For the refreshed 2023 Soul, Kia giveth, and Kia taketh away. The automaker’s boxy hatchback gets new headlights and taillights, as well as some fancy new wheels and colors, but the Soul also loses its turbo engine and X-Line styling packages for 2023, according to an announcement from Kia on Wednesday.
Available in LX, S, EX, GT-Line and GT-Line Tech trims, every 2023 Soul will be powered by a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-4. This engine produces 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, and drives the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission. Official EPA fuel economy ratings for the 2023 Soul aren’t yet available, but a 2022 Soul with this same engine was expected to return 28 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined.
Obviously, I’m lamenting the death of the Soul’s 1.6-liter turbo I4 engine, which made 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. No, it didn’t turn the Soul into any kind of hot hatch, but it was still a super compelling powertrain, and with fuel economy ratings of 27 mpg city, 32 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined, the added power didn’t come with a major consumption penalty.
I won’t miss Soul’s tough-guyquite as much, however, especially since it didn’t actually improve off-road capability. Instead, I’m digging the 2023 Soul’s updated nose and tail, and like that Kia is keeping two-tone color options alive. The base Soul LX rides on 16-inch wheels, but higher-end models get 17- and 18-inch options.
Inside, the 2023 Soul isn’t much different than before. The base LX trim has an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, but every other Soul gets a larger, 10.3-inch display. Standard driver-assistance technologies include forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning and a driver attention monitor. The top-end GT-Line Tech trim adds Kia’s Highway Drive Assist tech, which combines the Soul’s adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping systems.
Pricing hasn’t been announced just yet, but don’t expect the 2023 Soul to be subject to a major price hike. You can expect a base MSRP in the low $20,000 range, with prices topping out just above $25,000 for a fully loaded GT-Line Tech model. Look for the 2023 Soul to hit Kia dealers this summer.