman S FWD seven-speed Auto gets better highway fuel mileage than the Soul GT-Line Turbo Auto turbo 4 cyl. (34 hwy vs. 32 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the Cooper Clubman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Soul doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
Regardless of its engine, the Cooper Clubman’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.) Kia only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Soul Auto.
The MINI Cooper Clubman comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Soul.
For better stopping power the Cooper Clubman’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Soul:
Soul GT-Line Turbo
The Cooper Clubman stops shorter than the Soul:
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
60 to 0 MPH
For better traction, the Cooper Clubman has larger tires than the Soul (225/45R17 vs. 205/60R16).
The Cooper Clubman’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Soul LX/S’ standard 60 series tires. The Cooper Clubman’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Soul X-Line/GT-Line’s 45 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cooper Clubman has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Soul LX/S. The Cooper Clubman’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Soul X-Line/GT-Line.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Cooper Clubman can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Soul doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
For superior ride and handling, the MINI Cooper Clubman has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Kia Soul has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
The Cooper Clubman has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Cooper Clubman flat and controlled during cornering. The Soul’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
The Cooper Clubman offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Soul’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The Cooper Clubman has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Soul doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Cooper Clubman’s wheelbase is 2.7 inches longer than on the Soul (105.1 inches vs. 102.4 inches).
The Cooper Clubman S handles at .87 G’s, while the Soul GT-Line pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
The front grille of the Cooper Clubman uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Soul doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Cooper Clubman has .8 inches more front headroom and .3 inches more front legroom than the Soul.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cooper Clubman’s available rear seats recline. The Soul’s rear seats don’t recline.
A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Cooper Clubman easier. The Cooper Clubman’s trunk lift-over height is 27.2 inches, while the Soul’s liftover is 29.8 inches.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Cooper Clubman’s available cargo door can be opened just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The Soul doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
When different drivers share the Cooper Clubman, the optional memory seats make it convenient. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Soul doesn’t offer memory seats.
The Cooper Clubman’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Soul has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.
The Cooper Clubman’s front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its driver’s window also automatically closes, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Soul’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.
If the windows are left open on the Cooper Clubman the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Soul can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Cooper Clubman’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Soul’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.
The Cooper Clubman’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Soul’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Cooper Clubman to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Soul doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Cooper Clubman offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Soul doesn’t offer headlight washers.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Cooper Clubman detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Soul doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Cooper Clubman has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Soul doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The Cooper Clubman’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Kia only offers heated mirrors on the Soul EX/GT-Line Turbo.
The Cooper Clubman offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Soul offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
Both the Cooper Clubman and the Soul offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Cooper Clubman has standard rear air-conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Soul doesn’t offer rear air-conditioning vents, only heat vents.
The Cooper Clubman’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Soul doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Cooper Clubman is less expensive to operate than the Soul because it costs $37 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Cooper Clubman than the Soul, including $59 less for fuel injection.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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