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9 Cars That Look Like Kia Soul (Some Fierce Competition)

Now in its third generation, the Kia Soul is an affordable subcompact crossover SUV that’s as at home in the city as it is in the suburbs.

It debuted in 2008 with chunky wheel arches, bold creases and slabby sides to attract a younger audience to the Kia brand.

The Soul endures by offering an interior with plenty of room for passengers and cargo. And an entry-level price that’s relatively affordable.

But even in this latest iteration, the interior doesn’t live up the refinement of the exterior. Plus, the unconventional styling isn’t for everyone.

To that end, here’s a handful of cars that look like Kia Soul.

Kia Soul

Engine:2.0-liter four cylinder; 147 HP
Transmission:CVT
Cargo Space:62 cu. ft.

1. Mazda CX-3

Mazda CX-3

Engine: 2.0-liter four cylinder | 146 HP

Transmission: six-speed automatic w/ manual shifting mode

Cargo Space: 10 to 12 cu. ft.

If you’re looking for a crossover with sporty driving dynamics the Kia Soul just doesn’t offer. Look no further than the Mazda CX-3.

It’s the smallest SUV in Mazda’s lineup with daring exterior styling like the Soul, and it’s actually fun to drive.

The CX-3’s seating height is just a bit taller than the Mazda 3 for an engaging car-like experience.

Even though it offers more spirited driving dynamics, it actually has one less horsepower than the Soul.

And if you want all-weather capability, there’s even an all-wheel drive option.

But the CX-3’s engine is less refined which is particularly noticeable at high speeds. Cargo and passenger space is also a bit more cramped.

Regrettably, 2021 was the final year for the CX-3.

2. Honda HR-V

Honda HR-V

Engine: 2.0-liter inline four | 158 HP

Transmission: CVT w/ manual shifting mode

Cargo Space: 23 cu. ft.

As well as the Mazda, this is yet another subcompact SUV I’ve been intrigued by when it comes to replacing my wife’s and my Ford Fiesta.

Since Honda discontinued the Fit hatchback back in 2020, this is now the brand’s smallest vehicle in North America.

Not only is it filled with plenty of creature comforts that anyone familiar with crossovers will enjoy – especially in the mid-trim EX model. But the rear seats fold down flat to offer even more cargo room.

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The only compromise as far as I see – especially as someone that enjoys the art of driving – is that driving dynamics trail both the Mazda CX-3 and Kia Soul.

3. Ford EcoSport

Ford EcoSport

Engine: 1.0-liter three cylinder & 2.0-liter inline four cylinder | 123 to 166 HP

Transmission: six-speed automatic w/ manual shifting mode

Cargo Space: 21 cu. ft.

I love how the Ford EcoSport looks like a taller Fiesta. My wife and I rented one for a weekend before purchasing our Fiesta.

We found the cargo and passenger space to be adequate as we chauffeured her brother and his girlfriend to Ikea.

What I didn’t like about the EcoSport was the lack of acceleration; even only with four-cylinders take off should be better.

I’m five foot eleven and a half inches with long legs and I found the driver’s side cramped, which was one of the reasons we went with the Fiesta.

Not only that, but the Kia Soul, Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V all offer better refinement. For trips to local stores and around town, however, it’s not a bad place to be.

4. Volkswagen Taos

Volkswagen Taos

Engine: 1.5-liter turbocharged inline four cylinder | 158 HP

Transmission: seven-speed dual-clutch automatic & eight-speed automatic

Cargo Space: 25 & 28 cu. ft.

The 2022 Taos is a brand-new model for Volkswagen.

What makes it an interesting value proposition in the world of subcompact SUVs is the amount of space that it offers.

The back seat and cargo area are surprisingly roomy for this segment making it one of the most practical subcompact crossovers.

Even though it’s not as stylish as the Mazda CX-3, it can be equipped with all-wheel drive.

Front-drive versions get the eight-speed automatic transmission while all-wheel drive models get the eight-speed automatic.

Depending on whether you choose the front-wheel or all-wheel drive, you also get a different rear suspension setup.

5. Nissan Kicks

Nissan Kicks

Engine: 1.6-liter inline four cylinder | 122 HP

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Transmission: CVT

Cargo Space: 25 ft. cu.

Like the Volkswagen Taos, the Nissan Kicks also sports a spacious cargo area.

And like the Ford EcoSport, it’s a great city commuter with wanting performance that’s also similar to the performance of the Nissan Rogue at highway speeds.

The Kicks’ suburban focus is further demonstrated by the fact that there is no all-wheel drive version. But this allows it to deliver fuel economy numbers closer to a Sentra than a Pathfinder.

This 2021 version features a styling update that includes a larger grille and redesigned front and rear bumpers among other things.

The interior styling reminds me of the Rogue. Though not exactly stylish, it is nevertheless well-built and user-friendly.

6. Chevrolet Trax

Chevrolet Trax

Engine: 1.4-liter four-cylinder | 155 HP

Transmission: six-speed automatic

Cargo Space: 18.7 cu. ft.

The Chevy Trax sits at the same level as the Ford EcoSport on the subcompact SUV totem pole.

It’s reasonably spacious and comfortable but it’s economic in the way that it doesn’t offer more than it feels like it has to.

Which makes it outclassed by rivals like the Kia Soul.

You do get modern gadgets like touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard.

But unlike the Nissan Kicks, there is an all-wheel drive option. The 1.4-liter four-cylinder is the only engine choice.

Although it offers more horsepower than the Mazda CX-3, handling is nowhere near as responsive.

7. Jeep Renegade

Jeep Renegade

Engine: 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder | 177 HP

Transmission: nine speed automatic w/ manual shifting mode

Cargo Space: 19 cu. ft.

With a higher starting price than the Kia Soul and most subcompact SUVs, the Jeep Renegade offers something that none of the crossovers in this segment can: Trailhawk off-road capability.

The Renegade remains the most affordable entry point into the Jeep lifestyle brand. Even non-Trailhawk models offer a relaxing ride and roomy interiors.

This is the subcompact crossover you choose if you prioritize slinging mud and scrambling over rocks.

But since the Renegade is designed to be a rock crawler more than an urban commuter.

As with most Jeeps the engine isn’t particularly refined or quick. But you get quite a bit of torque low in the rev range.

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And there are front-wheel and all-wheel drive options available.

8. Toyota C-HR

Toyota C-HR

Engine: 2.0-liter inline four cylinder | 144 HP

Transmission: CVT

Cargo Space: 19 cu. ft.

I’ve been as intrigued with this crossover as I have with the Honda HR-V.

Like the Kia Soul it sports an audacious design that can be polarizing.

But what makes the Toyota C-HR less compelling for me is that the driving dynamics are a lot like the Ford EcoSport.

However, since it is a Toyota the C-HR comes with loads of safety aids standard.

It’s also a comfortable ride even though rear seat room is compromised by the attention-grabbing design – cargo room is uninterrupted.

Like the Ford EcoSport, Nissan Kicks and Chevy Trax, this is the crossover you choose for around town if you like what’s in my opinion an even funkier styling than the Kia Soul and don’t plan to carry adult people all that often.

9. Hyundai Kona

Hyundai Kona

Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder & 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder | 195 HP

Transmission: seven-speed dual-clutch automatic

Cargo Space: 19 cu. ft.

Now here’s another small SUV that’s captured my attention ever since it debuted back in 2018.

Unlike the Toyota CH-R’s disappointing driving characteristics, the Hyundai Kona is as fun to drive as it looks.

Like the CH-R, it comes with a long list of standard features.

But as one of the smallest packages in this segment, like the CH-R, the Kona is not the subcompact SUV to choose if you value room for your passengers and cargo.

Although driving dynamics are more impressive than most of the small crossovers on the list. It trails the Mazda CX-3 due to its vague steering feel.

Still, the Kona offers more horsepower than any crossover on this list.

Sources:

Caranddriver.com; Carmagazine.co.uk