Kia’s newest venture into the EV world is the ever-popular Kia Soul EV, a reimagined model of their classic Soul model with an electric twist. With the already successful e-Niro and EV6 models, Kia are taking their biggest step into the EV market.
So much so that the Kia Soul EV will only be sold as an all-electric model from 2022. This means the petrol and diesel counterparts will no longer be produced or sold by Kia. We can see that the Kia Soul EV is set to be an extremely popular model.
Despite its similarities to Kia’s conventional Soul models, there’s one big difference. Being purely run on electric, the Soul EV has no tailpipe emissions! This offers familiarity, comfort and practicality to those looking for an eco-friendly alternative to their Kia Soul.
There’s also some new and improved features throughout the Kia Soul EV which we cannot wait to explore. We’re so excited about this EV we forgot to mention that it’s joining our EVision Electric Vehicles fleet! That’s right. Be the first to hire the Kia Soul EV and register your interest here!
If you were to buy the Kia Soul EV outright, you’d be splashing a huge £34,545 after receiving the Government’s plug-in grant. It’s a very expensive car for its size! Thankfully, not having to pay road tax and its low running costs do offset the initial high price.
(But, you’d save a lot more by hiring any electric vehicle, rather than buying them outright!)
Let’s explore the Kia Soul EV further!
A bold design!
Kia has taken a much more modest approach with the Soul EV than the EV6. While the Soul EV has a bold design to begin with, it is almost identical to the non-electric model. In fact, you would struggle to pick out any differences between the two.
One slight difference between the two is the size. Kia’s all-electric Soul EV is ever so slightly larger than the conventional Soul, but it’s still smaller than the e-Niro. Despite it’s smaller size, the Kia Soul EV makes great use of the available space.
There’s a good amount of head and leg room throughout the cabin – more than enough for four adults. We’d say the only downside to the Kia Soul EV is it’s relatively smaller boot. The e-Niro is possibly more practical, but the Soul EV has an attractive design, great statistics and is brilliant to drive.
We found the Kia Soul EV nippy and agile throughout city streets, yet comfortable and quiet at motorway speeds. There’s also the benefit of exceptionally low running and maintenance costs!
There’s only one trim level on the Kia Soul EV, a lavishly equipped First Edition model. This comes with 17” alloy wheels, heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel and fully LED headlights.
Inside, there’s a 10.25” touchscreen which houses Kia Connect (UVO). This allows drivers and passengers to control the climate of the vehicle and see the battery level. You can also use this feature to find your Kia Soul EV in a busy car park. Plus, it can all be controlled with just your voice!
While we wouldn’t compare Kia’s infotainment system to the one in the BMW i3, it is certainly up there with some of the best in the business. A great selling point is the Harman Kardon premium sound system which also comes as standard.
Of course, it comes ready with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which are probably the two most important features on any modern EV. There’s some great safety features too, including forward collision-avoidance assist, lane following assist and lane keep assist.
We also noticed that the Soul EV is significantly more upmarket than the conventional vehicle. The interior finish is truly stunning. Plus, unlike some complicated electric vehicles, the switchgear is easy to find and use!
Range? Charging time? Performance?
Now onto everyone’s favourite question! How far can it travel?! Well, Kia suggests the Soul EV can travel a huge 280 miles on a single charge. That’s further than the Nissan Leaf, Renault ZOE and the new Hyundai Ioniq 5. We suggest that the real-world range is closer to 240, which is still brilliant for a small, family electric vehicle.
The 64kWh battery will take roughly 9 hours to fully charge using a 7kW charger. That means the Soul EV could cost you a minimal £9 to fully charge at home, depending on your energy provider. Meanwhile, using a 150kW rapid charger would take only 30 minutes to charge.
While regenerative braking is used in almost all electric vehicles now, it feels brilliant in the Kia Soul EV. You’re almost able to drive solely using the accelerator pedal. By lifting your foot off the accelerator even slightly, you can feel the vehicle pulling back. You can also adjust the rate of braking using paddles mounted behind the steering wheel.
There are four different driving modes; Normal, Sport, Eco and Eco+. You’re able to adjust these to your driving style. The Eco+ mode puts the EV into maximum efficiency by reducing the power and switching the air conditioning off. We will admit, the Eco+ mode is possibly not the nicest driving experience, but it could come in handy when you’re running out of miles.
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* All information correct as of 22/01/2022.