By on May 5, 2022


For the 2023 model year, the Kia Soul goes through some changes, most notably the deletion of the 1.6-liter turbo engine. The Kia will now be sold exclusively with the 147 horsepower, 2.0L naturally aspirated engine, mated to an automatic transmission.

The 2023 model year also sees the deletion of the rugged X-Line trim, which was introduced for 2020. From a cosmetic standpoint, the 2023 Soul also comes with a re-designed front grille and fog lights, and new daytime running lights and turn signals. Customers can choose from newly designed 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels.

There are additional two-tone paints: Clear White and Surf Blue. Each can be combined with a Fusion Black roof.

All Soul trim levels except for the base LX get a 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation. New for 2023 is the LX Technology Package, which bundles blind-spot collision avoidance and rear cross-collision avoidance with the LX’s 16-inch wheels.

If you choose to go with the GT-Line Technology Package, that will include goodies such as a Harmon Kardon sound system, electric parking brake, heated front seats, and an adjustable cargo floor. The optional package also includes LED headlights and taillights, a cargo cover, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.

The following items now come as standard across the 2023 Kia Soul range, which includes the LX, S, EX, GT-Line, and GT-Line Tech trim levels: Forward collision-avoidance assist-pedestrian,  lane-keeping assist with lane-following assist, lane-departure warning, driver-attention warning,   high-beam assist, and rear-occupant alert.

Kia has stated that sales of the Soul were up by nearly 5 percent in 2021, with more than 75,000 units delivered.

[Image: Kia]

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21 Comments on “2023 Kia Soul Loses Turbo, X-Line Trims, Adds Colors...”

  • avatar

    Truer words have never been said about the Soul:

    It’s all about soul
    It’s all about faith and a deeper devotion
    It’s all about soul
    ‘Cause under the love is a stronger emotion
    She’s got to be strong
    ‘Cause so many things getting out of control
    Should drive her away, so why does she stay?
    It’s all about soul

    Sorry…just bummed I can never get my X-Line trim Soul. Oh well…guess I’ll have to drown my sorrows at Thurby 2022. (Look it up – our Derby fun lasts weeks.)

  • avatar

    “the 2023 Soul also comes with a re-designed front grille”

    That grille is so subtle I could barely tell.

  • avatar

    When I read about this on another site yesterday, I was a little bummed that the Soul is losing it’s “cool points”. After reading this article today, it dawned on me that the take rate on the Turbo or the upper trim sporty versions is likely VERY low due in large part to the Soul’s position in the car market. Few people buy a Soul because they want one- I’ll get back to those people in a moment. Most people buy Soul’s because that’s what they can afford or get financed for. They’re not normally someone’s go-to unless they are in the “You probably traded in your aged Buick” crowd that wants the small footprint, higher seating position, easy ingress and egress, good fuel economy, and “hip” styling. You know the type… you know. There’s realistically no reason to continue making oddball “rugged” or really even sporty trimmed or higher powered versions of a car that really doesn’t have the audience for it.

    • 0 avatar

      In not sure why but the Soul Turbo was always a touch expensive for what it was. I think the latest version was something like $3.5K+ more than a Forte GT and maybe $1K under the GTI’s starting price.

    • 0 avatar

      Three guys at my work (of 20 people) bought souls in our 30s. I realize that we are the minority. Two of us could have afforded something else but bought them because of their usefulness especially at the price. The other guy has awful credit so fits that stereotype.

      I will also gladly admit that a good number I see are being driven by seniors. My step-mom borrowed mine for a few days and said “I get why so many people my age buy these.”

    • 0 avatar

      My parent’s friend, a boomer, had one upon his departure. He was a car flipper/tinkerer type who owned dozens, probably of hundreds of cars over his lifetime, and he could not shut up raving about his Soul. It was possibly the only (or at least 1 of a very few) new cars he ever bought in his life. It is the swiss army knife of cars and one of the best values you can get. Not just for poor people.

    • 0 avatar

      I was waiting and waiting but I don’t feel you got back to it. Since you’re such a Soul customer expert I had so much anticipation. OH yeah, and I don’t know…I don’t.

      • 0 avatar

        @teddy- I assume you’re “waiting” for me? I’m not exactly sure what you’re waiting for. I got back to those people in the subsequent sentences. The car was marketed for the young, hip crowd, instead Kia got a large segment of their sales from the 55+ population. This has also been confirmed by three other commenters- two in my post, one down below.

        No need to get testy.

    • 0 avatar


      Age 44, credit score 800. I live in a small town with some tight parallel parking and this car has the perfect footprint, good mileage, and I can pack a ton of crap in it. You can offer your opinion without looking down your nose at the people who choose differently than you.

  • avatar

    Front reminds me of a Nissan Cube but at least it’s doing away with the split headlight trend everyone’s doing.

  • avatar

    I resemble some of those remarks about trading in aged Buicks. That’s why we used to have a PT Cruiser. It was great for getting my bedbound MIL in the car. But unlike the Cruiser the Soul lacks the room to carry a standard wheelchair. Since we fall into that particular group of previously mentioned car buyers I’d be springing for the top trim to get all the neat stuff. The styling is hip but its cargo carrying ability isn’t. I’ll have to pas.

    • 0 avatar

      No offense intended at all. It’s very clear though that the target demographic and the actual purchasing population of the Soul was molecularly different.

      • 0 avatar

        Would you say the difference in targeted buyers versus actual buyers mirrors Scion in some way?

        Does this portend good or bad things for the little hamster that could?

        Truth be told, I’ve always been amused by the Soul. Whether I’d ever buy one is a question I’m not sure of at the moment.

        • 0 avatar

          The only Scion I think that matched this was the xB, but from a purely anecdotal standpoint, I would suggest that the xB better hit it’s mark for it’s target audience simply because it’s entire brand was marketed in that manner. Kia offers something for (almost) everyone, so they’re not nearly as focused. My anecdote is simply based on the number of “older folk” I’ve ever seen driving a Soul vs. an xB in their day.

          As for what that spells for the Soul, I don’t think Kia cares anymore *who’s* buying them, so long as they’re moving enough units to justify it’s existence- which I presume it is doing since the Soul is a pretty common car to see. Notice how, other than one advert for the Turbo model, the Hamsters are no longer mascots?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Looks like Hyundai let Kia borrow some grille from the Venue.

  • avatar

    Has Kia solved the theft problem with these Souls and some of their other vehicles (Forte, Sorento)? Nearly 1,050 Kias and Hyundais were stolen in the city of Milwaukee in 2021.

    • 0 avatar

      Or the failing power door locks. My niece got on that treadmill with her Soul a few years ago. It seems to be an H/K specialty to keep the service departments in oats and hay.

  • avatar
    Funky D

    I had the experience of driving one from the Gulf Coast to DC and back with my Mrs. and youngest son. There are cars less suitable for road trips (*cough* Patriot *cough*), but not many.

    As a little urban/suburban runabout, it is OK, but I would think there are a LOT of better choices in the market.

    I still think the “Black Sheep” hamster commercial was *very* cool, though.

  • avatar

    If it is decontented, is it soulless?

  • avatar

    KN styling just has no soul.

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