Nissan Kicks Vs. Kia Soul

By Justin Cupler | April 8th, 2019

Small crossovers play to the younger, more daring crowd, so they can take a few extra liberties with their styling. Two models that make the most of these liberties are the wildly styled 2019 Nissan Kicks and 2020 Kia Soul. Which of these stylish crossovers is best for our St. Petersburg area shoppers? Continue reading to find out.

Exterior

Funky looks dominate the subcompact crossover segment, and two of the funkiest of the bunch — Marky Mark omitted — are the 2019 Nissan Kicks and the 2020 Kia Soul. The Nissan Kicks debuted just a year ago with what were toned-down looks relative to its predecessor, the Nissan Juke, but it still boasts plenty of playful styling with its stubby nose, forward-leaning rear hatch, floating roof, black body cladding, and Nissan’s signature boomerang-like lighting.

The 2020 Kia Soul is all-new, but it keeps its toaster-on-wheels boxy design. This gives it an equally playful look as the Kicks, but it is more polarizing. For 2020, the Kia Soul grows in size and gains slim headlights that give it a nighttime glare that is anything but playful.

Both crossovers have plenty of exterior options to pick from, including a handful of upscale goodies. The Kicks SR — the range-topping trim — has LED lighting, 17-inch wheels, fog lights, and more. The 2020 Kia Soul also has tons of premium exterior look-good bits in its range-topping GT-Line Turbo trim, including 18-inch wheels, LED lighting, and more.

 

Despite being larger than its predecessor, the 2020 Kia Soul is 3.9 inches shorter in length than the Kicks. The Soul is, however, wider and taller. The Nissan Kicks comes back to dominate in athleticism with it weighing 163 to 364 pounds less than the Soul.

 

Measurement 2019 Nissan Kicks 2020 Kia Soul Difference
Length 169.1 inches 165.2 inches +3.9 inches
Width 69.3 inches 70.9 inches -1.6 inches
Height 62.4 inches 63 inches -0.6 inches
Wheelbase 103.1 inches 102.4 inches +0.7 inches
Ground Clearance 7 inches 6.7 inches +0.3 inches
Curb weight 2,639 to 2,672 pounds 2,802 to 3,036 pounds -163 to -364 pounds

 

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Kicks

  • Funky styling, but still a little traditional
  • Higher ride height
  • Lighter and nimbler

Advantage: 2020 Kia Soul

  • Wider, lower stance
  • Aggressive-looking front end
  • Will age better than the Kicks

Interior

The Nissan Kick’s wild interior does not translate to the cabin, but it still boasts a sporty-looking design with its flat-bottom steering wheel, bolstered seats, circular air vents, and available contrast stitching. Inside, the 2020 Kia Soul doesn’t have as sporty an interior as the Kicks, but it has plenty of uniqueness to stand out, including a small-diameter steering wheel, textured inserts, and plenty of circular and oval accents.

Both crossovers also offer tons of interior features tuned toward younger buyers. The Kick’s standard features include a 7-inch touchscreen, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth audio streaming, a six-speaker audio system, and three USB ports. The 2020 Soul matches the Kick’s standard features and exceeds them with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

In terms of roominess, the 2019 Nissan Kicks has more front headroom and legroom, but its rear seats come up 5.6 inches short in legroom and hip room. The Kicks makes up for its limited rear-seat legroom with an extra 6.6 cubic feet of cargo room with the seats up, but the Soul comes back to beat it by 9 cubes in max cargo room.

 

Measurement 2019 Nissan Kicks 2020 Kia Soul Difference
Front headroom 40.7 inches 39.4 +1.3
Front legroom 43.7 inches 41.1 +2.6
Front shoulder room 53 inches 55.5 -2.5
Front hip room 50.9 inches
Rear headroom 38.5 inches 39.5 1 inch
Rear legroom 33.2 inches 38.8 -5.6 inches
Rear shoulder room 49.1 inches 54.7 -5.6
Rear hip room 53.2 inches
Cargo capacity (behind second row) 25.3 cubic feet 18.7 cubic feet +6.6 cubic feet
Cargo capacity (second row folded) 53.1 cubic feet 62.1 cubic feet -9 cubic feet

 

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Kicks

  • Roomier front seats
  • More cargo room with the seats up
  • Sportier cabin

Advantage: 2020 Kia Soul

  • Significant advantage in rear-seat legroom
  • Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • More max cargo room

Performance

Small crossovers are rarely great performers, but the 2020 Kia Soul is better than most with either of its two engine options. With its base 147-horsepower 2.0-liter engine, it sprints to 60 mph in an estimated 8.5 seconds. With the optional 201-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, experts estimate it’ll hit highway speeds in 6.5 seconds.

The 2019 Nissan Kicks is more traditional in the performance sense with its 122-horsepower 1.6-liter engine sprinting it to 60 mph in an estimated 9.7 seconds. Though it is a lot slower than the Soul, the Kicks rewards this sacrifice with superior fuel economy across the board.

2019 Nissan Kicks 2020 Kia Soul Difference
Engine 1.6-liter 4-cyl 2.0-liter 4-cyl
Horsepower 122 hp at 6,300 rpm 147 hp at 6,200 rpm -25 hp
Torque 114 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm 132 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm -18 lb-ft
Transmission CVT 6-speed manual transmission
Optional transmission CVT
Driveline FWD FWD
0-60 time 9.7 seconds 8.5 seconds (est.) +1.2 seconds
MPG City 31 mpg* 30 to 31 mpg 0 to +1 mpg
MPG Highway 36 mpg* 33 to 35 mpg +1 to +3 mpg
MPG Combined 33 mpg* 30 to 31 mpg +2 to +3 mpg
Optional Engine
1.6-liter turbo 4-cyl
Horsepower
201 hp at 6,000 rpm -79 hp
Torque
195 lb-ft at 1,500 to 4,50 rpm -81 lb-ft
Transmission
7-speed dual-clutch
Driveline
FWD
0-60 time
6.5 second (est.) +3.2 seconds
MPG City
25 to 27 mpg +5 to +6 mpg
MPG Highway
31 to 32 mpg +4 to +5 mpg
MPG Combined
27 to 29 mpg +4 to +6 mpg

 

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Kicks

  • More fuel efficient

Advantage: 2020 Kia Soul

  • Above average to downright quick to 60 mph

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Nissan Kicks has a simple lineup of three trim levels — S, SV, and SR — and their starting prices range from $18,540 to $20,870.

 

There are six trims making up the 2020 Kia Soul lineup: LX, S, GT-Line, X-Line, EX, and GT-Line Turbo. Their starting prices range from  $17,490 to $27,490.

2019 Nissan Kicks Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $18,540**

  • 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine
  • CVT
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Hill-start assist
  • Front disc and rear drum brakes
  • Electric power steering
  • 16-inch steel wheels
  • Multireflector halogen headlights
  • Automatic headlights
  • Power mirrors
  • Roof rails
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Air conditioning
  • Power windows with driver’s one-touch-down
  • Power door locks
  • Keyless ignition
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  • Intermittent rear wiper
  • 12-volt power outlet
  • Four cargo-area tie-down hooks
  • Six-way manual driver’s seat
  • Four-way manual passenger’s seat
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Painted shifter bezel with chrome accents
  • Six-speaker AM/FM audio system
  • Bluetooth streaming audio
  • Three USB ports
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Rearview camera

 

SV: $20,250**

  • All S features, plus
  • 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Body-color door handles
  • Body-color, heated outside mirrors
  • NissanConnect infotainment with 7-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • 7-inch advanced driver-information center
  • Automatic climate control
  • Rear heater ducts
  • Keyless unlock
  • Remote ignition
  • Rear cargo cover
  • Chrome interior door handles and parking brake button
  • SiriusXM
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

 

SR: $20,870**

  • All SV features, plus
  • LED headlights with LED accents
  • Fog lights
  • Dark-chrome grille accent
  • High-gloss-black mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • Body-color bumper inserts
  • Silver exterior door trim
  • Rear roof spoiler
  • 360-degree camera
  • Sport cloth seating with orange accents and stitching
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Black leatherette accents with orange stitching

2020 Kia Soul Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LX: $17,490

  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • 16-inch steel wheels
  • Auto-on/off halogen reflector headlights
  • Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  • Tinted rear glass
  • Power outside mirrors
  • Black grille
  • Body-color bumpers
  • Black side sills and beltline trim
  • Gloss-black A-pillars
  • Matte-black fender garnish
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Matte-silver inside door handles
  • Deluxe upper door trim
  • Door scuff plates
  • Woven and knit cloth seating
  • Six-way manual driver’s seat
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Urethane shifter and steering wheel
  • Air conditioning
  • 7-inch color touchscreen
  • Six-speaker AM/FM/MP3 audio system
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • USB inputs
  • Bluetooth connectivity (no voice recognition)
  • Two 12-volt power outlets
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Power windows with one-touch-down driver’s side
  • Hill-start assist

 

GT-Line: $20,290

  • All LX features, plus
  • CVT
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Fog lights
  • Body-color door handles
  • Gloss-black outside mirrors
  • Hot-stamping front grille
  • Sport front and rear bumpers
  • Unique side sills with red accents
  • Gloss-black fender garnishes
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Premium cloth seating
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob
  • Cruise control
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Driver-attention warning

 

S: $20,290

  • All LX features, plus
  • CVT
  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Body-color mirrors
  • Body-color door handles
  • Center console armrest and storage
  • Premium cloth seating
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Cruise control
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Lane-change assist
  • Driver attention warning
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

 

X-Line: $21,490

  • All LX features, plus
  • CVT
  • Idle stop
  • Unique 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Body-color door handles
  • Fog lights
  • Silver outside mirrors
  • Roof rails
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel
  • Center console armrest and storage
  • Cruise control
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Lane-change assist
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

 

EX: $22,690

  • All S features, plus
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Projector headlights
  • LED positioning lights
  • Fog lights
  • Body-color, heated outside mirrors
  • Hot stamping front grille
  • Rear center armrest with cup holders
  • Illuminated sun visor mirrors
  • Dual-level cargo board
  • Premium cloth upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • 10.25-inch color touchscreen
  • HD Radio
  • SiriusXM
  • Navigation
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition
  • 12-volt power outlet in the cargo area
  • Two USB charge ports in the center console
  • Smart key with keyless ignition

 

GT-Line Turbo: $27,490

  • All GT-Line 2.0L features, plus
  • 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Seven-speed dual-clutch transmission
  • LED headlights
  • LED positioning lights
  • LED taillights
  • Heated mirrors
  • Chrome-tipped center exhaust exit
  • Sunroof with power sunshade
  • Rear center armrest with cup holders
  • Satin-chrome inside door handles
  • LED overhead lighting
  • LED cargo area lighting
  • Dual-level cargo board
  • Cargo cover
  • Sofino leatherette and cloth seats
  • 10-way power driver’s seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • 10.25-inch touchscreen
  • HD Radio
  • SiriusXM
  • Navigation
  • Harman/Kardon premium audio system with center speaker and subwoofer
  • Speaker lights
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Smart key with keyless ignition
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Head-up display
  • Lane-change assist
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic monitoring

Who Should Buy the 2019 Nissan Kicks?

Want to stand out in a crowd without standing out for the wrong reasons? The Nissan Kicks delicately balances its unique look with some traditional styling to hit this sweet spot. Also, if you need to haul the kiddos and cargo, the Kick’s larger standard cargo area can help.

Who Should Buy the 2020 Kia Soul?

Love that boxy look and couldn’t care less what other say about it? The Kia Soul is the only player in this game. Plus, with its potent turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers an estimated sub-seven-second 0-to-60 time, you can leave those haters in your dust.

 

Come get your kicks in the 2019 Nissan Kicks. Whether you need it for your daily commute to St. Petersburg or just for weekend trips to Sarasota, it will get you there in style and efficiently. Come down to Nissan of Bradenton serving the Tampa Bay area and test drive the 2019 Kicks for yourself. You won’t walk away disappointed. Can’t make it in today? Swing by our online inventory page to see what 2019 Kicks models we have in stock and schedule to test drive a few at your convenience.

 

*2019 EPA Fuel Economy Estimates. Actual Mileage may vary with driving conditions – use for comparision only.

 

**Price is Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). MSRP excludes tax, title, license, options and destination charge. Dealer sets actual price.