2017 Kia Soul vs Hyundai Veloster

2017 Kia Soul vs Nissan Juke

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With so much plagiarism and rehashing of old ideas these days in the auto industry, it’s hardly a surprise that one or two manufacturers want to try and deliver something a little different. The 2017 Kia Soul and the Hyundai Veloster might be from different segments of the market, but neither of them are exactly what you’d call conventional. So, let’s see how they compare to each other when we put them head-to-head against each other.

2017 Kia Soul vs Hyundai Veloster

Exterior Design

You’re probably surprised to hear that, in this comparison, the Kia Soul is actually the more conventional–but it is. To be fair, apart from the overtly boxy shape, the look of the Kia has been toned down since its launch. It’s still instantly recognizable, and can be a little off-beat for some tastes, but the design has proved to be a huge hit with buyers.

The Veloster looks as though it’s a combination of a number of different body styles, but that’s not a bad thing. You’ll see a definite coupe vibe, with a big hatchback influence too. The real ace up the sleeve for the Hyundai, though, is the door format, which features one on the driver’s side and two on the passenger side. The Veloster is a good-looking car, but its hybrid approach to style may put off some buyers.

Interior Space

The Kia Soul is a subcompact, so it’s small. However, you’ll still get lots of space inside because Kia is schooling automakers on how to make the most of what you have to work with in the Soul. There’s 18.8 cu.-ft. of cargo volume when the back seats are up and the cargo tray in place or a maximum of 61.3 cu.-ft. with the rear seats folded down. The 39.1 inches of leg room in the rear seats is generous to say the least, so there’s even enough room for taller passengers.

Being a mashup of a compact, sporty coupe and hatchback means there’s limited space inside the Hyundai Veloster. It’s a four-seat model, not a five like the Kia, and there’s a miserly 31.7 inches of legroom in the back seat. Compared to the Soul, the Veloster is also well below-par for cargo capacity. In this comparison, the win goes to the Kia Soul.


Higher trim levels of the Soul now feature a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission combination. The Soul can also be specified with 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter non-turbo four-cylinder engines, but the 201 horsepower 1.6-liter turbo is the most powerful and best option.

The Veloster’s standard engine is a 138 horsepower 1.6-liter inline-four, but Veloster Turbo models add a twin-scroll turbocharger that boost the engine to a much more impressive 201 horsepower. That puts it neck-and-neck with the Kia. But the Soul’s multiple options on a standard model give buyers more options, which is never a bad thing.

Fuel Economy

Soul models equipped with the base engine are rated by the EPA at 25 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg combined with a six-speed automatic transmission. That’s the best you can get with the Kia, but that’s about par with other models in the class.

EPA ratings of 27 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg combined can be achieved with manual transmission on the Veloster. When you choose the dual-clutch automatic, you’ll see those numbers rise to as much as 28/35/31 mpg. That gives the final round to the Hyundai.

Learn More about the Kia Soul

2017 Kia Soul vs Nissan Juke

The Soul and the Veloster are very different vehicles competing for space in the subcompact vehicle segment. The Veloster is a sporty, coupe-like car that’s not as practical as the Soul, with a higher price tag. You get a lot more vehicle with the Kia, for less money, so in this head-to-head comparison, the 2017 Kia Soul wins the day.