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South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Company knows how to produce value-oriented SUVs. Its brand Kia leads several segments when it comes to value. Kia has produced impactful nameplates like the Kia Soul and Kia Telluride. Only one fully loaded Kia SUV starts under $25,000.

The 2023 Kia Soul EX starts under $25K

A blue 2023 Kia Soul subcompact SUV is parked.
The 2023 Kia Soul | Kia

The Kia Soul has become a staple in the subcompact SUV segment. Kia’s tiny SUV has been well-received over the years. It’s the subject of several wildly successful marketing campaigns. The Soul even had its own mascots. Kia doesn’t need the help of adorable dancing hamsters to help consumers understand the value that the subcompact SUV provides.

One of the many reasons that the Soul is a hit among consumers is because of how affordable it is. The 2023 Kia Soul LX base trim starts at just $19,790. Every Soul trim level is affordable and accessible to the majority of American drivers.

The 2023 Kia Soul EX fully loaded model has a starting price of $24,090. It comes standard with heated side mirrors, a power sunroof, and heated front seats. The Soul EX also includes a smart key with push-button start, a wireless phone charger, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The subcompact SUV also comes standard with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a driver attention warning, and auto emergency braking technology. The 2023 Kia Soul EX is one of the best values in its segment. If you’re looking for a subcompact SUV to use as a daily driver for a long-term period of ownership, then the Soul EX’s features are worth the money. Kia also offers plenty of options like a lifestyle hitch, sport pedals, and carpeted floor mats. If you include every option, the Soul EX only costs $26,995.

Which Kia Soul trim is best for the money?

A blue 2023 Kia Soul subcompact SUV is parked on the road.
2023 Kia Soul | Kia

The wonderful thing about Kia Soul trims is that they’re all so affordable. The LX will be too barebones for many drivers. The 2023 Kia Soul S comes with more standard features for $22,290. Car and Driver recommends the GT-Line because of its sportier aesthetic.

Since the sporty GT-Line uses the same standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the EX is a better buy for the money in terms of features. When an SUV is that affordable, why not throw everything but the kitchen sink in?

Should you get a 2023 Kia Soul?

There are three big nameplates competing for the best subcompact SUV position on the market at the moment. The Soul is certainly in the running, but the Hyundai Kona and Maza CX-30 are tough rivals to beat.

The Soul’s cousin, the Hyundai Kona, has solidified itself in rankings as a fun, affordable subcompact SUV with great configurations. The CX-30 rose in rankings because of its classy exterior design and refined interior. The fully loaded CX-30 is practically a luxury SUV.

So, when choosing a subcompact SUV, the best models in the segment specialize in different areas. The Kia Soul is arguably the most value-oriented of the top three subcompact SUVs. The Kona seems to provide the most enjoyable driving experience. Mazda’s subcompact SUV is the most luxurious. Keeping that in mind, the Kia Soul is a great choice for many drivers that want to get the most out of their dollar.