Less than four years after its initial reveal, the third-generation Kia Soul has now been given a facelift for the 2023 model year. In addition to a slightly redesigned exterior, the boxy compact car also receives new options as well as a revised engine and variant line-up.
New for 2023 are the reshaped headlamps which are accompanied by a more distinctive DRL signature wrapping around the outer edges of each cluster. The trim piece linking the headlamps also gain some texture to them and feature the latest Kia logo instead of the previous oval-shaped badge fitted above the bonnet shut line.
The all-new front fascia also includes a more prominent front grille/intake with a modern pattern for the insert on the pictured GT-Line variant. Compared to its predecessor, the latest Soul loses the previous large fog lamps in favour of more discreet LED strips, which are integrated into the trim that frames the grille and is connected to the vertical inlets at the corners of the bumper.
At the rear, the Soul’s iconic boomerang-shaped taillights are retained but the lower apron has been tweaked to include a single, trapezoidal-shaped exhaust finisher on the GT-Line – previously a dual-piece outlet. The reflectors are also no longer isolated strips on the bumper and are instead part of the vertical cutouts on the bumper leading to a decorative strip above the exhaust.
The available 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels now come with new designs and Kia also offers two new dual-tone colour options, including Clear White and Surf Blue, both combined with a Fusion Black roof.
On the inside, Kia says “what worked best remains and what has changed has made a good thing better.” As such, the changes within the cabin are minor, with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system now being standard on all trims besides the entry-level LX. The aforementioned GT-Line and LX, along with the S and EX, are the available variants for 2023 in the United States, with the previous X-Line and Turbo discontinued.
With the Turbo variant gone, the only engine available for the US-spec Soul is a 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol unit that makes 149 PS (147 hp) and 178 Nm of torque, which drives the front wheels through an Intelligent Variable Transmission (CVT).
In terms of safety and driver assists, standard systems include Forward Collision Avoidance Assist – Pedestrian, Lane Keeping and Lane Following Assist, Driver Attention and Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist and Rear Occupant Alert.
There are also two optional packages, with the LX Technology Package adding Blind Spot Collision Avoidance and Rear Cross Collision Avoidance, while the GT-Line Technology Package adds Junction Turning, Highway Drive Assist and navigation-based Smart Cruise Control.
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