2017 Kia Soul vs Nissan Juke
Compact crossover SUVs are increasing in popularity, which makes sense. These vehicles can combine great fun and solid performance, and the 2017 Kia Soul and the Nissan Juke are definitely two of the best and most popular of the current crop. So, let's see how these two measure up against each other in a head-to-head comparison.
2017 Kia Soul vs Nissan Juke
Few vehicles rely more heavily on the way they look to attract buyers than compact crossovers do, and that has led to them offering some of the most unique designs in the entire auto industry. The 2017 Kia Soul's boxy stance won't be everyone's taste, but it has matured nicely since its launch. It's distinctive but still engaging, and many drivers love it.
The Nissan Juke has taken unique styling to the next level. To be fair, the Juke is popular with buyers all over the globe, so its styling must work well for many buyers, but it definitely stands out in the crossover crowd. The latest version has moved away a little from the bug-eyed look of earlier models, and Nissan offers multiple options to customize the design and look to a buyer's taste. While we like that Nissan is pushing the boundary, the more universal look of the Soul gives Kia the win here.
Despite its small exterior proportions, the Kia Soul is wonderfully spacious inside and a superb lesson in making the most of the available area. There's 18.8 cu.-ft. of cargo capacity with the seats up and the cargo tray in place, 24.2 cu.-ft. without it, or 61.3 cu.-ft. if the rear seats are down. There's 39.1 inches of leg room in the back, which is plenty even for very tall passengers.
You're okay if you're in the front of the Nissan Juke, but it's a different story in the back where there's a disappointing 32.1 inches of legroom. The rear seat is also a little higher than is absolutely necessary, which results in a lack of headroom. Even with the back seats folded down there's only 39.5 cu.-ft. of cargo space, so this is an easy win for the Kia.
The one complaint concerning the Soul has now been addressed, and that was a lack of an engine to match the car's fun and funky styling. Top models of the Kia Soul now boast a 1.6-liter turbo-four and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is definitely a winning formula. The Soul can also be found with 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter non-turbo inline-fours, but the 201 horsepower 1.6-liter turbo is the standout engine in the lineup.
The Nissan Juke's base engine is a 188 horsepower 1.6-liter turbo-four, which is quicker than a lot of the competition with a 0 to 60 mph time of around seven seconds. However, Juke Nismo models deliver up to 215 horsepower and come with almost 100 revised components to aid and abet performance. With those options, the win here goes to the Nissan.
Few people are likely to expect stellar safety ratings from a subcompact vehicle, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be as safe as possible. The Soul gets a full five star rating for overall safety from the NHTSA, while the IIHS gave the Kia its top "Good" scores in all crash tests.
The Juke has a relatively old structure underpinning it, and its crash-test scores certainly reflect the fact. The 2016 model did get "Good" scores from the IIHS in most tests, although it was rated "Poor" in the small-overlap front crash test. It only gets four starts from the NHTSA though, and even got a worrying and also pretty rare three-star score in frontal crash protection tests. This is another comfortable triumph for the Kia.
Learn More about the Kia Soul
The 2017 Kia Soul is a subcompact crossover that's widely acclaimed, and it's not difficult to understand why. While the Nissan Juke is beginning to show its age and some of the novelty factor is wearing thin, the Soul is just getting better and better. The Nissan might be a more powerful performer, but the overall win goes to the Soul.