2023 Volkswagen Taos vs 2023 Mazda CX-30 vs 2023 Kia Soul: Which is the Best Subcompact SUV? 

Today’s SUV market is becoming more crowded by the minute. New models continue cruising onto the scene as sporty, spacious vehicles grow in demand. Choosing the right one may seem like a daunting task, but making a wise investment starts with getting informed!

That’s why we’ve provided a detailed comparison of three popular subcompact SUVs below – so read on to determine which one is the best fit for your family!

Feature 2023 Volkswagen Taos 2023 Mazda CX-30 2023 Kia Soul
MSRP $24,155 $22,950 $19,790
Transmission Automatic Automatic Automatic
Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive All Wheel Drive Front Wheel Drive
Fuel/Engine Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4 1.5 L/91 Regular Unleaded I-4 2.5 L/152 Regular Unleaded I-4 2.0 L/122
MPG 28 City / 36 Hwy 26 City / 33 Hwy 29 City / 35 Hwy
– Height, Overall (in.) 64.4 61.7 63
– Length, Overall (in.) 175.8 173 165.2
– Wheelbase (in.) 105.9 104.4 102.4
– Width, Max w/o mirrors (in.) 72.5 70.7 70.9
Convenience & Comfort
– Adaptive Cruise Control Optional Standard
– Adjustable Steering Wheel Standard Standard Standard
– Auto-Off Headlights Standard Standard Standard
– Back-Up Camera Standard Standard Standard
– Cruise Control Optional Standard Standard
– Keyless Entry Standard Standard Standard
– Cargo Volume to Seat 1 (cu. ft.) 65.9 45.2
– Cargo Volume to Seat 2 (cu. ft.) 27.9 20.2
– Cargo Volume to Seat 3 (cu. ft.) 27.9 20.2
– Passenger Volume (cu. ft.) 99.5 94.1
Towing: Maximum Trailering Capacity (lbs.)
Body Style Subcompact SUV Subcompact SUV Subcompact SUV
Trims S, SE and SEL 2.5 S, 2.5 S Select, 2.5 S Preferred, 2.5 S Carbon Edition, 2.5 S Premium, 2.5 Turbo Premium and 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus. LX, S, EX, and GT-Line


The 2023 VW Taos is a top contender, with a lengthy list of features you might not expect such an affordably priced SUV. This refined model, starting at $24,155, handles beautifully – not only providing an enhanced driving experience, but a smooth ride for passengers too. Ample cargo space and roomy seating make this model ideal for smaller families, while great fuel economy appeals to commuters.

The comparably priced and elegantly designed 2023 Mazda CX-30 is both fashionable and fun to drive, holding true to all the brand embodies. The addition of all-wheel drive adds to its overall value (starting at $22,950 MSRP), as does its long list of standard tech and equipment.

The 2023 Kia Soul is another great option, with the most budget-friendly price tag of the trio. Starting at $19,790 MSRP, this SUV comes standard with a wide variety of tech and safety features – the perfect complement to its spacious cabin. Impressive driving dynamics are another plus!

Comfort and Space

While all three subcompact SUVs provide seating for five, cargo space separates the 2023 VW Taos from the competition. This new Volkswagen boasts 65.9 cubic feet of storage with rear seats folded, while Mazda’s model pales in comparison with 45.2 cubic feet, and the Soul falls just short with 62.1 cubic feet. Similar standard comfort features can be found throughout all three cabins, beloved by drivers and passengers alike.

Technology Features

  • 2023 Volkswagen Taos Technology
  • Beats audio system
  • User-friendly on-board navigation system
  • Map display in driver’s gauge cluster
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration
  • USB-C ports
  • Wireless charging capabilities
  • 12-volt outlet
  • Advanced driver assistance features
  • Adaptive cruise control

2023 Mazda CX-30 Technology

  • Bose sound system
  • 8.8-inch infotainment display
  • Mobile Wi-Fi hotspot
  • USB Ports
  • Wireless charging capabilities
  • Intuitive navigation system
  • Convenient driver assistant features

2023 Kia Soul Technology

  • Harman Kardon stereo system
  • 10.2-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration
  • Wireless charging capabilities
  • Reliable driver assistance features
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • False alarm prevention


2023 Taos Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include:

  • Rearview camera
  • Forward automatic emergency braking
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Available driver assistance features include:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Traffic-sign recognition

2023 Mazda CX-30 Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Forward automatic emergency braking
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Driver-attention monitoring
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Rearview camera

Available driver assistance features include:

  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Head-up display
  • Traffic-sign recognition
  • Adaptive headlights
  • Surround-view parking camera system
  • Traffic-jam assist
  • Reverse automatic emergency braking
  • Front and rear parking sensors

2023 Kia Soul Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include:

  • Rearview camera
  • Driver-attention monitoring
  • Forward collision warning with pedestrian detection
  • Forward automatic emergency braking
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Rear-seat alert

Available driver assistance features include:

  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Cyclist detection


2023 Volkswagen Taos

While perhaps not the sportiest in its class, the 2023 VW Taos provides plenty of pep with a 158-horsepower, turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder. Front-wheel drive cand an eight-speed automatic transmission come standard, with all-wheel drive and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission available as well.

2023 Mazda CX-30

The 2023 Mazda CX-30 offers two engine options: standard 191-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder and available 227-horsepower, 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Both pack a punch and sync seamlessly with all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission. The boost in power comes at a cost though, with the CX-30 falling behind the competition in fuel economy.

2023 Kia Soul

The 2023 Kia Soul provides a zippy ride, handling well with responsive steering and a 147-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood. Front-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic (CVT) transition make this model great for cruising city streets.


It doesn’t take more than a quick glance to see that the 023 VW Taos is ready to ride. Its boxier design, illuminated grille, and 18-inch black alloy wheels fit its adventurous attitude – one shared by its drivers!

The 2023 Mazda CX-30 features upscale materials to embody a vibe more akin to a luxury SUV than an entry-level crossover. This Mazda’s sleek silhouette identifies it immediately, promising an eye-catching approach.

The 2023 Kia Soul’s cabin is far less luxurious, featuring more economic, durable materials. A fun color palette and modern dashboard add some pizzazz – and some points in the style column too!

Color Options

2023 Volkswagen Taos Color Options

  • Dusk Blue Metallic
  • Kings Red Metallic
  • Platinum Gray Metallic
  • Pyrite Silver Metallic
  • Deep Black Pearl
  • Cornflower Blue
  • Pure Gray
  • Pure White

2023 Mazda CX-30 Color Options

  • Machine Gray Metallic
  • Soul Red Crystal Metallic
  • Snowflake White Pearl Mica
  • Polymetal Gray Metallic
  • Jet Black Mica
  • Deep Crystal Blue Mica
  • Platinum Quartz Metallic

2023 Kia Soul Color Options

  • Steel Gray
  • Inferno Red
  • Snow White Pearl
  • Mars Orange
  • Gravity Gray
  • Undercover Green
  • Neptune Blue
  • Fusion Black
  • Surf Blue

Overview: Advantages of 2023 Volkswagen Taos vs 2023 Mazda CX-30 vs 2023 Kia Soul

2023 VW Taos Advantages

  • Smooth ride
  • Ample cargo and passenger space
  • Above-average fuel economy

2023 Mazda CX-30 Advantages

  • Nimble handling
  • Premium interior
  • Zippy turbocharged engine option

2023 Kia Soul Advantages

  • Spacious interior and cargo hold
  • Intuitive touchscreen display
  • Loads of standard features

2023 Volkswagen Taos vs 2023 Mazda CX-30 vs 2023 Kia Soul: Which SUV Do You Want Most?

There’s no one SUV fits-all solution, so be sure to consider your unique needs before making a decision. The right new ride is one that fits your lifestyle and your budget, and we’re confident it awaits here on our lot!

We’ve stocked a diverse selection of vehicles at Low Country Volkswagen, including the most popular new SUVs for sale! Whether you’re looking for a subcompact SUV, like the 2023 VW Taos, or a full-sized model, we’re happy to help! Plus, great car deals await!

As your hometown Volkswagen dealership, our team is proud to serve drivers throughout the greater Charleston area. Whether you visit from downtown Charleston, SC or somewhere else in the Palmetto State, you’ll find friendly service that makes you feel right at home.

Come see us in Mount Pleasant, SC today!


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Disclaimer by Low Country Volkswagen:

Low Country Volkswagen believes the information and specifications in this website to be correct at the time of publishing.

Model specifications provided may vary based on selected trim, pricing, options, and installed accessories. Specifications, standard features, options, fabrics, accessories and colors are subject to change without notice.

Images of vehicles are for illustrative purposes only. Please see the dealer for details and availability.