The 2023 Kia Soul is at the very least unique. Its design places it in an unusual spot between a hatchback and crossover SUV, giving this little vehicle plenty of character. Though funky styling is a positive for the Soul, it doesn’t knock Consumer Reports testers’ socks off. CR notes middle-of-the-road quality in several 2023 Kia Soul features and two major complaints. But this subcompact crossover still offers plenty to love.
The 2023 Kia Soul’s uncomfortable ride disappoints Consumer Reports
The Kia Soul’s family-friendly design might make you assume the ride would be smooth. But Consumer Reports testers say that’s not the case. They cite subpar ride comfort as one of two major drawbacks to the new Soul. Thanks to the car’s stiff suspension, riders will feel every pothole and bump. CR notes the lack of comfort is evident even on smooth roads.
However, what the 2023 Soul lacks in ride comfort, it somewhat makes up for in agile handling. In its Consumer Reports road test, the car successfully navigated turns, even at respectable speeds. However, handling isn’t a highlight — drivers might find the steering to feel imprecise.
Consumer Reports notes noise as another problem
Riding in the 2023 Kia Soul might even be more uncomfortable thanks to the loud engine. Consumer Reports notes annoying engine noise during more intensive actives such as merging onto the highway and driving uphill. Essentially, if the vehicle is accelerating, riders will hear it.
Between the stiff suspension and loud engine, comfort is lacking in the 2023 Kia Soul, which could make road trips unpleasant. Riders might also find the cabin unwelcoming due to low-quality materials throughout. CR reviewers note that although the interior might look nice at first glance, its cheapness soon becomes apparent.
But the 2023 Kia Soul offers plenty to love
Although Consumer Reports testers criticize the noise and comfort levels, their 2023 Kia Soul review still notes plenty of positives.
Access is one aspect of the Soul that stands out. Large door openings and a just-right vehicle height make entering and exiting easy. The seats are comfortable enough, and all riders have plenty of space. However, the roomy cabin comes with a tradeoff — CR notes the Soul lacks ample cargo space. To compensate, the car has 60/40 split-folding rear seats, but that feature won’t help when passengers occupy the back row.
CR says the controls are another highlight. Unlike the interior materials, the controls for climate and media have a high-quality feel. In addition, the 2023 Soul includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, a huge perk for a crossover that starts under $20,000.
One final positive: Consumer Reports says the Soul’s brakes performed well in testing. CR evaluates brakes in dry and wet scenarios, and the Soul scored well in both situations. Plus, the brake pedal felt responsive, inspiring driver confidence.