Since the introduction of its current-generation, the Kia Soul has impressed us, even taking a win in a subcompact crossover comparison test we did. Now it’s entering its fourth model year, and Kia is giving it an update. The 2023 Kia Soul has new styling and more standard safety features. Unfortunately, it loses our favorite trim level.
Styling tweaks are mild but noticeable. The front fascia sees the biggest changes, particularly with the lighting. The upper headlights are larger, though still connected by a bar, and the large lower lamps have pretty much vanished. The rear has some mild changes, too, along with new lighting, and there are new wheels and paint combinations, such as black over white and black over blue. The interior hasn’t changed much, but the larger 10.25-inch infotainment screen is standard on everything but the base LX trim.
Speaking of trims, the Soul line-up has shrunk. The X-Line model, which featured exterior trim meant to give it an off-road look, is now gone. The GT-Line trim remains for those that want a sporty look, but the GT-Line Turbo with the 201-horsepower 1.6-liter engine and dual-clutch transmission that won us over years ago has been discontinued. As such, all Souls are only available with a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a CVT. It makes 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque.
What is welcome is the increased number of standard safety features across the line, even on the bare-bones LX. Those features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane centering, automatic high-beam headlights, driver attention alert and rear-seat occupant alert. Some noteworthy available safety features include automatic emergency braking that can detect objects when turning at an intersection and blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning with collision avoidance.
The new Soul goes on sale this summer. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but expect it to continue to start around $20,000 like the outgoing model.