Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2020 Kia Soul VS 2020 Honda HR-V Near Phoenix, AZ

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2020 Kia Soul

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VS

2020 Honda HR-V

Safety Comparison

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To help make backing safer, the Soul (except LX)’s optional 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 HR-V doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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 HR-V doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Soul GT-Line Turbo has standard 911 Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The HR-V doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Soul and the HR-V 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 and blind spot warning systems.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Soul the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The HR-V has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

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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 HR-V’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 Honda covers the HR-V. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the HR-V ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability Comparison

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Soul has a standard 760-amp battery. The HR-V’s 410-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Soul’s reliability 26 points higher than the HR-V.

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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

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

Engine Comparison

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The Soul’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 6 more horsepower (147 vs. 141) and 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (132 vs. 127) than the HR-V’s 1.8 SOHC 4-cylinder. The Soul GT-Line Turbo’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder produces 60 more horsepower (201 vs. 141) and 68 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 127) than the HR-V’s 1.8 SOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Soul is faster than the Honda HR-V (automatics tested):

Soul 4 cyl.

Soul GT-Line Turbo

HR-V

Zero to 60 MPH

6.9 sec

6.5 sec

9.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

15 sec

17.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.3 MPH

93.7 MPH

82.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Soul EX CVT with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the HR-V FWD CVT (29 city/35 hwy vs. 28 city/34 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 HR-V doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Soul has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the HR-V (14.3 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the Soul GT-Line Turbo’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the HR-V:

Soul GT-Line Turbo

HR-V

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.5 inches

Rear Rotors

11.2 inches

11.1 inches

The Soul stops much shorter than the HR-V:

Soul

HR-V

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

130 feet

139 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the Soul X-Line/GT-Line’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the HR-V (235/45R18 vs. 215/55R17).

The Soul X-Line/GT-Line’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the HR-V’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Soul X-Line/GT-Line has standard 18-inch wheels. The HR-V’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The Soul has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The HR-V’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Soul is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the HR-V.

The Soul X-Line handles at .91 G’s, while the HR-V EX-L AWD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Soul GT-Line Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the HR-V EX-L AWD (26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Soul’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the HR-V’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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The Soul is 5.2 inches shorter than the HR-V, making the Soul easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The Soul has 2.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the HR-V (102.2 vs. 100.1).

The Soul has .4 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 5.4 inches more rear hip room and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the HR-V.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The Soul has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the HR-V with its rear seat folded (62.1 vs. 58.8 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

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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 HR-V doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Soul and the HR-V have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Soul is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The HR-V prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 HR-V LX/Sport’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 S/EX/GT-Line’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The HR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Soul’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the HR-V’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”

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 HR-V has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the EX/EX-L/Touring.

On extremely cold winter days, the Soul GT-Line Turbo’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The HR-V doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Soul EX/GT-Line Turbo has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The HR-V doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Soul EX/GT-Line Turbo’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The HR-V doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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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 HR-V 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 HR-V because typical repairs cost much less on the Soul than the HR-V, including $258 less for a starter, $175 less for a fuel pump and $41 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Soul will be $1349 to $2760 less than for the Honda HR-V.

Recommendations Comparison

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Consumer Reports® recommends the Kia Soul, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Honda HR-V isn't recommended.

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