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Kia News & Reviews

2023 Kia Soul GT-Line

An angry toaster in its own right, the 2023 Kia Soul GT-Line assumes the mantle place once held by the long gone Scion xB. In fact, the original design chief of Kia America studios has referred to the Kia Soul as a toaster car. That’s because of its boxy shape and vibey demeanor. We at Napleton News like taking advantage of a vibe, so when they dropped off the 2023 Soul, we jumped at the chance to see how the youngsters do it. Here’s our report.

What’s the Kia Soul GT-Line all about?

The 2023 Kia Soul GT-Line

The jury is still out on this one. Is it a car? A Crossover Utility? Both? Neither? The bottom line is the subcompact Kia Soul is anything you want it to be. Whether it’s mom or dad’s taxi, taking a brood to an after school activity or a big cross-country road trip. It serves all duties with equal skill.

With prices getting out of hand at the moment, the Soul is one of the more affordable offerings from any manufacturer. Add in the 10-year / 100,000-mile to make it a bargain from the word go.

Does the Soul have Soul?

Actually, that’s code for what’s under the hood of the new Kia Soul. With the Kia Soul GT-Line, you get Hyundai Corporation’s long-standing 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. Here, it delivers 147 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm and 132 lb-ft of torque with an EPA-estimated mileage of 28 city/33 highway.

To keep the price affordable, Kia delivers the Soul GT-Line with an exclusive continuously variable automatic transmission that powers the front wheels.

How does the Kia Soul GT-Line look?

2023 Soul as seen head on.

The Soul comes in a variety of trim levels ranging from base LX, LX Technology and the top-shelf Soul EX. Our GT-Line featured the Technology package, which makes it pricier than the priciest Soul EX. Confused, yet? After settling on your out-the-door price, don’t forget to add the $1,295 destination fee.

Ours was painted in what Kia calls Surf Blue with a contrasting black roof. But we think it reminds us more of Richard Petty blue, so just go with us here.

The 2023 Kia Soul from the rear.

But the basic premise begins with a two-box design that is typical for the CUVs of today. Some may say the styling is a bit staid but it can work to your advantage. It is über easy to park within a city or other tight place. It’s just the thing for the young urban dweller.

The current Kia Soul was introduced in 2020. For 2023, it receives a few changes and updates that keep it consistent with the rest of the product lineup. One is a modified version of the trademark Tiger nose grille. It’s now wider and takes up more of the front fascia, but is still just as charming.

The grille of the 2023 Kia Soul GT-Line.

What about the interior?

The seats inside the Soul featured a mystery fabric of some sort that looks like it will wear nicely for quite a few years. Materials in our GT-Line model are a bit better than what we have seen in lower-trim models. Start with a flat-bottomed steering wheel and an illuminating set of Harman Kardon speakers.

There are other features as well, including a Qi wireless charger, a chunky gear shift knob and plenty of rear legroom. By the numbers, we’re talking 38.8 inches, which is nearly limo-like. We’re kidding but you get the idea.

The 2023 Soul Interior

The good stuff doesn’t end though. There’s also plenty of cargo space, ranging from 24.2 cubic feet behind the rear seat. Fold them forward and that area grows to 62.1 cubic feet.

Behind the wheel of the Kia Soul GT-Line

This new version of the Toaster Car found the two adults sitting comfortably side-by-side in the front seat. It’s peppy looking, but not peppy driving. Around town, it’s just the ticket for high-mileage pedaling from store to school to home.

Highway driving is just fine under normal conditions. Speed demons may not want to apply. This Soul doesn’t have a lot of get-up-and-go for highway or high-performance driving, which is too bad. We enjoyed driving the old Turbo Soul and yes, it actually had some. This new model, while offering more room, falls short in the power band. We think that’s rather unfortunate.

Next to the no-longer available turbocharger, we think the only thing missing on the new Kia Soul are the dancing hamsters.

The 2023 Soul hides under awnings

Specifications:

2023 Kia Soul GT-Line
Engine Type 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
Horsepower 147 hp @ 5,200 rpm
Torque 132 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission Continuously variable transmission with FWD
Fuel Economy 30 mpg (28 city/33 hwy)
Suspension F/R Strut/Torsion Beam
Turning Circle 34.8 ft.
Also Available Differing trim levels
Specs
Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 10 years/100,000 miles
NHTSA Safety Rating 4 stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 maximum but 4 preferred
Wheelbase 102.4 inches
Overall Length 165.2 inches
Width 70.9 inches
Height 63.0 inches
Cargo Room (Behind 1st and 2nd row) 24.2/62.1-Cubic Feet
Headroom, Front 38.3 inches
Headroom, 2nd 39.5 inches
Legroom, 1st 41.1 inches
Legroom, 2nd 38.8 inches
Shoulder, 1st 55.5 inches
Shoulder, 2nd 54.7 inches

This post was published on March 28, 2023

Mark Elias

I've loved everything on wheels: Trains, Planes and definitely Automobiles. I am constantly in search of the latest in new technology, which makes our lives better each day, but will always respect the classics. You can't continue forward without first taking a look back at where you've been.

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