2020 Kia Soul

Starting Price: $18,485 | Price Yours

Above Average: Affordable, distinctive, and spacious, the 2020 Kia Soul has it all

Below Average: No all-wheel drive 

Consensus: The 2020 Kia Soul blends fun and style with plenty of usable space


2019 Mazda3 Hatchback

Starting Price: $24,520 | Price Yours

Above Average: The Mazda3 is available with all-wheel drive and its really fun to drive

Below Average: A more upscale look and feel comes at a higher price, plus you still have to upgrade to get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto 

Consensus: The Mazda3 has been updated for 2019 and offer tons of space, updated technology, and all-wheel drive

The 2020 Kia Soul is the third generation of the boxy SUV-esque, stylish vehicle from Kia. It’s got a longer wheelbase and a stiffer chassis than the previous generation, making it more enjoyable to drive. The base 2.0-liter engine puts out 147 horsepower and is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission that will give you enough oomph for the commute, though when you floor the boxy vehicle, it does wail a bit. If you want more power, opt for the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine available on the GT-Line. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard on the Soul, and a large 10.25-inch touchscreen is available on higher trims. There’s a ton of interior space in the Soul including more than 24 cubic feet behind the rear seats. There’s also a dual level floorboard in the cargo area that can be dropped to offer up more space and create a flat floor to make loading easier.

The 2019 Mazda3 is all new for this model year and gets Mazda's advanced infotainment system, active safety, and driver-assist features, and a more polished and upscale style. This is the first year that the Mazda3 is available with all-wheel drive. While the engineers at Mazda updated the rear suspension and opted for a simpler set-up for 2019, we still think that the Mazda3 is of the best hatches to drive. The Mazda3 comes with a base 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that puts out 186 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to a stellar 6-speed automatic transmission (rather than a CVT like others), and that optional all-wheel drive. The interior is surprisingly quiet and feels like a premium vehicle. While the back seats are cramped, the cargo space behind the seats is ample, offering 20 cubic feet of space. Our only major complaints in the Mazda3 are some considerable blind spots, thanks to the curvaceous exterior design.


Both the Kia Soul and the Mazda3 hatchback have distinctive exterior design.

Kia Soul Advantages

The Kia Soul gets more interior space and more legroom and headroom for passengers. It also does not look like any other crossover on the market.

Mazda3 Hatchback Advantages

Optional all-wheel drive and a higher quality interior and design.

Final Recommendation

Both vehicles are really solid in their unique offerings, but in this comparison, we’d go with the Mazda3 Hatchback over the Kia Soul for its fun-to-drive characteristics and its available all-wheel drive. If you don’t need all-wheel drive, the Kia Soul is still a great buy.

Ready to buy one of these vehicles? Check local dealership inventory near you!

  2020 Kia Soul 2019 Mazda3 Hatchback
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.0-liter, 4-cyl 2.5-liter, 4-cyl
Horsepower 147 @ 6,200 rpm 186 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 132 @ 4,500 rpm 186 @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual 6-speed automatic
Fuel Economy 27 mpg/25 city/ 31 hwy 30 mpg/25 city/35 hwy
Also Available electric, 1.6-Liter turbocharged 4-cyl AWD, 6-speed manual
Warranty 5-year/60,000 miles 3-year/36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 stars 5 stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 102.4 inches 107.3 inches
Overall Length 165.2 inches 175.6 inches
Width 70.9 inches 70.7 inches
Height 63.0 inches 56.7 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet 37.3 feet
Headroom, Front 39.4 inches 38.0 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.5 inches 37.2 inches
Legroom, Front 41.1 inches 42.3 inches
Legroom, Rear 3.8 inches 35.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 55.5 inches 55.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 54.7 inches 53.4 inches
EPA Passenger Volume n/a 92.7 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 62.1 cu. ft.  20.1 cu. ft. 
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