2023 Kia Soul Review

2023 Kia Soul Review
  • It’s a charmer
  • Flexible space cabin
  • Good infotainment
  • Excellent warranty
  • Entry-level drivetrain
  • Somber interior trim on most grades
  • NHTSA crash scores
  • The Soul doesn’t need to be expensive, but it’s worth upgrading the base LX with blind-spot monitors and 16-inch wheels.

The 2022 Kia Soul loses more of its urge, but little of its character.

What kind of car is the 2023 Kia Soul? What does it compare to?
The spacey five-seat Soul brings a dash of style to a class of efficient and affordable hatchbacks that include the Nissan Kicks, Hyundai Venue, and Toyota C-HR.

Is the 2023 Kia Soul a good car?
Its good scores for styling and features offset a poorer showing in safety, for a TCC Rating of 6.2 out of 10.

What’s new for the 2023 Kia Soul?
The Turbo and X-Line trims have been dropped, so the Soul’s down to one drivetrain—but automatic emergency braking has been made standard.
2023 Kia Soul Review

Kia sells the Soul in LX, S, and GT-Line trims. Each wears a jaunty, angular body that still wears well after a few years on the road. It’s funky and fresh, with a front end that’s been restyled with an eye toward the future of electric cars, but with the kitsch and cuteness intact. The interior’s spacious and fuss-free, though a dash of color wouldn’t hurt its sober dark trim. 

The Soul’s soulless drivetrain ponies up 147 hp and ships it to the front wheels through a CVT. Its ruthlessly moderate pace doesn’t get too noisy or clacky like some economy cars, but we miss the peaky thrill of the old 201-hp turbo-4—or even the long-gone electric Soul from 2019. The untapped potential of the Soul’s calm ride and its hefty steering deserve more power. 

Minus the distractions of power, the Soul offers space for four or five people, depending on levels of friendship, and a cargo hold that’s as useful as a Rubbermaid moving tub. Up to 62.1 cubic feet of stuff fits behind the front seats; if you’d rather carry people, four 6-footers will fit, with especially good head room. It’s a Pack ‘N Play for first-time new-car shoppers that will also carry a Pack ‘N Play when the time comes.

But about its safety: the IIHS has dubbed some versions with LED headlights a Top Safety Pick, but the NHTSA shades the Soul with a three-star side-pole rating and four stars overall. At least Kia’s made automatic emergency braking standard this year. 

How much does the 2023 Kia Soul cost?
Prices aren’t out for 2023 yet, but they shouldn’t rise much from last year’s $20,365 base sticker for the Soul LX and its 8.0-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and newly standard automatic emergency braking. If you have to spend more, the top GT-Line gets a 10.3-inch touchscreen and nicer interior trim, with an option for adaptive cruise control.

Where is the 2023 Kia Soul made?
In South Korea.


Character and charm? The Soul reeks of it.

Is the Kia Soul a good-looking car?
It’s accumulated a lot of gratuitous details over the years, but the Soul’s still a good-looking economy car that disguises its roots with an engaging shape. It’s worth two points for the body, one for the interior, for an 8. 

Moving toward electric-car motifs, the new Soul front end has a smoothed-over face and a dog-bone pattern over what would be a grille or air intakes on an old-school hatchback. The slim headlights that balance atop the nose have an EV slimness, too. It’s all about the transition from gas power here, subtly, and it goes about as well as it can with Kia’s illegible new logo. 
2023 Kia Soul Review

Elsewhere, the swell economy-car vibe carries over, with a profile that rings out distinctively, like a diss track to other hatchbacks that can’t rack up a memorable look. It’s jaunty and weighted toward a rear end where a piece of black trim splits the body from the roof and where a loop of light splits an island of body color from the rest of the tailgate. We still believe the first-generation Soul had the best style ideas, but this iteration still looks fresh and friendly.

Inside, it’s less a statement piece, but still has a certain flair. Base models have a lot of black cloth and black plastic, but spending a little more nets a larger touchscreen nestled in a wide-mouthed center stack, scored metallic door trim, and fancy LED lighting for an upgraded speaker system. 


The performance air has been let out of the balloon.

The Soul’s been shorn to a single drivetrain this year, and its middling performance earns it a middling rating of 5. 

Is the Kia Soul 4WD?
It’s front-wheel-drive only.
2023 Kia Soul Review

How fast is the Kia Soul?
It’s not very quick—and this year Kia has excised the Soul Turbo from the lineup. We enjoyed its 201-hp turbo thrust but not its chattery 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. 

In non-turbo form, the Soul has less sparkle, but it’s still an easy car to enjoy in urban commutes. The 2.0-liter inline-4 churns out 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque through a CVT; there’s no turbo, no manual, no all-wheel drive, just moderate acceleration, delivered smoothly. 

Without exorbitant power, the Soul still can launch smartly and squirt through traffic with ease. It takes more planning to pass uphill or merge onto fast-moving interstates. The Soul’s steering feels heavy but information-free, and flicking the drive-mode selector to Sport adds some more weight that helps it stay in its lane more easily. The ride is calm and collected, even with 18-inch wheels found on more feature-laden versions.

Comfort & Quality

The Soul flexes its interior space in useful ways.

Four people can take the Soul for a spin, but cargo space is the real hidden virtue. It’s a 6 for comfort and quality, with a point for that storage-bin back end.

The Soul sits 165.2 inches long, with a petite wheelbase of 102.4 inches. Within that space, it manages to carve out 24.2 cubic feet of cargo room behind the back seat. Fold it down, and the Soul can tote up to 62.1 cubic feet of stuff behind the front passengers. The cargo floor may be high, but the Soul’s tailgate opens wide, and Kia fits some with a multi-position cargo shelf and cover. Functional and funky? Check.

That efficiency isn’t lost on human cargo, either. The Soul’s front seats have lots of elbow and head room for all passengers, and the seats themselves are padded well. Most have manual adjustment, but a power driver seat comes on the most expensive version. In the back, the bench seat can accommodate a 6-footer behind a 6-foot-tall driver. Three medium-size people will fit in back for short trips, but you won’t want to make it a habit.
2023 Kia Soul Review

The Soul’s low price moderates expectations for the interior. If you’ve driven a $60,000 Kia Telluride, the Soul’s a letdown—but not at its mid-$20,000 sticker. It gets better in mid-spec models, which have nicer cloth and better trim, and it’s all pleasantly put together, price-appropriately.


The Soul posts an average score, with mixed results.

How safe is the Kia Soul?
The NHTSA gives the Soul a four-star rating, but this year it’s offset that lost point with newly standard safety equipment including automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, and active lane control. The IIHS gives it a Top Safety Pick award on versions with LED headlights—which means only the GT-Line, not the most popular models. That makes it a 5 here.

The NHTSA’s score includes a three-star score in a side-pole test.
2023 Kia Soul Review

Blind-spot monitors cost extra on the LX, and GT-Line Souls can be fitted with adaptive cruise control. A surround-view camera system isn’t offered; it’d be a boon to offset the Soul’s limited rearward vision.


Good infotainment and an excellent warranty drive the Soul’s satisfaction.

With no more Turbo or X-Line models for 2023, the Soul now comes in LX, S, EX,and GT-Line spec—with all versions sporting a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty and good infotainment centered around an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. With a point for that, for value, and for standard equipment, it’s an 8 here.

Prices haven’t been announced for 2023, but last year’s $20,365 Soul LX returns this year with its infotainment setup intact, along with power features and cloth upholstery, with the addition of the safety gear listed above. A Technology package scores blind-spot monitors and 16-inch wheels.

Which Kia Soul should I buy?
2023 Kia Soul Review

We’d stop there, but if you can’t, the next-up Soul S gets better cloth upholstery, a 10.3-inch touchscreen, 17-inch wheels, wireless smartphone charging, and keyless start.

How much is a fully loaded Kia Soul?
The Soul GT-Line should cost well below $28,000—it gains 18-inch wheels, among other features. It can be fitted with a Technology package that piles on Harman Kardon audio, adaptive cruise control, and LED headlights.

Fuel Economy

It’s funky, but frugal, too.

Is the Kia Soul good on gas?
The Soul doesn’t have a hybrid or an electric model in its lineup, but it still has good gas mileage. We give it a 6, based on the EPA’s ratings for the most popular mid-line versions of 28 mpg city, 33 highway, 30 combined. The base Soul checks in at 29/35/31 mpg, thanks to skinny wheels and less weight.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
2023 Kia Soul Review 2023 Kia Soul Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on July 01, 2022 Rating: 5


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