2015 Kia Soul vs. Its Competition

2015 Kia Soul EV First Drive  -  Portland  -  November 2014
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

The Nissan Cube was the Soul’s closest rival, but it is gone from the market for 2015.

Scion's xB is the now the most similar; when Scion last redesigned the xB they left it bigger and bloated—and with a less distinctive look—although not really any more useful.

It too may be discontinued after the 2014 model year.

The Fiat 500L also plays in this space.

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.

2015 Kia Soul EV First Drive  -  Portland  -  November 20142015 Kia Soul
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2015 Hyundai Veloster2015 Hyundai Veloster
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2015 MINI Cooper Countryman2015 MINI Cooper Countryman
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2015 Scion xB2015 Scion xB
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2015 Fiat 500L2015 FIAT 500L
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2014 Nissan Cube2014 Nissan Cube
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Quick Specs
8.6
The 2015 Kia Soul is a recognizable five-door boxy wagon that fits into urban environments and carries occupants with comfort and style.
7.8
The 2015 Hyundai Veloster is more sporty hatch than true sports car. Its design is sometimes a demerit, but that makes it no less unique.
8.0
The mildly updated 2015 MINI Countryman is a versatile compact crossover, one of the smallest on the market, that maintains MINI's character and fun-to-drive spirit.
7.2
The 2015 Scion xB still excels at the big car in a small package goal, but a lack of updates have kept it only as good as the slightly flawed follow-up to the original.
7.0
Tall wagons aren't a thing here, yet, but the 2015 Fiat 500L gives us one more reason to ask, why not?
7.4
The 2014 Nissan Cube is a boxy fashion statement that puts an emphasis on style, but at the expense of some practicality.
MSRP From     
$15,190$18,000$22,750$17,120$19,345$16,900
Gas Mileage     
23 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy24 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Premium Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Small Station WagonCompact CarsCompact CarsSmall Station WagonSmall Station WagonSmall Station Wagon
Style Name     
5-Door Wagon Manual Base3-Door Coupe ManualFWD 4-Door5-Door Wagon Manual (GS)5-Door HB Pop5-Door Wagon Manual S
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
545555
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
HatchbackHatchbackSport UtilityWagonHatchbackWagon
Transmission     
Manual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2015 Kia Soul vs. 2015 Hyundai Veloster2015 Kia Soul vs. 2015 MINI Cooper Countryman2015 Kia Soul vs. 2015 Scion xB2015 Kia Soul vs. 2015 FIAT 500L2015 Kia Soul vs. 2014 Nissan Cube