When Kia introduced the 2021 Soul, some goodies were removed from certain models. Then the 2022MY arrived and took away the manual gearbox. We’ve now reached the 2023MY and it too deletes some content, chief of which is the more potent engine. Indeed, the Turbo model is being eliminated, so customers are losing the option to order the quirky hatchback with the 201-horsepower, 1.6-liter gasoline engine featuring forced induction.
Going forward, the Soul will be sold strictly with the 147-hp, 2.0-liter naturally aspirated mill sending 132 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels via an automatic transmission. The 2023MY also sees the death of the somewhat rugged X-Line trim introduced with the vehicle’s third generation for the 2020MY. As previously reported, the Soul EV was initially promised for the United States before being delayed, and ultimately canceled.
It’s not all negative though as the 2023MY comes along with some novelties. For example, the front grille and fog lights have been redesigned. In addition, Kia is giving the Soul new daytime running lights and turn signals, along with some mild tweaks at the back. Customers can pick from newly designed 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Debuting with the latest model year are additional two-tone paints as Clear White and Surf Blue can be combined with a Fusion Black roof. Not much has changed on the inside, but all trim levels except for the base LX get a 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation. New for 2023 is the LX Technology Package bundling safety tech such as Blind Spot Collision Avoidance and Rear Cross Collision Avoidance with 16-inch wheels.
Alternatively, you could go for the GT-Line Technology Package with its Harman Kardon sound system, heated front seats, electric parking brake, and an adjustable cargo floor. The optional pack also encompasses LED headlights and taillights as well as a cargo cover and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. On the safety side, it adds Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with Junction Turning capability.
Previously offered as optional equipment, the following items now come as standard across the 2023 Kia Soul range, which includes the LX, S, EX, GT-Line, GT-Line Tech:
- Forward Collision Avoidance Assist-Pedestrian
- Lane Keeping Assist + Lane Following Assist[i]
- Driver Attention Warning
- Lane Departure Warning
- High Beam Assist
- Rear Occupant Alert
Although the Soul hasn’t been getting a lot of attention from the media in recent times, Kia reminds us that sales were up in 2021 by nearly five percent to over 75,000 units.
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