2018 Kia Soul Vs. 2018 Nissan Kicks

2018 kia soul split screen with 2018 nissan kicks

Often, a new model is the best model just because it’s new. Going beyond the fact that manufacturers can observe and analyze the market, craft a vehicle that better accomplishes the goals of its demographics and features items from the “want list” drivers have, new models are alluring and sexy. The Kia Stinger recently proved this when it lit up the market last year, backing up its interesting design and positioning with aggressive performance and luxurious amenities.

Nissan’s newest nameplate in 10 years, the 2018 Nissan Kicks replaces the Juke to compete with models like the Toyota C-HR, Chevrolet Trax and, of course, the Kia Soul. While the Kicks hasn’t been officially released by Nissan yet, they’ve released the model’s spec sheets. Let’s compare these two subcompact crossovers and see which one provides the most balanced, metropolitan performance.

2018 Kia Soul


2018 Nissan Kicks

4 (including EV model) Powertrain options 1
3 (Auto, Manual Dual-clutch) Transmission options 1 (CVT)
130 horsepower / 118 lb-ft. (Base) Base horsepower / torque 125 horsepower / 115 lb-ft.
201 horsepower / 195 lb-ft. (!) Max horsepower / torque 125 horsepower / 115 lb-ft.
61.3 cubic feet Maximum cargo volume w/ 2 passengers 39.3 cubic feet
39.1 inches Second-row legroom 33.2 inches
5 years / 60,000 miles Bumper-to-bumper limited warranty 3 years / 36,000 miles (expected)

Kia Soul Advantages or: Has the Nissan Kicks Lost to the Kia Soul Before It's Out?

The Nissan Kicks is a safer and more appealingly-designed compact crossover than its predecessor, the Juke. Looking at these specs, it becomes apparent that this has come at great cost. Nissan has robbed their compact crossover of any hint of versatility, giving drivers a one-size fits all engine/transmission configuration, and an underpowered and noisy one at that.

In its lowest-spec’d form, the 2018 Kia Soul manages to outperform the Kicks for both horsepower and torque, so passing and acceleration are done more confidently and with more fun in the Soul than the Kicks. Drivers who want to increase this enjoyment can choose the upgraded engine in the Soul +, a 2.0L 4-cylinder or the turbocharged 1.6L engine in the Soul !.

Inside, the Kicks offers a standard, albeit slightly-forgettable, CUV experience. It’s nothing like the Soul which places personality front and center in both its interior and exterior design. This design, by the way, does more than just make the Soul a memorable and exciting crossover, it allows the Soul to fit nearly twice as much cargo behind the front row. If the rear seat is in use, passengers will love the extra legroom they get in the soul – it’s nearly 6 inches worth!

Finally, although Nissan hasn’t shown off any pricing or warranty information, the expected 3-year/36,000-mile limited bumper-to-bumper warranty doesn’t match that of the Soul, which offers nearly double the standard Nissan warranty.

The Kicks is a decent urban crossover, but it can’t compete with the space, comfort and available options of the 2018 Kia Soul. For more information on the Kia Soul or to schedule a test drive, contact us today!