Its identity is still confusing—is it a hatchback? A crossover?—but there’s no confusion about how popular the Kia Soul is. This tall, boxy…uh, compact car/SUV is plenty practical and plenty stylish, not to mention affordable. However, although it’s getting some updates for 2023, the Soul is also losing some things in the process. And that means bad news for Kia Soul Turbo fans.
The Kia Soul Turbo and X-Line are dead in 2023
Although the Kia Soul has never been a performance vehicle, it did have a few enthusiast-intriguing features. The keyword there is ‘did,’ because it’s slowly whittled them out over the years. For example, the 2022 Soul ditched the manual transmission and became automatic-only. And as it revealed the updated 2023 Soul, Kia also announced that the Turbo model was dead.
The range-topping 2022 Kia Soul trim, the Turbo is also the only one with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic instead of a CVT. And as its name suggests, it has a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine rather than the standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder. So, instead of 147 hp, the 2022 Soul Turbo has 201 hp. As a result, it hits 60 mph in 6.4 seconds rather than 8.0 seconds, Car and Driver reports.
The Kia Soul Turbo isn’t the only trim that dies after 2022, though. Kia is also killing off the rugged-looking X-Line in 2023. But unlike the Turbo, the X-Line is basically a cosmetic package. It doesn’t have any extra ground clearance or AWD, though it does have mudguards, fog lights, and body cladding.
However, while the Turbo and X-Line are gone, the 2023 Kia Soul does get a few consolation features in their places.
It still doesn’t have AWD, but the 2023 Kia Soul does have some new looks and colors
Unfortunately for would-be off-roaders, the 2023 Kia Soul doesn’t have AWD. Nor is the Soul EV coming here. Also, with the Turbo’s death, the 2023 Soul is now CVT-only. But the other trims—LX, S, EX, and GT-Line—are staying put. And they do get a few upgrades.
For 2023, all Kia Souls come standard with forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, and automatic high beams. Higher trims also get blind-spot monitoring, which is optional on the LX. Furthermore, while the base LX has an 8” center touchscreen, the other trims get a 10.3” one. In addition, all 2023 Souls have redesigned front and rear fasciae, complete with new DRLs, taillights, turn signals, and fog lights. Plus, Kia has new 17” and 18” alloy wheel designs.
But while LED headlights and fog lights are only optional on the GT-Line, all 2023 Souls get standard digital gauge clusters. Wireless charging is standard on all trims but the LX, too. And if you want heated front seats, a Harmon/Kardon audio system with speaker lights, and navigation, they’re part of the GT-Line’s Technology Package. This package also gives you those trick LED lights as well as Kia’s Highway Drive Assist.
Finally, there’s no longer an excuse to get an all-white car with the 2023 Kia Soul. That’s because it comes with two new two-tone color combinations. You can get the compact SUV/hatchback in Surf Blue with a black roof or Crystal White with a black roof.
Will the 2023 Soul have a higher starting price?
As of this writing, Kia hasn’t revealed pricing details for the 2023 Soul. However, it likely won’t cost significantly more than the 2022 model, Car and Driver muses. For comparison, the 2022 Soul LX starts at $19,290 before destination and options; the EX starts at $23,590.
Fortunately, potential buyers won’t have to wait long, as the 2023 Soul should hit dealerships later this summer. But if you want a brand-new Kia Soul Turbo, you might want to start searching before they’re all sold.
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