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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, no all-wheel drive option, not particularly agile on the road.

Consensus: The 2019 Kia Soul has a boxy upright design that makes it stand out plus it offers a ton of interior space. It’s a competent daily driver with a great warranty.
 

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2019 Mini Countryman

Starting Price: $21,990 | Price Yours

Above Average: Mini-styling with more space, a retro-themed interior and available all-wheel drive.

Below Average: It’s not as comfortable as other compact-crossover SUVs and the Countryman is pricey. If you’re looking for an offroader, the Countryman isn’t your best bet.

Consensus: The 2019 Mini Countryman is pure Mini in its maximum size. 
 

The 2019 Kia Soul is a welcome entry into the subcompact crossover scene with its upright boxy styling. It comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but lacks the all-wheel drive offered by the Mini Countryman. 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 continuously variable 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 Mini Countryman has similarly characteristic styling to the Kia Soul and really stands out on the road.  For 2019 the Countryman gets a new paint color (Chill Red) and a bunch of simplified packages. You can also use your smartphone to lock and unlock your car and notify the service department when your car needs to go in for service. The 2019 Countryman is surprisingly agile on the road, in spite of its size. The steering is quick and responsive but we’d go for the larger 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine in the S model over the base 1.5-liter for that added kick in the pants. The second row is surprisingly roomy and comfortable and the split 40/20/40 seat can slide forward and back, recline, tilt and fold. Plus, in true Mini form, you can make your Mini Countryman stand out with unique color combinations and racing stripes.

Similarities

Both the Kia Soul and the Mini Countryman have very distinctive exterior designs, and ample interior space

Kia Soul Advantages

The Kia Soul gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard on all trims and comes with a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty.

Mini Countryman Advantages

Optional AWD and unique styling options that are utterly customizable, plus a comfortable and roomy back seat.

Final Recommendation

If you’re looking for something that doesn’t look like every other SUV on the road, either one of these vehicles would be a good bet. The Countryman is a bit more premium, even at its base, than the Kia Soul, but our money would go to a Soul. You can get just as much fun out of the boxy ute and pay nearly $5,000 less. Plus, the Soul is really affordable to own and operate over time.

Ready to buy a Kia Soul or Mini Countryman? Start your search on KBB!

BONUS CONTENT: The 2020 Kia Soul is completely redesigned, so read our review

  2019 Kia  Soul 2019 Mini Countryman
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 1.6-liter I4 1.5-liter turbo I3
Horsepower 130 @ 6300 RPM 134 @ 4400 RPM
Torque 118 @ 4850 RPM 162 @ 1250 RPM
Transmission Manual, 6-spd Manual, 6-Spd
Fuel Economy 27 mpg (24 city/30 hwy) 28 mpg (24 city/33 hwy)
Also Available 2.0-liter I4, 1.6-liter turbo I4, EV, CVT 2.0-liter turbo I4, 8-spd automatic
Specs    
Warranty 5 year/60,000 miles 4 year/ 50,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 stars n/a
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 101.2 inches 105.1 inches
Overall Length 163.0 inches 169.8 inches
Width 70.9 inches 78.9 inches
Height 63.5 inches 61.3 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet n/a
Headroom, Front 39.6 inches 39.9 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.5 inches 37.5 inches
Legroom, Front 40.9 inches 40.4 inches
Legroom, Rear 39.1 inches 37.6 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 55.5 inches 54.8 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 54.7 inches 54.0 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 101.0 cu. ft. n/a
EPA Cargo Volume 61.3 cu. ft. 17.6 cu. ft.
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