The 2021 Hyundai Kona Turbo Has 1 Thing to Make It Less Boring Than the Kia Soul

Hyundai and Kia are technically different automakers, but they have a lot in common with each other. That is the case with the 2021 Hyundai Kona and the 2021 Kia Soul, but Hyundai may have edged out its Kia cousins. Here’s a look at the one thing that makes the 2021 Hyundai Kona Turbo less boring than the Kia Soul.

Less power, better handling

As MotorTrend wrote, the Hyundai Kona and the Kia Soul are similar in a lot of ways, and in fact, they even share the same standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. However, many people will want a more powerful engine on their SUV, so Hyundai and Kia both have turbocharged options for their cars. In Kia’s case, that comes in the form of a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that gets about 200 hp. 

The Hyundai Kona, on the other hand, has the same engine, but its turbo engine only gets about 175 hp. Horsepower isn’t everything though, and like MotorTrend wrote, since the Kona is a sleeker and smaller SUV than the Soul is, the Kona Turbo actually has superior handling compared with its Kia cousin.

On top of that, while this may not be a big deal for some drivers, the Kona is also styled differently than the Soul is. The Kona looks like a regular SUV all things considered, while the Soul has a more boxy shape. For drivers who want to feel cool, like MotorTrend said, that’s where the Kona comes out on top again. 

Both the Hyundai Kona and Kia Soul are pretty good, though

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While both SUVs have a lot in common, Kia and Hyundai have done a lot to differentiate the two, and the Kona doesn’t come out on top every time. For example, according to U.S. News, the Hyundai Kona isn’t as spacious as the Soul is. In fact, the Soul, which can have a max cargo capacity of about 62.1 cu. ft., has some of the highest cargo capacity in the segment, while the Kona, which tops out at just 45.8 cu. ft. of cargo space, is actually below average in the class.

That being said, U.S. News praised the overall interior quality of the Kona, while at the same time calling the Soul’s interior quality “underwhelming.” To be fair, U.S. News also thought that both cars have an easy-to-use infotainment system, and while the Kona did have a bit more standard safety features, both SUVs didn’t have much to offer in that regard either. 

There are more similarities and differences between the two, but overall, U.S. News enjoyed them both. However, U.S. News said that the Soul was the third-best SUV in the segment, while the Kona was the best SUV in the segment. There might be one thing that the Kona has that’s pushed it over the edge when compared to the Soul.

The 2021 Hyundai Kona can have all-wheel drive

While both cars come with front-wheel drive as standard, like MotorTrend said, unlike the Kia Soul, the Hyundai Kona can have all-wheel drive. This is a pretty big deal for a couple of reasons, and they all boil down to the fact that all-wheel drive may be an essential option for many people.

For example, while most Kona owners are probably not taking their car offroading, many people in the U.S. as well as around the world have to deal with winter weather every year. The Kona isn’t necessarily the best SUV for winter driving, but with all-wheel drive, it can more easily handle the cold than the Soul can. 

And of course, for folks who do want to take their Kona offroading, with all-wheel drive, they can. As such, the Hyundai Kona Turbo is simply a less boring SUV than its Kia cousin is.