Disappointing 2023 Kia Soul Updates Took the Fun Away

We have some bad news for Kia Soul fans out there. It’s going from a confident and sporty option with sleek looks to a little boring. Dancing hamsters don’t want to bust a move in the 2023 Kia Soul at all after it lost power and attractive features. 

2023 Kia Soul: What’s new? 

A Surf Blue 2023 Kia Soul GT-Line with a black roof in the desert
2023 Kia Soul GT-Line | Kia

The 2023 Kia Soul got a new face. The grille and foglights were redesigned and pared with new daytime running lamps. These updates give the Soul a more traditional style, taking away from its unique futuristic design. 

In the rear, you’ll find an updated bumper and new taillight designs. They embody the Soul’s spirit a little more. Plus it rides on new 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels. Two new colors include Clear White and Surf Blue. both colors are paired with a black roof. 

Base models of the Kia Soul come with an 8-inch infotianment system. Higher trim levels feature a standard 10.25-inch infotainment system with navigation. 

New standard safety features include forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, high-beam assistance, rear occupant alert, lane departure steering assistance, lane-centering steering, and driver attention warning. 

How much power does the Kia Soul have? 

The 2023 Kia Soul could be too weak for some buyers. The sole powertrain option is the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. According to Edmunds, with this engine, the Soul can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 8.8 seconds. 

This speed is average and respectable for a tiny SUV. However, it used to be a lot more fun. Up until 2022, the Kia Soul was offered with a manual transmission. Then for 2023, the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque bit the dust. 

It’s no longer available, taking the option to whip around town with a sporty and engaging ride away from the dancing hamsters. It could help the Soul reach 60 mph in about 6.4 seconds. 

On that note, the Kia Soul X-Line trim was discontinued too. This destroys any hope for the Kia Soul to become more rugged and off-roading capable. 

While this trim level mainly just played dress up with roof rails and dark grey body cladding, we hoped it meant off-roading power was on the way. However, the Kia Soul still doesn’t have AWD and now the adventurous appearance package is gone. 

How much does the 2023 Soul cost? 

The rear 3/4 view of a Surf Blue 2023 Kia Soul GT-Line with a black roof in front of a pink building
2023 Kia Soul GT-Line rear 3/4 | Kia

The 2022 Soul has an MSRP of $19,290. Due to the mid-cycle refresh and updates, the 2023 Kia Soul could cost a little more. The official price will be revealed later in the year when the 2023 models hit the dealership lots. 

Due to supply chain issues and thinking that the Kia Niro EV is better, the Kia Soul EV isn’t coming to America. So, drivers can enjoy the same EPA-estimated fuel economy of up to 28 mpg in the city and up to 33 mpg on the highway. 

We hope more exciting things are in the works for the Soul but it seems like Kia is focused on other options. We’re upset that the Soul is going from spunky and exciting to normal and bland and will keep you updated.

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