The Golf is the better handler between the two, it’s a bit more fuel-efficient (25/36 mpg city/highway to the Soul’s 26/31 mpg), and its active safety features are priced better. You can find forward collision warning and blind spot monitoring included in the $21,595 Wolfsburg Edition. Those features are part of a $4,000 package on the Soul + model, which pushes its price above $25,800. Both offer great infotainment systems, and each supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
It comes down to this: If you’re after maximum cargo space or high horsepower, or you’re just trying to spend as little as possible, you ought to do some Soul searching. If zesty handling and safety features top your shopping list, go Golf-ing.