Trucks & SUVs

2020 Hyundai Venue vs. 2020 Kia Soul: Which Boxy SUV Is Better?

Both Hyundai and Kia are South Korean brands. They have a lot of history, a lot of promise, and are known for reliability. But if you’re shopping for an SUV and have narrowed it down to one of mini-SUVs offered by these underrated brand cousins, then this comparison will help you determine which is better for you.

Hyundai’s 2020 Venue

The Hyundai Venue is a decent car when you look at it on its own. It’s equipped with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and gives a solid 121 horsepower. This lets it go from 0 to 60 mpg in 8.6 seconds. The SUV includes a slow driving mode that could help it maintain control in slippery conditions, which could come in handy since it doesn’t have all-wheel drive. 

The cargo space is just alright, with 18.7 cubic feet behind the rear area. It can go up to 39.7 cubic feet when the seats are folded down. The Venue shines with an 8″ touch screen infotainment center with navigation and the ability to connect to your phone. This means you can start your car, lock the doors, control the temperature, and more. 

Another area it shines is when it comes to safety. The Venue has many safety features that come standard, such as forward collision prevention, lane departure assistance, driver attention warning, and more. In the end, it’s the perfect car for getting around the city

The 2020 Kia Soul

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The 2020 Kia Soul is working to be your next vehicle of choice. While it’s a small hatchback SUV, it sure feels luxury with all the redesigned elements. USNews ranks it #2 in subcompact SUVs.

It stands out to reviewers because of its generous passenger and cargo space — it’s more aligned with what you’d expect from a small crossover than a small car. It’s also comfortable and has a long list of available features so you can make it uniquely yours. 

The Soul comes standard with smartphone integration and a 7″ touchscreen infotainment screen. The ability to upgrade to a massive 10.25″ touchscreen and impressive Harman Kardon audio system makes it especially tempting.

You’ll get 24.2 cubic feet of space, which extends to just over 62 cubic feet when you fold down the seats. That’s a lot of cargo space, especially for this category.

The base engine offers 147 hp, giving the Soul a good base engine. As far as safety, while there aren’t as many standard features, there are a ton of upgrade options available, and the Soul is a Top Safety Pick+ for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The boxy SUV that comes out on top

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Because Hyundai owns Kia, it’s not surprising that the platform these two SUVs are built on is the same. Underneath, they’re essentially the same car. However, the way they drive proves this isn’t the case. 

While they compete in price and fuel economy, but that’s just not enough to keep them on the same level. In the end, the Kia Soul is the better buy.

For $18,470, you can get in on the Venue but will need a few hundred more to get in on the Soul, which is listed at $18,610 to start. When it comes to fuel economy, the Venue wins again, with its 32 combined EPA estimated mpg. The Soul only gets 30 combined mpg. 

Here’s the kicker though — according to MotorTrend’s reviewers, the Venue runs out of steam and has much less pep in its step than the Soul, so the Kia Soul gives you much more bang for your buck with those 30 mpg.

You’d think the extra 25 hp and 19 lb-ft of torque the Kia Soul offers up wouldn’t make that much of a difference, but it certainly does. This makes the Soul much easier to drive, and probably a little more fun, too.

One more thing the Kia Soul has going for it over the Hyundai Venue? It’s surprisingly high-end, almost luxury in feel. The Venue has testers wondering if they designed it to meet a price point rather than to fit a quality standard. The Soul is even roomier and more comfortable. 

Drive what matters

If all you need is an entry-level SUV that gets you from point A to point B and want to save a few hundred dollars, then the Venue might be the car for you.

It’s newly-launched for 2020, so it’s got a ways to go to catch up with the Kia Soul. For a bit more money and by sacrificing a few mpg, you can get the far superior SUV when you choose the Kia Soul.