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Kia Soul vs Subaru Outback or Crossover

I am looking for an economical car (buy and drive) with a little room in the back and enough room w 3 adults (occas) in back. Not looking for rugged driving vehicle.

The Soul has better MPG, longer warranty. Smaller for parking.

Is there another car in this range that
Might be a better fit?

These are very different cars. The Outback is larger and more luxurious. It also costs $10,000 more than the Kia. I consider the Soul basic transportation and the Outback a step or two above that. If you can spend over $30,000 fo a new car, the Outback will be more enjoyable over the long haul. If you are looking at used cars, an Outback will be several years older and have a lot more miles. That might change things. How much are you willing to spend?

Why is the OP comparing vehicles in different size and price categories?
If she is considering a vehicle in the size and price category of the Kia Soul, the Subaru model that would be most directly comparable would be the Forester, not, the Outback.

Another case of comparing apples to oranges. As far as I am concerned if economical to buy and operate is mentioned anything with all wheel drive would not be on the list.
I disagree with calling the Soul basic transportation. They are reasonably priced, can be optioned quite nicely and have good warranties.

I’d settle for a basic minivan. Kia and Hyundai both make them. Stay away from All Wheel Drive and large engines.

The Forester or Mazda CX-5 are at the top of my list.

The Forester would work well but a compact hatchback such as the Mazda 3 or Scion im would be worth looking at as well. But most small cars and suv’s are a tight fit for 3 adults in the back even for occasional use. Haven’t tried it with my forester but dad’s 2007 CRV is a bit of a squeeze for three in the back.but doable. The Outback would have more room but wouldn’t be as easy to park compared to the others.

The soul is a great vehicle, one of my co workers just upgraded to a new one from her 10+yr old spectra hatchback. A few others have them as well. all are very happy with them. It fits the size part of the equation but it’ sadly doesn’t get any better mileage than a Forester or CX-5

I have two co-workers that have the Soul and are pretty happy with it, one has another car, a Lexus but uses the Soul for commuting (so it is not like he doesn’t know what a good car is).

I think if the Soul gets the work done for OP, then it is the best option because it is much cheaper than anything else listed.