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2017 Kia Soul vs Honda Fit

2017 Kia Soul vs Honda Fit

If you're looking for a new vehicle but it has to have a small footprint, there are plenty to choose from these days and they come in all shapes and formats. While subcompact crossovers are becoming increasingly popular, you can get similar levels of practicality and versatility from some hatchbacks. So, here we're going to compare the excellent 2017 Kia Soul and the Honda Fit so you can see how they measure up against each other in the subcompact market.

2017 Kia Soul vs Honda Fit

Styling

The 2017 Kia Soul doesn't really look like any other vehicle on the market right now. Although it's a crossover, it doesn't have easily identifiable SUV styling and it might strike you instead as more of a tall wagon. It might not be to everyone's liking, but there are far more people who appear to like its boxy, rectangular shape than those who don't.

The Honda Fit was redesigned in 2015, and the style now looks less like a shrunken minivan--a good move for the Fit. The Fit also looks a bit like a tall wagon rather than your typical SUV or hatchback, although in a very different way than the Kia. The Fit hasn't adapted to buyer needs the way the Kia has, though--so we'll give this one ot the Kia.

Interior Space

The 2017 Kia Soul would be top of the heap on a list of vehicles that make the most of the space they have. With the rear seats folded down, you'll get an impressive cargo space of more than 60 cu.-ft.,with 24 cu.-ft. of room for stuff with the back seats up. Plenty of leg and head room can be found throughout, with a particularly generous 39 inches of legroom for rear seat passengers.

The cabin of the Honda Fit has always been pretty remarkable as far as space is concerned, and this model is no exception. It really does feel like a much bigger car than it is when you're inside, although the dash area is a bit fussy and complex and not the most modern in its class by any means. It's another win here for the Kia then, but only by a narrow margin.

Performance

The 2017 Kia Soul lineup offers three engine options, and the new 1.6-liter turbo really does take the Soul to another level this year. It's the 201 horsepower unit brought over from the Elantra Sport, and coupled with the smooth shifting seven-speed dual-clutch transmission it delivers on the promise of fun made by the Kia's exterior styling.

In terms of pure performance, the current Fit isn't as zippy as its predecessor, but instead it's now more refined. The only engine is a 1.5-liter inline-four that cranks out a modest 130 horsepower, although the standard six-speed manual transmission does allow the driver to get the most out of it. The Kia wins the performance trophy.

Safety

Subcompacts are not traditionally renowned for their safety credentials, but the Kia Soul is well above the average in this area. In fact, it gets the NHTSA's top five start rating for overall safety and the IIHS gave it top ratings of "Good" in all tests.

Honda is a brand that doesn't accept when it gets something wrong, so lower than expected initial crash test scores in 2015 brought about a quick fix that carries through to the 2017 model. With five stars from the NHTSA and the IIHS naming it a Top Safety Pick, it's rated a little better than the Kia Soul for safety.

Learn More about the Kia Soul

2017 Kia Soul vs Honda Fit

The current Honda Fit has relinquished some of its fun-to-drive characteristics to become more refined, but it still delivers big on interior space and flexibility. But while the Fit is compromising personality for refinement, the 2017 Kia Soul is simply improving on what was already a pretty special vehicle in the first place. Adding that excellent new engine does quite a bit to accomplish this, as does the unique styling. In just about every way, the Kia Soul is the better option.