Subcompact SUVs like the 2024 Kia Soul and 2024 Chevrolet Trax are designed to be personable, versatile, fuel-efficient, and affordable. In these regards, the Kia and Chevy meet and often exceed expectations. 

The Soul stands out in a crowded segment thanks to its quirky exterior that blends mini-SUV and high-riding hatchback. Power comes from a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Performance is acceptable for day-to-day errands.

Having undergone a total redesign that saw it skip an entire model year, the 2024 Trax looks like a scaled-down version of Chevy’s midsize Blazer SUV. While it looks racy, the Trax has a modest turbocharged 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine that sends 132 hp to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic. Like the Soul, it’s great on gas.

Let’s take a closer look at the highlights of the Kia Soul and Chevrolet Trax.

2024 Kia Soul

Kia offers the Soul in four trims for the 2024 model year: LX, S, GT-Line, and EX. Its upright shape creates lots of headroom in the first and second rows. Rear legroom is adult-friendly at 38.8 inches — the Trax is one of the few subcompact SUVs with the same degree of legroom. The Soul LX has a starting price of $21,565, including destination fees.  

Kia Soul Highlights 

Excellent warranty: The Soul has outstanding coverage that consists of a 5-year/60,000 basic warranty complemented by a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. If you’re looking for a long-term relationship with your next small SUV, this assurance is great to have.  

Optional touchscreen, upgraded audio: A handsome and easy-to-use 10.25-inch touchscreen is standard on the Soul’s upper three trims. It adds a wireless charging pad, navigation, satellite radio, and two additional USB ports (for three in total). There is also an available Harman Kardon audio system with interior LED lighting synched to the music that pulses to the beat. 

Fun-loving GT-Line model: The GT-Line is the one to pick if you want more flair with your Soul, so to speak. While it has no extra horsepower, it comes with a center-exit exhaust, 18-inch alloys, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and trim-specific front and rear bumpers.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Soul models for sale near you. 

2024 Chevrolet Trax

2024 Chevrolet Trax RS in Nitro Yellow

The 2024 Trax arrives shiny and new with five trims: LS, 1RS, LT, 2RS, and Activ. No, that’s not a typo; Chevy deemed the “e” in Active to be one letter too many, apparently. While the turbocharged 3-cylinder makes for slower 0-60 mph times, combined mileage of 30 mpg city/highway is on par with the fuel-sipping Soul. Pricing begins at $21,495.

Chevrolet Trax Highlights

Fuel economy: To be fair, fuel economy is something both the Trax and Soul do very well. A 30 mpg combined average is relatively frugal among subcompact SUVs. And despite having a turbocharger attached to it, the Trax powertrain is happy to run on regular unleaded gasoline. 

Chevy Safety Assist: This bundle of driver aids comes with every Trax. It consists of forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, automatic high-beam headlights, and rear-seat reminder. 

Wireless smartphone connectivity:  Leave the cords at home because the Trax comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This holds true with the standard 8-inch screen or the 11-inch screen fitted to the LT, 2RS, and Activ trim.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Kicks models for sale near you. 


The Soul and Trax have low prices, frugal engines, and come solely in front-wheel-drive format. They also boast some of the best rear legroom and cargo capacity you’ll find in a subcompact SUV. We even think their exterior designs also give them an advantage over more conservative competition.  


Choosing between the Kia Soul and Chevrolet Trax could come down to personal design choices. In terms of specs, these two small SUVs are very similar — for better and for worse. Fuel mileage is a strong suit, but acceleration is similarly underwhelming.

Each has more rear legroom, headroom, and cargo space than you expect in vehicles with such petite proportions. Yet all-wheel drive isn’t an option in either, and this alone could lead many SUV shoppers to look elsewhere.

We suggest taking them for a spin and seeing which trim suits your driving needs and budget.

  2024 Kia Soul  2024 Chevrolet Trax
Starting Price  $21,565 $21,495
Popular Powertrains      
Engine  2.0-liter 4-cylinder 1.2-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder
Horsepower  147 hp @ 6,200 rpm 137 hp @ 5,000 rpm
Torque  132 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm 162 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
Transmission  CVT  6-speed automatic  
Fuel economy MPG 27 city/33 highway/30 combined 28 city/32 highway/30 combined 
Basic Warranty  5 years/60,000 miles  3 years/36,000 miles 
Powertrain Warranty  10 years/100,000 miles  5 years/60,000 miles 
NHTSA Overall Safety  4 star  NA
Max Seating Capacity 
Wheelbase  102.4 inches  106.0 inches 
Overall Length  165.2 inches  178.6 inches 
Width  70.9 inches  71.8 inches 
Height  63.0 inches  61.4 inches 
Turning Diameter  34.8 feet  TBD 
Headroom, Front  39.9 inches 39.6 inches 
Headroom, 2nd Row  39.5 inches  38.1 inches 
Legroom, Front  41.1 inches  41.9 inches 
Legroom, 2nd Row  38.8 inches  38.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Front  55.5 inches  55.7 inches 
Shoulder Room, 2nd Row  54.7 inches 54.3 inches
Cargo Volume  24.2 cubic feet   25.6 cubic feet 

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