2019 Kia Soul

Starting Price: $17,430 | Price Yours

Above Average: Distinctive looking, available turbocharged engine and a bunch of high-end features.

Below Average: Driver assist features are only available on one trim, there’s no AWD option.

Consensus: The 2019 Kia Soul has a boxy upright design that makes it stand out on the road and offer up a ton of interior space. It’s a competent daily driver with a great warranty. 


2019 Toyota CH-R

Starting Price: $21,990| Price Yours

Above Average: Well-tuned suspension, spacious cabin and distinctive styling.

Below Average: No all-wheel drive.

Consensus: The 2019 Toyota CH-R is playing in a crowded field of really great subcompact hatchbacks and while it’s improved for 2019, it still has a few foibles. It does, however, get Toyota’s reputation for reliability and safety. 

The 2019 Kia Soul is a welcome design entry into the subcompact scene with its upright boxy styling. It comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but lacks the all-wheel drive that other options like the Mini Countryman or the Fiat 500X offer. It drives very similarly to the competitive set with the optional turbocharged engine, though it’s not as engaging as the Mazda CX-3. The transmission leaves something to be desired, however, as it tends to hunt and can be slow to shift. While it claims to seat five people comfortably, the Kia Soul is more suited to just four. Tons of cargo space inside makes it easy to haul things in and the Soul has neat design touches like pulsating speaker lights to make it stand out from the rest of the rather milquetoast pack. We recommend going for the Soul Plus trim which starts at $21,430 and offers more power and options than the base level. The 2019 Toyota CH-R has similarly striking (sometimes in a not-so-good way) design features on the exterior, and for this year, it is one of the first Toyota’s to get Apple CarPlay. Sadly, it does not offer Android Auto and you need to option the vehicle out to include the navigation system in order to get Apple CarPlay. In our tests we found the CH-R underpowered and sluggish. The chassis leaves something to be desired. The cabin can get noisy and the rear seats have tiny, high windows that are hard even for adults to see out of. Toyota’s safety features however are very good and include pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, automatic high beams and a full-range of active cruise control. The suite known as Toyota Safety Sense-P comes standard on all CH-Rs.

Similarities: Both the Kia Soul and the Toyota CH-R have very distinctive exterior designs, offer really good fuel economy, and have ample interior space.

Kia Soul Advantages

The Kia Soul gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard on all trims and comes with a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Toyota CH-R Advantages

An ample safety suite comes standard on the CH-R and we believe that resale on the CH-R will be just as strong as other Toyotas.

Final Recommendation

While it’s a very close comparison, we rated the Toyota CH-R slightly higher than the Kia Soul. If you’re looking for a stand-out subcompact SUV, either choice would be a great fit. 

  2019 Kia  Soul 2019 Toyota CH-R
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 1.6 Liter I4 2.0-liter I4
Horsepower 130 @ 6300 RPM 144 @ 6100 RPM
Torque 118 lb-ft @ 4850 RPM 139 lb-ft @ 3900 RPM
Transmission Manual, 6-spd Automatic, CVT
Fuel Economy 27 combined/24 city/30 highway 29 combined/ 27 city /31 highway
Also Available EV, 2.0-liter, 1.6 liter turbo I4  
Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years /36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 stars n/a
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 101.2 inches 103.9 inches
Overall Length 163.0 inches 171.2 inches
Width 70.9 inches 70.7 inches
Height 63.5 inches 61.6 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet 34.2 feet
Headroom, Front 39.6 inches 38.1 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.5 inches 38.3 inches
Legroom, Front 40.9 inches 43.5 inches
Legroom, Rear 39.1 inches 31.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 55.5 inches 49.0 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 54.7 inches 52.5 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 101.0 cu. ft. 83.8 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 61.3 cu. ft. 36.4 cu. ft
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