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2019 Kia Soul

Starting Price: $17,430 | Price Yours

Above Average: Distinctive looking, available turbocharged engine and a bunch of high-end features.

Below Average: Driver assist features are only available on one trim, not very agile on the road.

Consensus: The 2019 Kia Soul has a boxy upright design that makes it stand out from the crowd and offers up a ton of interior space. It’s a competent daily driver with a great warranty. 
 

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2019 Hyundai Kona

Starting Price: $21,035| Price Yours

Above Average: Roomy, sporty to drive and very well-equipped at its base level.

Below Average: Not much rear legroom for passengers and not as much ground clearance as the Subaru Crosstrek. The base engine is lacking in power and there’s no adaptive cruise control.

Consensus: The 2019 Hyundai Kona has a stellar warranty, fresh styling, and tons of optional features.
 

The 2019 Kia Soul is an eye-catching entry into the subcompact SUV scene with its upright boxy styling and funky features. It comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but lacks the all-wheel drive that the rival Mini Countryman or the Fiat 500X offer. Driving compares favorably with the optional turbocharged engine, though it’s not as engaging as the Mazda CX-3. The transmission leaves something to be desired, however, as it tends to hunt and can be slow to shift. While it claims to seat five people comfortably, the Kia Soul is more suited to four. Tons of cargo space inside makes it easy to haul things in and the Soul has neat design touches like pulsating speaker lights to make it stand out from the rest of the pack. We recommend the Soul Plus trim which starts at $21,430 and offers more power and options than the base level.

The 2019 Hyundai Kona shares the same platform as the Kia Soul since both vehicles are made by the same parent company. The Kona, a small crossover, gets equally fun styling outside and comes packed with standard features. Prices start at $21,035 and the Kona pairs the roominess of a small crossover with some sporty driving characteristics when equipped with the optional turbocharged engine. The 7-speed dual-clutch transmission leaves something to be desired, however. We found that it was slow to shift and occasionally shuddered at low speeds. You can outift the Kona with optional all-wheel drive. Inside the Kona is a little bit more subdued though equally cool and interesting. Seats are comfortable and there’s good cargo space behind the rear seats. Sadly, there isn’t a lot of legroom for rear passengers and headroom is just adequate all around. You get a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Hyundai SmartSense safety features, Bluetooth and USB ports as standard. Cruise control also comes standard. We recommend the Kona SEL with the Technology package for around $24,380 because you get a nicely equipped crossover that’s just as competitive with a Mazda CX-Grand Touring or a Subaru Crosstrek Limited.

Similarities Both the Kia Soul and the Hyundai Kona have very distinctive exterior designs and are backed by 5-year/60,000-mile warranties.

Kia Soul Advantages

The Kia Soul has more interior space and more legroom and headroom for passengers.

Hyundai Kona Advantages

Even though the Soul and Kona share platforms, the Kona has available AWD while the Soul does not.

Final Recommendation

If you’re looking for something that isn’t your run-of-the-mill SUV, the 2019 Hyundai Kona or the 2019 Kia Soul are both good bets. Four our money we’d go for the Kona because it does offer AWD and at higher trims with the turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-4 engine, it has a more dynamic driving experience.

  2019 Kia  Soul 2019 Hyundai Kona
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 1.6-iter I4 2.0-liter I4
Horsepower 130 hp @ 6300 RPM 147 hp @ 6200 RPM
Torque 118 lb-ft @ 4850 RPM 132 lb-ft @ 4500 RPM
Transmission Manual, 6-spd Automatic, 6-Spd
Fuel Economy 27 combined/24 city/30 highway 30 combined/ 27 city/33 higway
Also Available EV, 2.0-liter, 1.6 liter turbo I4 EV, 2.0-liter, 1.6-liter turbo I4
Specs    
Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 stars n/a
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 101.2 inches 102.4 inches
Overall Length 163.0 inches 164.0 inches
Width 70.9 inches 70.9 inches
Height 63.5 inches 61.0 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet 34.8 feet
Headroom, Front 39.6 inches 39.6 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.5 inches 37.8 inches
Legroom, Front 40.9 inches 41.5 inches
Legroom, Rear 39.1 inches 34.6 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 55.5 inches 55.5 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 54.7 inches 54.5 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 101.0 cu. ft. 94.1 cu. ft. 
EPA Cargo Volume 61.3 cu. ft. 45.8 cu. ft. 
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