Most of the outside changes are related to the front and the rear of the vehicle
A larger 10.25-inch infotainment screen is now standard on all but the entry-level model
At least 6 active safety features that were optional are now standard across the board
The Kia Soul receives a fairly extensive refresh for 2023 with a tweaked design and many more standard features.
The Kia Soul is the last of the boxy hatchback cars that became very popular at the beginning of the last decade, since the Nissan Cube, the Scion Xb and the Honda Element have all been abandoned long ago.
Despite its concept dating back to 2009, the Kia Soul is still proving popular with buyers who want a subcompact vehicle that has a bit more personality than most.
For 2023, Kia wants to keep this image going by modernising the Soul’s exterior and adding a couple of bright colours to its options list.
The most apparent changes are to the front end of the Soul, which receives a larger grille in the bottom half of the bumper. This grille features bright patterns that look like an elongated “X” and it keeps the bright surround that squeezes slightly in the middle to create the visual signature Kia has used for many years.
Another noticeable change is that the headlamps and the running lights have now been reintegrated into a single unit sitting over the grille. The most affordable versions will feature incandescent units while the upper trims will be equipped with LED lights.
The rear also receives some changes since the bumper was reworked, as were the lights. The taillamps are now two separate units since the red section that joined them by going around the upper edge of the rear window has been blacked out.
Lower on the body, the rear reflectors have been turned to become vertical and a center-mounted trapezoidal exhaust tip is present under the license plate.
Inside, the changes are more subdued, but a new digirtal instrument cluster is available and so is a larger 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen.
This refresh also sees many new standard safety features, most of which were optional on last year’s model. These include the forward collision alert with pedestrian detection, the lane keeping assist, the driver attention assist, the lane departure warning, the high beam assist and the rear occupant alert.
There are also changes under the hood. Indeed, the previous top-of-the-line model which was equipped with a 201-horsepower turbocharged engine has been discontinued, which leaves only the 2.0L four-cylinder engine which continues to deliver 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque through the standard IVT continuously variable transmission.
The Kia Soul EV will not see this update because the automaker has decided to discontinue this model after the 2022 model year to make way for its new generation of electric vehicles that will arrive in the coming months and years.