When you’re looking for one of the small, boxy crossover SUVs to drive, you’ll quickly arrive at a comparison of the Kia Soul and Jeep Renegade.
You’ll find that both of these vehicles offer you the roominess of an SUV without a price that’s too high or the bigger size of larger vehicles. These two small SUvs give you five doors, a hatchback design, and tons of personality.
This is where the two of them begin to separate; both have unique personalities and bring you a specific feeling that you’re looking for when you take either one out on the road.
Unique Features that Start the Differences
If you see dancing hamsters on your screen, you know they are there to promote the boxy Kia Soul. If you see a vehicle driving away from you with brake lights in an X formation, you know that you’re looking at the rear of a Jeep Renegade.
These signature qualities of these two vehicles make them individuals in the sea of sameness that you often find on the road. While these items make each one stand out, there’s a lot more to explore to figure out which subcompact SUV is right for you.
Will You Go Off-Roading?
This is a category where there’s a strong departure from one of these models to the other. The Jeep Renegade can be equipped to handle off-road trails and fun. You can enjoy the benefits of the AWD system, excellent ground clearance, and the Jeep capabilities you admire.
Unfortunately, you can’t take the Soul out on trails; it doesn’t have an AWD option as part of what it brings to the market. If you know you’re going to head out on the trails and look for adventures that take you from between the lines on the road, you’ll want the Renegade.
Which Vehicle is More Spacious?
Like it or not, spaciousness translates to comfort in any vehicle. The Jeep Renegade brings you room for five people, but it’s a tight squeeze in that second row. You’ll have 18.5 cubic feet of room behind the rear seat in the Renegade, which expands to 50 cubic feet when the seats are folded down.
Moving to the Kia Soul, you’ll have 24.3 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and more comfort in the second row than what you find in the Jeep. The Soul also brings you 62.1 cubic feet of cargo room when the rear seats are folded down, making the Kia the better choice for space and comfort during your drive.
Powering the Drive; Which Will You Prefer?
Each of these two SUVs gives you more than one option for the power you want when you drive. Let’s take a look at what you’ll find.
This small SUV is powered by either a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that can be had with a six-speed manual transmission or a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes use of a nine-speed automatic transmission. The smaller engine makes 160 horsepower, and the larger one reaches 180 ponies for your drive. Of the two, the Renegade is a little quicker, which might make it a bit more fun.
There are three choices for you to have the drive you want in the Soul. This vehicle uses a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, and a 1.6.-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the options for you. All three can give you the power you want, which ranges from 130 to 201 horsepower for your time on the road. The Kia Soul is quieter on the road, which means you’ll hear your music and enjoy the drive a little more when you step into the Soul every day.
Note: We left out the Soul EV with its electric powertrain; there is not an electric version of the Renegade offered yet.
If you’re looking at these two subcompact crossover SUVs, you might be faced with a tight budget and want to get the most for your money.
You’ll have to ask yourself whether or not the ability to head out on the trails is worth an additional $5,000 in the price of the vehicle you drive. That’s the difference between the starting prices for these two models. To have AWD, you’ll have to pay even more for the Jeep Renegade, making the Soul a truly affordable vehicle for you to drive.
Another area where the Kia Soul brings you more affordability is in the fuel mileage. The average fuel mileage for the Soul is 27 mpg combined, while the Jeep Renegade reaches 25 mpg. This may not be much of a difference, but over the time you’ll own the SUV you drive, that could make a huge difference in the amount you spend on the fuel used.
Which Vehicle is Safer to Drive?
Safety is a factor when you drive any vehicle, which means you need to consider the equipment and ratings of these two when you take a drive. The Kia Soul can be equipped with optional features, including a driver alert monitor to detect if you’ve lost focus on your driving. This is not something you’ll find offered for the Jeep Renegade.
Both vehicles have the standard airbags and protection systems to ensure you and your passengers stay safe on the road.
The NHTSA has rated both models at four stars to give you the confidence you need when out on the road.
The Warranty Might Put You Over the Top
If you want peace of mind when you drive, you want a lengthy warranty to give you that feeling. The Kia Soul comes with a five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty that covers you during this time. This warranty extends to a ten-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty which allows you to feel confident in the Soul for many years.
The Jeep Renegade does not offer the same protection period. You’ll have a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and powertrain coverage for five years and 60,000 miles.
This might be the deciding factor to let you know you should be driving the Kia Soul and not the Jeep Renegade.
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