Let’s get one thing clear: Kia Motors is owned by the Hyundai Group. Although their product lines follow different formulas, much of what the two brands sell happens to be closely related. For example, the Kia Stinger and the Genesis G70 are based on the same platform but are tuned very differently. The subjects of this comparison, the similar-sized Kia Soul and Hyundai Venue, are also based on the same platform, but you’d never know it based on the way they drive.
Underneath, the Kia Soul and Hyundai Venue are both the same car. You might recall that the Soul was a MotorTrend Car of the Year finalist last year because it was good—very good—and think that’s great news for the Venue, too. But what two automakers do with a shared platform can yield very different results—especially if the use cases are different.