The 2023 Kia Soul comes with a few changes from the outgoing 2022 model year. For instance, the 2023 Soul gets a fresh set of wheels and some fancy new colors, not to mention the redesigned headlights and taillights. But the automaker ditched the turbocharged engine for the 2023 model year.
But according to industry critics, including Consumer Reports, the 2023 Kia Soul is basically the same as its predecessor, the 2022 Kia Soul. Nevertheless, there’s still plenty to love about this boxy hatchback. Here are four areas CR thinks are its best features.
1. Easy-To-Use Interior Controls
The cabin of the 2023 Kia Soul is not much different from the previous model year. The base LX trim comes with a digital instrument cluster that includes a USB port, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM radio, and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with in-built navigation. Higher trim levels get a bigger 10.25 -inch display.
The infotainment display is intuitive and easy to operate, with all the icons laid out tidily on the home screen. Display quality and touch sensitivity are excellent. It also has simple physical controls, climate control, and audio functions for its most used features. CR reviewers feel the easy-to-use controls are one of the Soul’s best features.
2. Easy to Access (Enter and Exit Vehicle)
Another thing CR loves about the 2023 Soul is the ease of access, i.e., enter and exit the vehicle. The 2023 Kia Soul features Remote Keyless Entry, making it easy to access the car. With Remote Keyless Entry, you must push a button on the key fob to open and lock your vehicle.
The folding key fob is easy to hold and fits in your pocket or purse. It also features a ring that lights up in the dark around the ignition slot, which Kia says will make it easy for the driver to see the Start/Stop button at night.
3. CVT Is Smooth and Responsive
As mentioned earlier in the article, the South Korean carmaker dropped the turbo motor for the 2023 model year. The 2023 Kia Soul is powered by a normally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, generating 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. The power is conveyed to the wheels via an automatic CVT transmission.
Compared to traditional automatic, CVT offers better efficiency and a smoother driving experience. The CVT on the 2023 Kia Soul is smooth and responsive, exhibiting no lags. Designed to shift smoothly and seamlessly, the automatic CVT transmission is another feature that CR reviewers love about the 2023 Kia Soul.
4. Responsive Braking
Lastly, Consumer Reports speaks highly of the 2023 Kia Soul’s responsive and precise braking performance. The 2023 model has the same 11-inch front and 10.3-inch rear rotors as the previous model. You also have features such as hill hold control, automated emergency braking, ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution or EBD, and brake assist.
The 2023 Kia Soul has an impressive 161-feet braking distance from 70-0 mph. The brakes don’t grab, engaging and disengaging smoothly and gradually. Brake fade, a common occurrence characterized by a reduction in braking effectiveness due to overheating, doesn’t often happen with 2023 Soul.
For the 2023 variant, the compact hatch sees some updates from the previous year — most notably a refreshed exterior design and some new colors. The changes are subtle, and in the eyes of Consumer Reports, the 2023 Kia Soul is virtually the same as the 2022 model year. But CR also highlights a few standout features they like about the 2023 Kia Soul, and they think you might as well.