Kia Makes the Soul More Stylish, Adds Safety Tech for 2023

The 2023 Kia Soul, the company's cute, boxy SUV, is getting a facelift for the 2023 model year. Introduced in 2009 and currently in its third generation, the Soul has been framed as the car of choice for young urbanites.

"The basic form remains, which is what more than 75,000 happy Soul owners loved so much about the funky runabout last year, representing a nearly 5 percent increase over sales in 2020," Kia America chief operating officer and executive vice president Steve Center said in a press release.

The biggest change on the powertrain front is the loss of the turbocharged engine. A 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine, which is paired with the company's Intelligent Variable Transmission to produce 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, will power the entire lineup.

The next big change comes to the front fascia, where a reworked grille is set between available LED headlights and redesigned fog lights. Silver accents in an L-pattern jut out from the sides of the grille, with more accents running along the lower end of the doors.

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The 2023 model year also comes with a few new two-tone paint options: Clear White with a Fusion Black roof or Surf Blue with the Fusion Black roof.

Alloy wheels take the place of the base LX trim's steel wheels in increasing size as you move up the trim line. The S trim gets 16-inch wheels, EX gets 17-inch wheels and the top GT-Line gets 18-inch rolling stock.

The interior setup appears to largely carry over from the previous model year, but there is a major difference in the cabin on the technological side, where the company has upped the ante considerably.

An 8-inch infotainment display is standard on the base LX trim with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities. Higher variants get a 10.25-inch screen with a navigation system.

A Harmon Kardon Premium Audio sound system is optional through the GT-Line's Technology Package, which appoints the top-of-the-line trim with an external amplifier, subwoofer, and tweeters mounted on the doors.

It also made a wider suite of safety features available on the Kia Soul.

As standard on every trim, Kia includes forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist and lane following assist, driver attention warning, lane departure warning, high beam assist, and rear occupant alert.

The available LX Technology Package, which is meant to accompany the base trim, adds blind spot monitoring and rear cross collision monitoring. The GT-Line Technology Package comes with navigation-based Smart Cruise Control and forward collision avoidance assist with junction turning functionality.

Kia says that pricing details will be released closer to the on-sale date later this year. A 2022 Kia Soul has a starting MSRP of $19,290.

The small SUV segment has grown increasingly competitive since the Soul's debut more than a decade ago. The similarly-sized but not as boxy 2022 Hyundai Kona starts at $21,300. The 2022 Mazda CX-30 begins at $22,500.