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  2. 2023 Kia Soul Review

Source: www.kia.com

Practical subcompact SUV with unconventional styling and well-equipped cabin

Price From $21,215- To $25,515

by | Mar 19, 2023


Kia introduced the Soul subcompact SUV back in 2014. The currect iteration of Soul belongs to the third generation, and the good news is, in 2023 the lineup got a facelift. There are newly added headlamps in a different shapes, new wheel options, redesigned bumper, and a brand-new grille.

These series of changes have transformed the exterior of the Kia Soul into something sporty and fun. While driving in the city, Soul stands out from the crowd with its unique styling. Unfortunately, Kia has decided to stop the X-Line trim, which used to be the go-to choice for buyers who preferred rugged-looking vehicles.

In this 2023 Kia Soul review, we will take you on a tour of this vehicle’s engine options, performance, interior, cargo space, safety features, pricing, and more, so you can take an educated decision about buying this SUV.

Roomy cargo area
Well-equipped cabin
Distinct exterior styling
Value-based pricing
Smooth handling
Noisy cabin while driving through highway
Lack of engine options
Fuel efficiency could have been more
Not meant for off-roading

Performance, Engine, and Comfort


Subcompact SUVs in general do not have superior engine options, and the Kia Soul is no exception. The engine is not the most powerful out there, but you will be pleased with its performance and interior comfort. The cabin is thoughtful enough, and takes into account the needs of small families—there is a roomy cargo area to store your belongings during road trips.

Engine & Performance


Kia doesn’t offer multiple engine options in this lineup, so you have to be satisfied with its four-cylinder engine. On the performance front, Soul proves to be promising, offering smooth rides on city roads. But while driving on highways, be ready to bear wind and road noises—it’s an aspect that needs serious improvement.


The vehicle is powered by a 2-liter four-cylinder engine with an output of 147 hp @ 6200 rpm and torque of 132 pound-feet @ 4500 rpm.


The engine works in conjunction with continuously-variable automatic transmission.


Kia Soul has front struts and rear torsion beams.vFront independent suspension comes as a part of standard features.


With this vehicle, you can expect smooth steering, adequate cornering abilities, and seamless handling.

Safety & Reliability


2023 Kia Soul received a J.D. Power reliability score of 80/100 and a 4-star safety rating from NHTSA. Kia offers a number of driver-assist features and safety features, however, the automaker could offer some more features as a part of the standard package.


Soul is equipped with 11-inch vented disc for front brakes and 10.3-inch disc for rear brakes. To avoid jolts, go easy on the brake pedals, because it responds quickly.


Kia Soul has dual front side-mount airbags and head airbags for front and rear seats to offer protection during a collision.


Some of the key safety features in the vehicle include forward collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane-keep assist, pre and post-collision safety systems, rear cross traffic alert, 4-wheel ABS, child safety locks, and remote anti-theft alarm, to mention a few.


Dusk sensing headlamps and auto-delay off headlamps are part of the standard package. Interior light kit is available as a paid add-on.

Traction control

Traction control is one of the key safety factors in a vehicle designed to prevent road slippage. Kia Soul is equipped with standard traction control, so you can drive through slippery roads with full control.

Fuel Economy


Among all classes of SUV, subcompact vehicles have the best fuel economy ratings. While Kia’s fuel efficiency is not the best out there, it’s adequate for city cruisers.

Engine size 

The lineup comes with a 2-liter 16-valve Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine.

Gas per mileage consumption

The fuel economy numbers are good enough—28 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. However, if high fuel economy is your sole requirement, you can check out Hyundai Venue which also belongs to the same segment but offers better fuel efficiency.



The interior is uncomplicated and practical by all means. The best part is, the interior materials may not be super expensive, but they have a unique refinement. While most budget-friendly subcompact and compact SUV makers cover their cabins with cheap-looking materials, Soul’s interior looks rather tasteful, if not high-end. The seating area has enough space for comfortable long rides, and the cargo area is large enough for this segment.


Kia Soul seats 5 people across two rows. Despite being a subcompact vehicle, the interior is surprisingly spacious. The 41.1 inches front legroom and 38.8 inches rear legroom ensure comfortable rides. The driver gets height adjustable seats, while the passenger gets bucket front seats. Cloth upholstery is standard on the base trim, which changes to premium cloth and leatherette depending on the model you choose.


Kia Soul stands out with its extraordinary design—the boxy exterior and unconventional styling attract buyers who do not like cookie-cutter car designs.


The infotainment system comes with an 8-inch display in the entry-level trim and a 10.3-inch display in other variants. Notable features include premium speakers, Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, wireless charging, and in-dash navigation, to mention a few.

Overall height and space

The vehicle is 165.2 inches long, 70.9 inches wide, and it has a height of 63 inches.

Trunk space

At the back of the rear seats, there is 24.2 cubic feet of storage available. You can expand it up to 62.1 cubic feet by folding down the rear seats.

Price and Extras

In the subcompact SUV segment, Kia’s pricing and features are commendable. Kia doesn’t compromise on finesse and quality, offers multiple trim options to choose from, and even the top trim is priced below $30k. It’s an ideal lineup for buyers looking for a small and practical vehicle within budget.

Market Price

The 2023 Kia Soul comes in 4 trim levels—LX, S, GT-Line, and EX. From the base trim up until the top trim, the models are packed with loads of value but come with an affordable price tag. If we had to pick one, we’d go ahead with the GT-Line for its athletic appeal and unique wheel design. If interior comfort is what you’re seeking, you’d love the EX trim with high-quality upholstery and extra comfortable seating options.

Trim Level Base Price
LX $21,215
S $23,715
GT-Line $24,815
EX $25,515


The vehicle comes with standard front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is not available in any of the trims.


Kia offers a limited warranty coverage of 5 years or 60,000 miles and a powertrain warranty of 10 years or 100,000 miles. However, there is no complimentary maintenance available.


The 2023 Kia Soul can maximum tow up to 2000 pounds.


If you’re thinking of getting the Kia Soul, you first have to set your priorities right, and then analyze if this fits your requirements.

First of all, the 2023 Kia Soul is not an off-road focused vehicle, and doesn’t have any AWD option—it’s suited for driving around the city and highway. So in case you’re planning to take your Kia Soul on adventurous paths, we would suggest you to go for other options, such as the Jeep Cherokee. Secondly, its fuel economy may seem to be adequate, but when you compare with other contemporary subcompacts, Kia’s numbers aren’t the best. Thirdly, if you’re looking for electrification, this is not the one for you—you can check out the Soul EV.

But despite its shortcomings, Soul is incredibly practical, offers precise handling, and the well-equipped cabin feels polished. And at this price range, it’s definitely a good deal.