2019 Kia Soul vs 2019 Mazda CX-3

White 2019 Kia Soul exterior front-angled view with a futuristic white background.

The 2019 Kia Soul has been called one of the best compact cars on the market. Its comfortable ride, powerful turbo engine, and long warranty all combine to create a wonderful vehicular experience. Its unconventional styling not only gets attention for its striking look, but also allows this compact hatchback to get passenger and cargo capacities so good that they rival some subcompact SUVs.

That’s why we decided to pit the Soul against the Mazda CX-3, a fairly reputable subcompact. Both vehicles seat five people, so how do the dimensions, cargo area, and power compare? Cargo space and power are usually perceived to be SUV traits; surely a poor compact like the Soul can’t compete with that! Well, not so fast. Let’s see how the two transporters stack up in this head-to-head comparison.

2019 Kia Soul


2019 Mazda CX-3

From $16,490 MSRP From $20,390
163” L x 71” W x 64” H Dimensions 168” L x 70” W x 61” H
18.8, 49.5 with seat area Cargo Volume (cu.ft.) 9.6 to 12.4, 41.7 to 44.5 with seat area
130 to 201 hp Horsepower 148 hp

Spacious Cargo, High-Quality Interior, and Unbeatable Price

The roominess of the 2019 Kia Soul really blows us away. As can be seen in the table here, despite the Soul being nearly half a foot shorter, it boasts significantly more cargo volume with the seats in place than the CX-3. At the same time, the spacious and comfortable cabin is one of the largest in its class.

The interior is outfitted with high-quality materials that impart a more luxurious feel to the cabin than one would imagine at this price range. The seats come standard in cloth, and available options include leather-trimmed seats, full leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and power-adjustable front seats.

On top of being an excellent vehicle, the 2019 Kia Soul is an incredible value. Its starting MSRP is nearly 20% cheaper than that of the 2019 Mazda CX-3. It’s more flexible in terms of horsepower, with significantly higher capabilities on the upper end. Even the upper-level trim, the powerfully turbocharged Soul Exclaim (!), is only slightly more expensive than the average cost of a compact car, coming in at $22,990.

Rounding out the value, the Soul’s warranty is also one of the best around: it comes with a five-year/60,000 mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. Now that's peace of mind.