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