Written by Marco Carvajal
2023 Kia Soul GT-Line
The Kia Soul is fun and unique, it is a boxy city car that keeps getting better. The new 2023 Soul has a very unique design shaped like a box, designed for fun and diverse city life full of colors, music, and art.
Test driving the 2023 Kia Soul GT-Line is fun, this compact and original car looks very small from the outside, but when you drive it you realize that it has much more space than many sedans, the ceiling is higher than in many sedans and the legroom is comfortable. I am driving the Soul with a few passengers on board and after shopping, I have a few bags and boxes in the trunk and we don’t feel limited with the space.
Kia is able to do some magic as the Soul looks very small on the outside, but it has a lot of interior and cargo space, it feels like a magic box that never ends.
The new generation, 2023 Soul is Fun, Funky, and Functional. It is difficult to categorize this original car concept but for sure it is cute, practical, smart, and full of artistic design. The Soul reminds the feel of driving a MINI cooper, but the Soul has more interior and cargo space.
The Kia Soul is not a compact car, and it is not a CUV compact utility vehicle, but it shares many of the characteristics of compact cars and CUVs, providing a new driving experience specially designed for city life.
The Kia Soul can be categorized as a Compact Crossover or a Mini SUV.
The Soul is like a type of Chameleon that adapts its color, shape and features easily, depending on what is needed and desired by new car drivers.
The story of the Soul started about 14 years ago, as the Soul Car Concept was designed inspired by the idea of a Boar with a Backpack, developed by former GM designer, Michael Torpey. It was unveiled in 2008 at the Paris Motor Show.
The Kia Soul is very Americanised, designed at the Kia design center in California and manufactured in South Korea.
New 2023 Soul
The Kia Soul 2023 is part of the new third generation that started with the 2020 Soul car year model.
For 2023 Kia simplified the trim levels of the Soul lineup with only four well-equipped options that buyers can select. In the past Soul buyers had more options including a Soul EV model, and that was making the process of buying more complicated and difficult to understand from the car buyer’s perspective. The new lineup makes it easier for a car buyer to select one of the four available Soul models.
New colors are added for 2023. A multitude of solid and two-tone exterior paint schemes remain and are complemented by new two-tone paint programs: Clear White with a Fusion Black roof, and Surf Blue with a Fusion Black roof.
The Soul has an all-new front fascia, the new grill is set off with available LED headlights and redesigned fog lights. New Daytime Running Lamps and turn signals round out the front-end redesign. The available new 17 and 18 inches alloy wheels, a redesigned rear fascia and taillights complete the modern and attractive exterior.
A 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation is a welcome addition to the tech-forward cabin, it is standard on the three top trim levels except for the base Soul trim LX.
New standard safety features like Forward Collision Avoidance Assist – Pedestrian have been added to the Soul.
The new LX Technology Package includes Blind Spot Collision Avoidance (BCA), Rear Cross Collision Avoidance (RCCA), and 16-inch alloy wheels; neatly bundling sought-after features in an already well-equipped offer.
The Kia Soul and the Kia Forte are very important players in the market share of first car buyers because of their low starting price of less than 20K.
The Soul is an entry-level Kia and a very important marketing tool as it produces a lot of sales and revenue and also brings new car buyers into the Kia brand. New buyers usually stay faithful to Kia and continue buying other Kia vehicles in higher and more expensive segments.
“The basic form remains, which is what more than 75,000 happy Soul owners loved so much about the funky runabout last year, representing a nearly 5 percent increase over sales in 2020. The new 2023 Soul is set to continue that trend with its refreshed design inside and out, advanced technology and feature-packed trims.” said Steve Center, COO & EVP, Kia America
The new Kia Soul uses an all-new platform. Kia engineers designed a great suspension to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness, the goal is to improve handling and comfort.
Part of the design of the Soul includes Kia’s corporate front grill Tiger’s Nose. The exterior and its interior look great, modern, funky, and attractive. The new third-generation Soul is 2.2 inches longer in overall size, and it has 1.2 inches longer wheelbase than the previous generation. Large boomerang tail lights in the back and the vertical rear window. The new design makes the Soul very appealing.
The GT line I am test-driving has dual exhaust to look sporty and drive better. The new soul is stronger, it has 35% stiffer chases and a faster steering ratio.
Cargo space is good, enough for 3 carry-on suitcases and some additional bags. There is also larger space than before for the driver and passengers. There are more than 24 cubic feet of available cargo space with the seats up, or 62.1 with the second row folded flat. The rear seats are spacious, there is plenty of legroom for taller passengers onboard.
The interior of the Soul is big and modern with a panoramic sunroof. The GT Top Line models look more premium and appealing with a large high-definition touch screen, illuminated door flares, and an exclusive set of instruments.
Soul GT Line
The GT-Line Technology Package includes important features and driver-assist systems.
A premium Harman/Kardon premium audio is accessed through the 10.25-inch color touchscreen and features an external amplifier, subwoofer, and door-mounted tweeters for amazing high-end sound while driving the Soul GT-Line.
Multi-colored LED speaker lights pulse in time with the tunes and the heated front seats offer a warm embrace during cold-weather drives.
The GT-Line Technology Package includes the following smart features
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Junction Turning capability, radar and camera type
- Highway Drive Assist
- Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control
- Electronic Parking Brake
- Power driver seat
- High-gloss interior trim
- LED headlights and taillights
- Cargo Cover
- Dual-level cargo floor
2023 Kia Soul Pricing and Trims
The Soul is offered at low pricing starting around $19K with the entry-level Soul LX, pricing goes all the way to around $24K for the EX trim model, the top of the line.
The aggressive low pricing of the Kia Soul is applauded by new car buyers, especially those buying a car for the first time who are highly attracted to buying the Soul instead of the competition.
The new Soul “GT-Line” and “EX” trim models bring visual and performance excitement to the Soul family.
- 2023 Kia Soul LX $19,890
- 2023 Kia Soul S $22,390
- 2023 Kia Soul GT-Line $23,490
- 2023 Kia Soul EX $24,190
New for 2023 the Soul only has one powertrain engine available. The base Soul is powered by an efficient 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates a modest 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. It is only available as FWD and uses an intelligent variable automatic transmission (CVT).
Even if the new trend in the car industry is to move to electric and hybrid cars, for 2023 the Kia Soul is not available as a hybrid or electric, the EV version of the Soul was discontinued, at least for now.
Interior Mood Lighting System
Kia provides Soul drivers with more art, music, and LCD screens. Kia built bright and flashy LCD screens on the interior side of the Soul, and also great quality audio. A good mood lighting system for interior ambiance, you can choose different modes. As the Soul Chameleon changes its color, Kia offers tons of optional features like Harman Kardon premium audio, and Kia Drive Wise Technology with several advanced safety features.
More Safety Features Standard
Previously optional features are now standard across the four Soul trims models including:
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist-Pedestrian (FCA-Ped; camera type)
- Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Following Assist
- Driver Attention Warning
- Lane Departure Warning
- High Beam Assist
- Rear Occupant Alert, door logic
The 2023 Kia Soul is Shaped like a Box and Designed for a Colorful City Life