2023 Kia Soul Overview
One of the most unique vehicles on the market is, and has been, the Kia Soul. Its boxy shape and iconic hamster commercials set it apart from most other SUVs. The 2023 Kia Soul arrives with some exciting updates while maintaining many of the features people have loved for years.
What’s new for the 2023 Kia Soul?
While the 2023 Soul keeps its overall look, it does get new two-tone color options: Clear White and Surf Blue, both with a Fusion Black roof. Other parts of the exterior have also been revised, including the grille, fog lights, headlights, rear fascia, and tail lights. There are also new 17- and 18-inch alloy wheel designs. The trim lineup for the new Kia Soul has also been updated to LX, S, GT-Line, and EX. Rounding out the updates for 2023 is a longer list of standard driver-assist features that used to be optional add-ons.
In addition to the new colors for 2023, the Kia Soul can be painted in other exciting colors like Inferno Red, Mars Orange, Neptune Blue, Undercover Green, and a few subtler tones in gray, silver, and black. From front to back, you’ll find accents in either silver, chrome, or gloss black depending on the trim you choose.
Outside of style, the Soul comes with useful standard features like multi-reflector positioning headlights, rear privacy glass, heated rear glass, power-adjustable side-view mirrors, and roof rack mounting points. As you move up to higher trims beyond the base LX, you’ll find additional highlights like full LED lighting, a sunroof with a sunshade, and heated side mirrors.
The 2023 Soul has room for up to five passengers between its two rows. When you fold down the rear 60/40 seat completely, you’ll have 62.1 cubic feet of total cargo space to utilize. With those seats up, there is 24.2 cubic feet of space in the back. The Soul EX comes with a Dual Level Cargo Board that adjusts the flat floor into an undertray.
When it comes to comfort, you’ll find standard woven cloth seat trim with the option to upgrade to premium tricot cloth or a blend of SynTex and cloth. You’ll have to choose the Soul S for a 10-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support, as the base trim has a six-way manual seat. Unfortunately, the front passenger’s seat remains manual across all trims. Available interior amenities to elevate comfort include heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, remote start, and dual-zone auto climate control.
The standard 8-inch touch-screen display on the Soul is not as exciting as the available 10.25-inch touch-screen on higher trims, but it still gets the job done. It works seamlessly with standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and the six-speaker audio system. By opting for the Soul S (just one higher than the base), you’ll get that larger touch screen as well as a wireless phone charger, two front USB charging ports, navigation, Kia Connect, and SiriusXM satellite radio. However, you’ll have to go with the Soul GT-Line for available speaker lights with ambiance themes and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system.
Performance and efficiency
Every new Kia Soul is powered by the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an Intelligent Variable Transmission. This amounts to 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque across the board. Efficiency does vary, though, with the Soul EX getting the best fuel economy at 29 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highway, and 31 mpg combined. The other trims are not far behind at 28 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg combined.
As previously mentioned, the 2023 Soul’s standard safety offerings have expanded. Now standard are:
- Rear Occupant Alert
- High Beam Assist
- Lane Departure Warning
- Driver Attention Warning
- Lane Keeping Assist
- Lane Following Assist
- Forward Collision Avoidance Assist-Pedestrian
Additional safety systems that become standard on higher trims include Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Change Assist, Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go-Curve, Highway Driving Assist, and added Cyclist & Junction Turning Detection for the FCA system.
Ben never thought he’d be writing about cars for a living, but here he is, knowing more about the Kia Stinger than he’d care to admit. When he’s not devoting his time to researching engine specs and other oh-so-exciting car details, he can be found enjoying time with his wife and dogs. See more articles by Ben.