2023 Kia Soul: Do you want this crossover to resurrect in PH?

Updated May 05, 2022 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

The subcompact crossover sports a new look. 

South Korean automaker Kia has premiered the updated 2023 Soul, based on the third-generation model released in 2019. For the U.S. market, this subcompact crossover will have two trim levels removed from the range, as well as one less engine option, but with improved safety. 

2023 Kia Soul

This isn't the same urban runabout that we used to know

If the nameplate sounds familiar, the Soul was also once part of Kia’s Philippine lineup for two generations until it was discontinued in 2019, with the sticker price as the main for its demise. Two years later, the model was axed in South Korea as well due to declining sales, although it continues to soldier on in overseas markets. 

“The Soul defined a whole new segment of small cars when it first entered the Kia lineup and it continues into the 2023 model year with as much fun, practicality, and style as ever,” proclaimed Kia America Chief Operating Officer & EVP Steve Center. “The new Soul is set to continue that trend with its refreshed design inside and out, advanced technology, and feature-packed trims.” 

For the new release, the X-Line and Turbo trims have been removed, leaving five offerings from the base LX to the top-spec GT-Line Tech.


In its third generation, the Soul now rides on the same platform used by the sportier Hyundai Kona. The former's boxy silhouette carries on, making for a quirky-looking urban runabout that has had fans smitten since 2009. 

2023 Kia Soul side

The same boxy proportions are still there

An all-new fascia features prominently on the latest iteration, with the large halogen foglamps on the pre-facelift version reduced to LED strips flanking the large gaping intake. Redesigned LED headlamps with daytime running lights lie on both sides of the revised grille, which now sports Kia’s new corporate logo

Chrome accents ahead of the front fenders and along the sides somewhat offset the inherent chunkiness of the Soul’s physique, accompanied by blacked-out exterior mirror covers and roof. The latter is accompanied by two new color options: Clear White and Surf Blue.

2023 Kia Soul wheel

A selection of alloy wheels adds style points to the new Soul

Out back, the Kia wordmark sits on an island surrounded by the tailgate’s sea of glass, surrounded by boomerang-shaped LED tail lamps. The restyled bumper features vertically oriented reflectors with a reshaped tailpipe sitting at the center. Customers can choose from a selection of 16- to 18-inch alloy wheels. 


The 2023 Soul still features the familiar cabin with the large control switches, 3D diamond pattern on the interior door panels, and room for five occupants. There’s still available space behind the second-row bench for luggage, along with a dual-level cargo floor. Heated front seats improve comfort during cold-weather drives. 

2023 Kia Soul cabin
Most of the cabin's elements have been retained, with the top-spec trim getting an electronic parking brake

A notable feature on the Soul’s passenger box is the available sound mood lighting, which comes in a range of colors and can be synchronized to the beat of the music playing through the vehicle’s sound system.    

Tech & Safety 

The leather-bound steering wheel has oversized audio and communications switches, with an 8-inch digital instrument panel featuring a heads-up display. For entertainment, there’s a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, patched to a 10-speaker Harman/Kardon audio setup.

USB Type C ports

There are USB Type C charging ports for the rear occupants

Protecting occupants on board is a bevy of driver-assist features that were previously optional on the Soul, but now offered as standard. These include Forward Collision Avoidance Assist-Pedestrian, Lane Keeping Assist with Lane Following Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and High Beam Assist. 

On the flagship GT-Line Tech, these are accompanied by Highway Drive Assist and Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control, along with an electronic parking brake.       

Engine & Drivetrain 

The pre-facelift third generation Soul formerly offered a 1.6-liter Gamma II turbocharged gasoline engine with direct injection. This has been omitted for the 2023 model year, leaving the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated Nu power unit with multi-point injection as the sole option. Output figures are placed at 147 horsepower and 179 Nm of torque. 

2023 Kia Soul front quarter

A 2.0-liter gasoline engine powers the entire Soul range

Power continues to be fed to the front wheels through Kia’s Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) which has been made standard across the range. 


2023 Kia Soul rear

2023 Kia Soul

No pricing information has been disclosed yet, but the 2023 Kia Soul is expected to cost slightly higher than the current pre-facelift model’s $20,545 (Php 1.075 million) asking price. The model is set to be released in the third quarter of 2022 for the U.S. market. Would you want the refreshed third-generation Soul to stage its comeback here?

See what the new releases are in the automotive industry at Philkotse.com. 

Know more about Kia Soul 2024

Kia Soul

The Kia Soul is known for its distinct, boxy look that makes it easily stand out among its competitors in the subcompact crossover segment. It has always represented the fun side of the Korean brand while still showcasing the performance quality and engineering it has become known for. With the release of a refreshed model, it takes its quirkiness and iconic design language merged with sleeker aesthetic modifications to modernize the look. Locally, there are three variants offered which are the top-spec GL VGT CRDi DCT, the SL VGT CRDi DCT, and the base SL VGT CRDi MT. It is powered by a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine and can be had in either manual or automatic transmission.


Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph holds a degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines Diliman and has been writing professionally since 1999. He has written episodes for CNN Philippines' motoring show Drive, and has worked on corporate projects for MG Philippines and Pilipinas Shell. Aside from being Philkotse.com’s Content Lead, he also writes content for numerous car dealerships in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Maserati, among others.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kapatilya

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