Kia Soul Vs. Toyota Corolla: Which Is Better?

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Andrea Barrett
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The 2022 Kia Soul rises above the Toyota Corolla in terms of price, performance, comfort, and overall value.
Sedans and hatchbacks have never been the most riveting cars on the road—they can feel stuffy, look boring, and have a reputation for being the safe and reliable choice. With more modern styling, hatchbacks and sedans like the Toyota Corolla and the Kia Soul make bold statements—and they’re also really affordable. 
While the Soul and Corolla may have exterior differences, the Korean and Japanese cars also have a lot of similarities in terms of performance, reliability, and value. So, which one should you choose?
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easy, has created a side-by-side comparison guide to the Kia Soul and Toyota Corolla to help make your decision easier.
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Kia Soul insurance costs


The Soul and Corolla both fall under different vehicle classifications—the Corolla is marketed as Toyota’s economy sedan while the Soul is Kia’s subcompact crossover—but price-wise, they’re both similar and incredibly affordable. Take a look at the table below for the pricing information on all 2022 Soul and Corolla sedans.
2022 Toyota Corolla L
2022 Kia Soul LX IVT
2022 Toyota Corolla LE
2022 Kia Soul S IVT
With a very similar price structure, the difference will likely come down to something other than starting MSRP. And while the prices of both vehicles are comparable, you may want to consider the actual cost of ownership before making a purchase—and that’s where the Civic starts to take the lead.
Ownership costs are a good place to begin if you want a rough idea of how much your vehicle will cost you in the long run. Let’s look at the projected five-year ownership costs for two similar sports models of each car: the Toyota Corolla SE and the Kia Soul X-Line. 
According to Edmunds, ownership costs for the Corolla SE average $29,677 over five years. That includes $3,687 for maintenance and an estimated annual cost of $4,649 for
Toyota Corolla SE insurance
. On the other hand, ownership costs for the Soul X-Line average $33,791 over five years, which includes $4,215 for maintenance and an estimated annual cost of $4,327 for
Kia Soul
X-Line insurance.
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The Kia Soul beats the Corolla in the performance category thanks to a peppier engine, sporty handling, and driving verve. 
The 2022 Kia Soul’s 147-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine boasts a decent amount of power to help the Soul X-Line reach 60 mph in 8.0 seconds. Aside from the two sportier models, the 2022 Toyota Corolla packs a similarly powerful 139-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine
If neither vehicle’s power piques your interest, both Kia and Toyota offer zestier engines, with a 201-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder and a 169-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder, respectively. While the base engines are comparable in power and peppiness, the Soul’s turbo engine offers a snappier drive than Corolla’s more powerful engine. 
The Soul and Corolla come standard with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), but the Soul has dropped the manual transmission in favor of a complete CVT line. But if you’re a die-hard manual fan, you’re in luck—it’s still offered on specific models of the Corolla.
How does this all look in terms of driving performance? Both cars offer similarly lively driving dynamics with the base-level engines, but acceleration seems underwhelming for the Corolla, which means hitting highway speeds can require a bit of a heavy foot. The zestier 2.0-liter engine on the Soul can deliver quicker acceleration.
While the Corolla may not deliver the driving verve of other compact sedans, the Soul fills the gaps to offer a fun, smooth, and sporty driving experience
Key Takeaway The 2022 Kia Soul promises a sportier performance than the 2022 Toyota Corolla.

Fuel efficiency

Here’s where things take a little turn. While the Kia Soul was initially offered in both gas-powered and fully electric models, the Kia Soul EV has been removed from the U.S. market, leaving the fuel-efficient models to the Corolla. 
So, if you’re looking for fuel efficiency, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE takes the cake with a wallet-pleasing 52 mpg combined. While it may not be as good on gas as an EV (even though an EV doesn’t require gas), it still ranks well above the Corolla Sedan or Soul in terms of fuel efficiency.  
Hybrid models aside, the Corolla sedan still wins on efficiency. Check out the table below for a fuel economy comparison between the Soul and Corolla and see how EPA ratings for each model and powertrain configuration measure up.
Fuel economy (city/hwy/combined)
2022 Toyota Corolla
1.8L four-cylinder (base)
30/38/33 mpg
2022 Toyota Corolla
2.0L four-cylinder
31/40/34 mpg
2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
1.8L four-cylinder
53/52/52/ mpg
2022 Kia Soul
2.0L four-cylinder (base)
29/35/31 mpg
2022 Kia Soul
1.6L turbo four-cylinder
27/32/29 mpg
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Overall, the Soul doesn’t keep up with the Corolla as far as fuel efficiency is concerned, even with a non-hybrid engine. You should also be mindful that fuel efficiency changes if you choose a hatchback body style of manual transmission for the Corolla


From infotainment to the latest driver-assistance features, the Soul and Corolla are on a pretty even playing field—neither is anything spectacular. However, they both get the job done in decently good style.
The touchscreen infotainment units in the Corolla and Soul differ by just one inch—the Corolla starts with a 7.0-inch unit while the Soul starts with an 8.0-inch unit on the base model. However, all upgraded models above the base receive a larger 10.3-inch display screen. Here is a taste of the features both vehicles include:
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability
  • Ambient lighting
  • Wireless smartphone charging
  • Push-button ignition
Both cars are also equipped with a host of driver safety features, such as lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision mitigation. However, whereas these features come standard in all models of the Corolla, they are optional in the base Soul LX and only standard on higher trim levels.
The tech stays relatively similar throughout the different trim levels, with minimal upgrades available for the Corolla. Higher trim levels of the Soul, however, are equipped with fancier features—the Harman/Kardon setup is included in the top-spec Turbo model, for example.
Although Toyota’s Safety Sense™ driver assistance technology might have the upper hand on Kia’s Drive Wise system, the tech features—both standard and available—in the Soul are hard to beat. 


Toyota ranks as one of the top automotive manufacturers with respect to reliability, but how does Kia compare? Although they haven’t always had a stellar reputation for reliability, things have recently looked up. Surprisingly, the Kia Soul and Toyota Corolla receive similar reliability ratings from automotive experts like J.D. Power, RepairPal, and Consumer Reports. 
Although you’re not comparing apples to apples, both cars get good reliability ratings, suggesting you’d be safe with either. The 2022 Toyota Corolla has an 85/100 predicted reliability score from J.D. Power, while the 2022 Soul earned an 87/100. 
RepairPal gave the Corolla a stellar 4.5/5.0 rating for reliability and the Soul a 4.0/5.0, but they rank the Corolla as #1 among out of 36 compact cars, while the Soul claims 3rd out of 7 for subcompact SUVs.
MORE: What you should know about the 2005 Kia Sorento battery draining problem


The interior of the Kia Soul and Toyota Corolla is where you can compare apples to apples. Both vehicles are designed with ease and functionality in mind. They boast a well-planned layout that makes driving easy and uncomplicated. The controls are logically placed, the buttons make sense, and the navigation systems are easy and intuitive.
But in terms of cargo space, the Kia Soul takes the win in terms of passenger and cargo space. Although the Corolla offers plenty of room for passengers in both the front and the back, the tall roof and wide door openings of the Soul make getting in and out of the vehicle easy. And with a deceptively large cabin, there’s no shortage of headroom and legroom in front and back. 
The table below summarizes cargo volume, legroom, and headroom measurements for the 2022 Soul and Corolla.
Toyota Corolla Sedan
Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Kia Soul
Cargo volume
13.1 cubic feet
17.8 cubic feet
24.2 cubic feet
Headroom (front seats)
38.3 inches
38.4 inches
39.4 inches
Legroom (front seats)
42 inches
42 inches
41.1 inches
Headroom (rear seats) 37.1 inches
37.6 inches
39.5 inches
Legroom (rear seats)
34.8 inches
29.9 inches
38.8 inches
If you’re in the market for a practical and comfortable subcompact crossover, the Kia Soul offers excellent cargo and passenger space for daily driving or long car rides. Compared to both body types of the Corolla, the Soul offers more space in the front and rear and substantially more cargo space thanks to its boxy body style.

The final word

The 2022 Toyota Corolla has a lot to offer—it’s reliable, fuel-efficient, cost-effective, and performs well. But when it comes to maximizing performance, comfort, and spaciousness, you can’t beat the 2022 Kia Soul
If cost is one of the most significant deciding factors for your
new car purchase
, the base-level Kia Soul LX IVT might be the best pick, with a starting price of just $20,585. However, if you’re looking for superb driving dynamics, the best technology, and outstanding performance, consider upgrading to the Kia Soul X-Line or GT-Line, both of which start at $23,985. 
MORE: Car loans for Honda 2022

How to find cheap car insurance for a Kia Soul

Kia Soul insurance costs
might be a bit pricier than a
Toyota Corolla insurance costs
—you can likely thank Toyota’s exceptional reliability and safety scores for that—you don’t have to settle for a passing rate just because it’s the first quote you found. So, how do you find an affordable quote for the coverage you need?
Let us introduce you to
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No—the 2022 Toyota Corolla has a 106.3-inch wheelbase, which is 3.9 inches longer than the Kia Soul.
Both the Corolla and the Soul have great fuel economy, but if you’re looking to save at the pump, you can’t beat the Corolla’s EPA-estimated 33 mpg combined for the 1.8-liter engine and 34 mpg combined for the 2.0-liter engine. 
The Corolla Hybrid offers an even better fuel economy with a combined 52 mpg.
Although the exact pricing for the Kia Soul and Toyota Corolla will vary based on insurance costs, trim level, and sale price, the 2022 Kia Soul and Toyota Corolla cost roughly the same. However, a Soul's five-year ownership costs are higher than the base MSRP of either vehicle.
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