Kia Soul vs. Kia Sportage: Which Is the Better Compact Crossover?

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Kia has a long-held reputation for selling affordable cars in the American market. For those who want as much bang for their buck, Kia is an excellent option. In fact, consumer reports recently declared that the Kia Telluride ranks better than the Ford Explorer. 
With that in mind, we decided compare the brand’s smaller crossovers: the Kia Soul vs Kia Sportage. 
Close-up photo of the right, front headlight tire of a white Kia coupe.
If you are looking to buy a compact crossover from Kia, check out these great models.

The Kia Soul is the thrifty option

If saving money is your biggest priority, then the Soul is undoubtedly the better option. For 2022 year-end models, the Soul starts at $19,190 whereas the Sportage starts at $24,090, as documented by Car Buzz. The savings don’t end at MSRP either. 
On stock models, the Soul offers superior gas mileage. The Soul is rated at offering 28 MPG city / 33 MPG highway, whereas the Sportage only earns 23 MPG city / 30 MPG highway. If performance is more important than cost, then you may want to give the Sportage another look. 

Kia Soul vs Kia Sportage: which has better performance?

When comparing stock models, Sportage offers better performance. The Sportage carries a 2.4 L Inline-4 engine, versus the Soul's 2.0 L Inline-4 engine. The different engines impact performance metrics. 
The Sportage can deliver 181 hp and a torque rating of 175 lb-ft, whereas the Soul is measured at 147 hp and has a torque rating of 132 lb-ft. Of course, comparisons go beyond the stock models. 
The Sportage offers all-wheel drive on premium versions. No such option exists for the Soul. If you plan on going on dirt roads or doing a lot of driving in the snow, the Sportage would be the best option. 
Additionally, the Sportage has far superior towing capabilities. The stock model has a maximum towing capacity of 1,653 lbs, whereas the stock Soul doesn't even have a tow rating. If you plan on towing a jet ski or small boat, stick with the Sportage.
When looking at the Kia Soul vs Kia Sportage, they both highlight an impressive amount of interior space compared to their competitors. This is in part due to their box-like shapes. The Sportage will offer just a little more legroom, but this is negligible unless you have an above-average height. 

What experts say about Kia Soul vs Kia Sportage

Financially, when comparing the Kia Soul vs Kia Sportage, neither model seems to push the bank. Which one is better really depends on what you plan on using the vehicle for. Car and Driver gave the Soul an 8.5/10 rating, whereas the Sportage was rated 7.5/10. 
The Sportage lost points for having inferior cargo space and gas mileage when compared to their competitors. However, it seems the Sportage will enter a new generation for the 2023 model year. 
This is likely to stay competitive with the Hyundai Tucson, which also underwent a recent redesign. Specs of the new Sportage haven't been released yet, but are anticipated to be released later this year. 
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