2014 Kia Soul vs. Its Competition

2014 Kia Soul  -  First Drive, August 2013
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

The Nissan Cube remains the Soul’s head-to-head rival, if you look at size and specs, but the two are very different vehicles in execution.

The Cube’s design doesn’t offer much cargo flexibility or overall versatility, although its ride and passenger space are good; it’s also a soft, somewhat less sporty vehicle from the driver’s seat, compared to the Soul, and its odd, jacuzzi-influenced interior can leave you feeling like a fashion victim.

On the other hand, when Scion last redesigned the xB they left it bigger and bloated—and with a less distinctive look—although not really any more useful.

The Fiat 500L is a new entry this year.

Try not to get confused by the name, as it’s not actually related to the 500; the 500L is a larger, roomier, and somewhat boxier tall hatchback (or wagon, depending on how you see it) that carries forward with a lot of the styling cues of the Fiat 500.

The 500L’s interior space is great, although we don’t think highly of the seats, and performance is good but not at all sporty.

The MINI Countryman is considerably more expensive than the Soul, and it has just a bit of ruggedness baked in, but its interior verges on gimmicky and its choppy ride can be hard to live with in Rust Belt cities.

We’d also throw in the Hyundai Veloster, if you like some of the traits of these small vehicles but aren’t wild about the box-on-wheels look.

Although more of a sports coupe in profile, the Veloster is actually a three-door vehicle with a useful, reconfigurable interior—and good handling, maneuverability, and fuel-efficiency.

2014 Kia Soul  -  First Drive, August 20132014 Kia Soul
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2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec2014 Hyundai Veloster
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2014 Nissan Cube2014 Nissan Cube
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2014 MINI Cooper Countryman2014 MINI Countryman
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2014 Scion xB2014 Scion xB
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2014 Fiat 500L2014 FIAT 500L
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Quick Specs
The 2014 Kia Soul doesn’t stray from its iconic profile, but it dons more sophistication inside and underneath—with fewer compromises and all in the name of city-friendly, tall-wagon goodness.
The 2014 Hyundai Veloster is more sporty coupe than sports car; but with available turbo power and a standout three-door design it isn't short on excitement and flair.
The 2014 Nissan Cube is a boxy fashion statement that puts an emphasis on style, but at the expense of some practicality.
The 2014 MINI Countryman puts the brand's fun-to-drive spirit into the body of a versatile compact crossover.
The 2014 Scion xB might not be as trendy -- or sensible -- as it tries to be, but it fits a lot of cabin space into a compact footprint.
Tall wagons aren't a thing here, yet, but the 2014 Fiat 500L gives us one more reason to ask, why not?
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
23 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy24 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy24 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy
Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Premium Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Small Station WagonsCompact CarsSmall Station WagonsCompact CarsSmall Station WagonsSmall Station Wagons
Style Name     
5-Door Wagon Manual Base3-Door Coupe Manual w/Black Int5-Door Wagon Manual SFWD 4-Door5-Door Wagon Manual (GS)5-Door HB Pop
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
HatchbackHatchbackWagonSport UtilityWagonHatchback
Manual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2014 Kia Soul vs. 2014 Hyundai Veloster2014 Kia Soul vs. 2014 Nissan Cube2014 Kia Soul vs. 2014 MINI Countryman2014 Kia Soul vs. 2014 Scion xB2014 Kia Soul vs. 2014 FIAT 500L