2021 Hyundai Kona vs. 2021 Kia Soul

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/21

The Kona 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 Kona’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 Kona and the Soul 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 blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The Kona’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and unlimited miles longer than the Soul’s (7/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

Hyundai pays for scheduled maintenance on the Kona for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Hyundai will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Soul.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 3 places higher in reliability than Kia.

Engine

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The Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder produces 28 more horsepower (175 vs. 147) and 63 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 132) than the Soul’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Hyundai Kona 4 cyl. is faster than the Kia Soul 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

Kona

Soul

Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

8.6 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

13.9 sec

15.2 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

4.4 sec

4.5 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.6 MPH

83.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/21

On the EPA test cycle the Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate FWD Auto turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Soul Turbo Auto turbo 4 cyl. (28 city/32 hwy vs. 27 city/32 hwy).

Transmission

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The Hyundai Kona comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Soul.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Kona stops shorter than the Soul:

Kona

Soul

70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Kona 4x4 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 solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

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

The Kona has 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.

The Kona SEL 4x4 handles at .88 G’s, while the Soul GT-Line pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Kona Ultimate executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Soul X-Line (26.9 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.5 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The Kona has .2 inches more front headroom and .4 inches more front legroom than the Soul.

The front step up height for the Kona is .2 inches lower than the Soul (16” vs. 16.2”). The Kona’s rear step up height is 1.3 inches lower than the Soul’s (16.1” vs. 17.4”).

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/21

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Kona easier. The Kona’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 27.5 inches, while the Soul’s liftover is 29.8 inches.

The Kona’s cargo area is larger than the Soul’s in almost every dimension:

Kona

Soul

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

28.6”/61”

26”/59”

Max Width

48”

45.6”

Min Width

40”

41.5”

Height

30”

33”

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/21

The Kona SEL/Night/Limited/Ultimate’s front power windows open fully with one touch of the switches, and the 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 Turbo’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

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

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Kona Ultimate 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 see further while navigating curves, the Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Soul doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Kona owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Kona will cost $180 less than the Soul over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Kona is less expensive to operate than the Soul because it costs $155 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Kona than the Soul, including $35 less for front brake pads, $7 less for a starter, $124 less for fuel injection, $128 less for a timing belt/chain and $300 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/21

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Hyundai Kona and the Kia Soul, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Kona was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2019. The Soul has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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

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