There's plenty of choice in the supermini sector, but if you need more space, and don’t want to move up
to an ordinary compact hatchback, you have a range of alternatives to pick from.
One distinctive option is the Kia Soul. While the first generation was a funky looking SUV-style supermini, the new model is now bigger and aiming to move into the fashionable crossover upmarket.
For its first test, we’ve lined up two other models that also break from hatchback convention. The Peugeot 2008 is already a road test winner thanks to its tough SUV styling cues, low running costs and decent practicality.
Meanwhile, the quirky Renault Captur delivers the same high-riding stance and decent running costs as its rivals, but also comes with a host of personalisation options.
Which alternative supermini has the right mix of talents to take victory?
Click the links above to read each review, then read on for our verdict.
The Kia Soul is the tallest and widest car here, and it also has the longest wheelbase, but the extra space is given to the passenger compartment, not the boot.
It has the smallest capacity here, at 354 litres, while the tailgate opening is narrower and has a higher lip than the Peugeot’s.
These cars get hard load covers that fold up to boost access; the Renault has a more practical hinged cover that rises with the tailgate.
Connect Plus versions of the Soul come with an eight-inch touchscreen (below) that’s easy to use and has sat-nav with clear graphics. In contrast, the Renault and Peugeot feature systems that take time to familiarise yourself with, and even then aren’t as easy to operate when on the move.
The Soul is heavily penalised by the lack of stop-start. Emissions of 132g/km are 37g/km behind the Renault’s, and mean road tax is £130 a year; the Captur is exempt. The Peugeot emits 103g/km, so its road tax costs £20 a year.
The Peugeot 2008 is a great car that should be at the top of any supermini crossover buyer’s shopping list. It’s comfortable and the SUV-style body delivers practicality, while the diesel’s balance of efficiency and pace is hard for either rival here to match.
If you want a supermini with a bit more space, the Renault Captur is a fine choice. Personalisation options help it to stand out, and it has low running costs on its side, but the performance sacrifice you have to make is just too much to live with.
The second-generation Kia Soul is a disappointment. It doesn’t have the funky touches needed to stand out in this class. The looks are awkward and the lack of stop-start is a serious omission that hits running costs and will deter younger buyers.
|Peugeot 2008||Renault Captur||Kia Soul|
|On-the-road price/total as tested||£18,045/£19,445||£17,895/£18,840||£17,500/£17,500|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000)||£8,517/47.2%||£8,924/49.9%||£8,295/47.4%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£592/£1,183||£535/£1,070||£762/£1,524|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£1,579/£2,631||£1,599/£2,665||£1,822/£3,037|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||20/£234/B/£20||12/£312/A/£0||10/£346/E/£130|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£16.99p/m (3yr/30k)||Free (4yrs/48k)||£339 (3yrs/30k)|
|Engine||4cyl in-line/1,560cc||4cyl in-line/1,461cc||4cyl in-line/1,582cc|
|Peak power||113/3,600 bhp/rpm||89/4,000 bhp/rpm||126/4,000 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque||270/1,750 Nm/rpm||220/1,750 Nm/rpm||260/1,900 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||6-spd man/fwd||5-spd man/fwd||6-spd man/fwd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||50 litres/space saver||45 litres/£95||54 litres/space saver|
|Boot capacity (seats up/down)||360/1,172 litres||377/1,235 litres||354/994 litres|
|Turning circle||10.4 metres||10.4 metres||10.0 metres|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (60k)/1yr||4yrs (100k)/4yrs||7yrs (unltd)/1yr|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||20k miles (1yr)/300||18k miles (1yr)/248||20k miles (1yr)/170|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||14th/26th*||15th/9th*||7th/10th*|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./points||88/77/72/5||88/79/61/5||N/A|
|0-60/30-70mph||9.8/10.1 secs||11.8/12.0 secs||10.2/10.7 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||3.8/5.2 secs||5.1/7.9 secs||4.4/6.8 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th||7.4/10.2 secs||12.1 secs/N/A||8.8/11.5 secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||117mph/1,900rpm||106mph/2,100rpm||112mph/2,100rpm|
|Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph||70/47/63/71dB||68/53/63/71dB||71/47/60/68dB|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||48.9/10.8/538 miles||46.5/10.2/460 miles||40.8/9.0/485 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||161/105g/km/17%||163/95g/km/15%||186/132g/km/22%|
|Auto gearbox/stability/cruise control||£400/yes/yes||£1,000/yes/yes||£500/yes/yes|
|Climate control/leather/heated seats||Yes/£750/£150||Yes/no/£250||Yes/no/no|
|Met paint/panoramic roof/keyless go||£495/£400/no||£495/no/yes||£490/no/no|