We’ve always loved the Kia Soul for being the feature-packed, quirky, boxy, fun hatchback that it is. Kia has refreshed the Soul for the 2023 model year and reduced the trim lineup from six trims to four by dropping the X-Line and GT-Line Turbo trims. Kia has also simplified the powertrain offerings for 2023 by only offering a naturally -aspirated four-cylinder engine across the model lineup.
The Kia Soul GT-Line I had as a test car sits just below the Soul EX in the model lineup and starts at $24,815. The GT-Line comes standard with a sunroof, 18-inch GT-Line alloy wheels, GT-Line body styling, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and dual-zone climate control.
Kia has always packaged the Soul extremely generously and includes amenities that are optional, even on some luxury brands as standard. Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, heated seats, advanced cruise control, ample USB A and C ports, a 10.3-inch high-resolution touchscreen for infotainment, and an all-digital gauge cluster are some of the standard feature highlights. The interior is a nice mix of materials and makes the Soul feel more expensive than it is.
The Soul GT-Line is powered by the 147-horsepower, 132lb-ft of torque 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in all 2023 Souls. The transmission is a CVT (continuously variable transmission), which performed quite admirably. This isn’t the kind of CVT transmission that feels like it’s constantly hunting and rubber banding everywhere. The entire Soul powertrain works well together, and power is adequate, though not particularly sporty. The Soul makes for a great runabout and commuter car, though enthusiasts looking for a more spirited vehicle should look elsewhere.
The 2023 Kia Soul comes with an impressive list of standard safety equipment, including front collision avoidance assist, lane keep assist, driver attention warning, lane departure warning, high beam assist, and rear occupant alert. As mentioned previously, ACC (active cruise control) is also available with a driver-assist system that helps keep the Soul centered inside the lane.
The Kia Soul still continues to provide a lot of value at a very reasonable price point. I’ve loved the Soul from the very first year they were available, and I love what Kia has done to update the Soul for 2023. It’s a great mix of technology and style while being economical and fun. Soul owners also get the added benefit of standing out in the parking lot as a very unique and attractive vehicle.