2020 Toyota Prius Prime vs. 2019 Kia Soul EV

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Prius Prime has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Soul EV doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Prius Prime has a standard Pre-Collision System, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Soul EV doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Prius Prime’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Soul EV doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Prius Prime Limited’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Soul EV doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Prius Prime Limited’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Soul EV doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Prius Prime’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 Soul EV doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Prius Prime and the Soul EV 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 and available rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Prius Prime the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Soul EV has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Prius Prime’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Soul EV runs out after 100,000 miles.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Prius Prime for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Soul EV.

There are over 59 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Prius Prime’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Kia is ranked fifth.

Engine

The Prius Prime’s 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 12 more horsepower (121 vs. 109) than the Soul EV’s electric motor.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Prius Prime running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Soul EV (145 city/121 hwy vs. 124 city/93 hwy MPGe).

The Prius Prime’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel and a full charge is 652 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Soul EV’s range is only 111 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 43 minutes for only a 94% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 24 hours.

Brakes and Stopping

The Prius Prime stops shorter than the Soul EV:

Prius

Soul

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Toyota Prius Prime 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 EV has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Prius Prime has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Prius Prime flat and controlled during cornering. The Soul EV’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Prius Prime’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the Soul EV (106.3 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

The Prius Prime LE handles at .79 G’s, while the Soul EV + pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Prius Prime’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Soul EV’s (33.4 feet vs. 35 feet).

Chassis

The front grille of the Prius Prime 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 EV doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Prius Prime has 2.3 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front hip room and 2.3 inches more rear hip room than the Soul EV.

Cargo Capacity

The Prius Prime has a larger cargo volume than the Soul EV with its rear seat up (19.8 vs. 18.8 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Prius Prime easier. The Prius Prime’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the Soul EV’s liftover is 31.1 inches.

Ergonomics

The Prius Prime Limited has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Soul EV doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Prius Prime’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Soul EV’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Prius Prime Limited’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Soul EV’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Prius Prime detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Soul EV doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Prius Prime has a standard Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Soul EV doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Prius Prime Limited’s Intelligent Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Soul EV doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Prius Prime, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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