Who’s It For?
The new Kia Soul EV is a stylish electric car that’s tailor-made for the morning commute to work. With five doors and a roomy interior, it can also accommodate small families, while its 109bhp electric motor has a range of 132 miles.
Once again, Kia have added a 7 years, 100,000 miles warranty to the Soul, and with zero emissions and a battery charge that set buyers back just a few quid, running costs are excellent.
Electric Motor & Handling
Kia have tried to retain the driving dynamics of the standard Kia Soul, and for the most part they’ve succeeded. The car is easygoing, comfortable, but instead of a diesel or petrol engine under its bonnet, it’s got a 27kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack and a 109bhp electric motor.
With a claimed range of 132 miles, reasonable performance and a very quiet engine, the Kia Soul should appeal to small families or commuters. Its steering is vague and artificial, and its turning circle isn’t as tight as some rivals.
The electric motor covers the 0-62 dash in 10.8 seconds. It surge of electricity is instant, which makes the car feel quicker than those numbers suggest. Especially from 0-40mph, the Kia Soul EV feels nippy.
A start/stop button controls the engine, and it comes with a smart keyless entry system for easy operation.
The car is fitted with 16” lightweight alloys and super low rolling resistance tyres. Although the Soul EV doesn’t handle as sharply as the standard model, it isn’t far off and doesn’t feel intimidating for an electric car.
This isn’t a purpose-built electric car, which means the dashboard resembles the standard Soul. That said, the brand have been a bit more imaginative with their design and the Soul EV looks and feels funkier.
- Quality – The standard is high and the materials used are top notch. Fit and finish is good, the light-coloured plastics are attractive and there are plenty of nice features, including a digital radio, grey two-tone eco cloth with blue stitching, privacy glass and a reversing camera system.
- Comfort – Heated front seats help on this front and ride quality is good overall. Kia have put together a calm and relaxed environment. The driver’s seat and steering wheel offer lots of adjustability.
- Insulation – There’s no internal combustion racket, which helps with refinement. Insulation is good.
- Space and Practicality – The Soul EV sports an over-square styling, and this helps with practicality. Parking sensors and a reversing camera are standard, visibility is fine, and storage spaces include cup holders, a large, deep glovebox and reasonably-sized door bins. Rear headroom is excellent but the batteries have reduced rear legroom by 80mm.
- Load Capacity – The boot measures 281-litres, which is way off the standard Soul’s 354-litre boot. There’s a storage compartment beneath the boot floor, but this is reserved for the charging cables. Fold the rear seats and the boot extends to 1,367-litres.
The Kia Soul EV is cheap to run and tax, but it’s expensive to buy and – like all electric cars – will depreciate badly.
- An overnight charge can cost you as little as £2. If you use a domestic three-pin plug, a full charge takes 12 hours. A fast charger can do it in 5 hours at the most. A rapid public charging station restores the batteries to 80% in just 33 minutes.
- A full charge lasts for 155 miles if the conditions are good. In poorer weather, wipers, heaters and headlamps will reduce range by around a half.
- The Kia Soul EV is free from road tax and costs a 40% tax payer just £1,096 to run.
- The car sits in insurance group 18, while it’s claimed that a Kia Soul EV will be worth just a third of its initial purchase price after 3 years of ownership.
Need more information? Check out our full review of the Kia Soul EV here, including comparisons with its closest rivals.