A black 2022 Buick Encore is shown driving on a country road.

Can Buick Win Over Its Competition in the Subcompact SUV Standoff: 2022 Buick Encore vs 2022 Kia Soul

Are you looking for a new vehicle that can give you great gas mileage similar to that of a car yet with plenty of cargo and passenger space with versatility, wrapped in style and filled with comfort and the latest technologies? If this sounds like you, a subcompact SUV is right up your alley, and both Buick and Kia have models that fit the bill. The real question is: can the luxury brand Buick take the win over a comparable Kia model in the 2022 Buick Encore vs 2022 Kia Soul standoff.

Explore What’s Beyond the 2022 Buick Encore’s Beauty

The Encore has been blessing us with its extravagance and affordability in the Buick lineup since its first model in 2013. We have enjoyed the upscale Buick design with a manageable price tag throughout the years, and the 2022 model will not disappoint us either. The new Encore still offers plenty of comfort and convenience in the spacious interior, as well as great performance and even better safety ratings.

As a driver, you can expect 40.82 inches of legroom in the front seat while your back-seat passengers stay comfortable with their 35.75 inches. Everyone can kick back and enjoy the ride with Buick’s QuietTuning technologies – including triple door seals and noise control glass for the windshield – to help keep the noises of the road right where they belong so you can take advantage of the peace and quiet, quality time with your passengers, or the melodies of your favorite music through the six-speaker audio system with your favorite audio apps on your connected smartphone or from those on the standard 7-inch infotainment system.

One of the many luxuries of an SUV is the storage space. The 2022 Encore has the room for whatever you need to travel with. Whether you need the space for groceries, room to haul you or your kids’ sports equipment around, or maybe you just need the extra room for the yearly camping trips. This model offers up to 48.4 cubic feet of cargo space. With the 60/40 split-folding bench seat in the back, you have the versatility to utilize that interior space for any of your cargo needs, no matter their size or shape.

With its small stature, maneuvering in tight spaces is pretty simple but what’s truly important is the fuel economy. With the 2022 Encore’s 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, you can expect to get an estimated 24 MPG in the city and up to 32 MPG on the highway with Encore’s front-wheel drive model. Along with great gas mileage, this engine can also put out up to 155 horsepower, which can help you accelerate in a pinch.

When it comes to safety, the Encore knows just how to keep you and your precious cargo from harm’s way or as safe as possible in the unfortunate event of an accident. The 2022 Buick Encore has received an overall rating of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is the highest rating that can be received in crash test categories. A few features you can expect standard with the Encore include LED Daytime Running Lights, Rainsense Wipers that automatically turn the wipers on when moisture build-up is sensed, a Rear Vision Camera, as well as StabiliTrak to assist in braking and adjusting engine torque when the vehicle begins to lose traction. Available safety features are Front and Rear Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Side Blind Zone Alert, all of which assist you in preventing an accident.

A green 2022 Kia Soul is shown driving on a desert road during a 2022 Buick Encore vs 2022 Kia Soul comparison.

Peering Deep Into the Soul

When Kia released the Soul’s first model year of 2009, it was certainly an eye-catcher. Luckily for us today, it has kept its soulful appearance, but beauty is never only skin deep. There’s more than just meets the eye with the 2022 Kia Soul.

The 2022 Soul delivers comfort for its passengers by giving the front passengers up to 41.1 inches of legroom and the rear passengers up to 38.8 inches. While enjoying the abundance of personal space, everyone can be entertained by the sounds of the available Harman Kardon Premium audio system with reactive Speaker Lights and mood lighting. Enjoy the 10.25-inch touchscreen -offering the availability of navigation and Bluetooth connections for up to two devices simultaneously- while keeping everyone’s devices charged either wirelessly or with the use of the many charging ports.

Along with keeping its passengers comfortable, Kia wanted to utilize the Soul’s interior to its fullest for cargo. Like the Buick Encore, the 2022 Soul also has the 60/40 split-folding seat in the back that allows for that extra storage space as well as a large tailgate opening. Both features allow this Kia model up to 62.1 cubic feet of storage space – that’s enough for any trip.

You get the freedom of choice with the Soul depending on if you prefer better gas mileage or more power. With an available turbocharged 1.6-liter engine that packs 201 hp along with the standard 2.0-liter engine packing 147 hp, you can expect between 32 to 35 MPG on the highway and 27 to 29 MPG in the city for fuel economy. With the Soul’s Turbo trim, you can also expect a sport-tuned suspension and larger brake rotors to assist in braking after the extra power from the turbo engine.

Kia may not have earned the Soul five stars but, with a four-star rating from the NHTSA, you can expect safety features pretty comparable to that of the Encore. Kia’s Drive Wise comes standard on most of the Soul’s available trims, offering driver-assist technology. Some features with Kia Drive Wise that will help you keep you and your passengers out of harm’s way are Forward Collision Avoidance, Assist Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, and Lane Change Assist.

A black 2022 Buick Encore is shown from the side parked on a city street.

Similar But Not Quite the Same

Both the 2022 Buick Encore and the 2022 Kia Soul are small and affordable SUVs that seat up to five people while offering a whole lot of style and personality to go along with performance, comfort, convenience, and safety. The Encore gives you a more elegant appearance at first glance, while the Soul portrays itself as a little more spirited – or soulful if you will – with a tasteful interior comparable with the sophistication of the Encore. But with their similarities, their differences follow.

One of the main advantages the 2022 Kia Soul holds over the 2022 Encore is its price. The Soul’s starting MSRP is $19,190, while the Encore is $24,600. The Soul also offers up to six trims giving consumers the ability to find a model to best suit their needs and wants. Unfortunately, with its better price and style options, the Soul lacks versatility by not offering an all-wheel drive version.

Having the availability for AWD is crucial for SUVs so that they stand out from basic cars. Offering a smooth ride in any weather or surface makes the Encore well worth the extra dollars. You still have plenty of choices with a palette of six color options, so the question you need to ask yourself is: What about an SUV do you want? If you’re interested in the versatility of an SUV along with all of the other benefits that come with it, then when it comes to the 2022 Buick Encore vs 2022 is Soul, the Encore takes the ring without a doubt.