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Service: 610-816-0382
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2017 Kia Soul vs Mini Cooper

The Kia Soul isn't your average crossover, which is why it has wider appeal than more traditional-looking crossovers. The Soul is often described as "funky," which isn't a description you could use to describe many other mainstream models, but the Mini is one that definitely could come under that banner. So, let's take a look at how the 2017 Kia Soul and Mini Cooper compare.

2017 Kia Soul vs Mini Cooper

Styling

For most buyers, how these models look is what's probably most important about them. The Kia Soul has never been a conventional design, although it probably isn't as "out there" as it used to be. We are now used to its boxy shape with chunky body panels and dramatic angles. Kia was probably surprised about how well the Soul was initially received, but it's still a design that continues to impress.

The Mini is probably close to being as iconic and individual a design as the Jeep Wrangler and the VW Beetle. That distinctiveness has its plus and minus points. It's great if you like it, but there's not a great deal that can be done to change it as it has to stay true to the formula.

Power and Performance

Kia addressed the fact the Soul wasn't perhaps as much fun to drive as it looked by introducing an excellent 1.6-liter turbo-four engine that produces an impressive 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. There are two other powerplants available, but the 1.6-liter turbo (borrowed from the Elantra) is the pick of the bunch.

The standard engine in the Mini Cooper is a 1.5-liter three-cylinder, which is actually pretty good. However, the Mini can also have a turbo-four. In this case, the 2.0-liter powerplant produces 189 horsepower, but is smaller and lighter so may not respond to that power the same way as the Soul.

Interior Space and Comfort

Having such a boxy shape doesn't just give the Soul its signature look; it also delivers an impressive and practical amount of interior space as well. You'll get as much as 101 cu.-ft. of passenger volume, which rivals some notably larger competitors, 18.8 cu.-ft. of cargo space behind the rear seats, and 49.5 cu.-ft. with them folded. Getting in and out is a breeze, and the Soul has a decent level of comfort and quality considering the very reasonable price.

The BMW platform that the Mini Cooper is built upon is usually used for bigger vehicles, so the Mini is actually the smallest model built on this frame. You can get four inside if you have to, but the Mini is not made to be spacious in the back. The quality of build and materials is good, but a distinct lack of room compared to the Soul gives the Kia a big win here.

Safety

Crossovers rarely rate as high for safety despite their popularity. Although the Kia Soul gets a full five star rating for overall safety from the NHTSA, its Basic rating for front crash prevention and a lack of a standard rearview camera stop it being a Top Safety Pick for the IIHS.

As the Mini is a different type of vehicle, it shouldn't be too much of a shock it rates quite differently to the Kia for safety. The Mini only gets a four-star rating from the feds at the NHTSA, but its optional frontal-crash mitigation technology gets it Top Safety Pick status with the IIHS.

Learn More about the Kia Soul

Although these two may appeal to similar audiences, they're very different from each other in a number of ways. If they cost a similar amount of money, we would probably declare the whole thing a tie and advise you to choose the vehicle that best suits your style. However, the bigger, more spacious, and more practical 2017 Kia Soul is considerably more affordable, which we think makes it a much better buy than the Mini Cooper.