The Kia Soul EV might be a bit love it or loathe it on the styling front. but with a range of 280 miles and prices from under 35,000 pounds, this pure electric hatchback promises a longer range than almost any rival despite its competitive pricing.
After all alternatives to the Kia Soul include the Nissan Leaf and the MG ZS EV, neither of which will go as far as a single charge, or you’re looking at more expensive alternatives like the Kia Niro and the Hyundai Kona electric which are straying into Tesla Model 3 price range.
So is this as good as it seems on paper which could make it the ultimate electric family car? or is it all style over substance?
Battery and Charging
The 2021 Kia Soul EV gets its long official driving range from a 64 kWh battery. it gets a type 2 and CCS socket in the nose of the car. that gives you access to the vast majority of public chargers.
Plug into a CCS rapid charger offering a rate of 100 kilowatts or more and the Kia Soul EV will get a 20%-80% top-up in around about 45 minutes.
Kia Soul EV has a maximum 77-kilowatt charging rate. most motorway chargers in the UK currently only deliver speeds of 50 kilowatts which will take more like an hour.
Most owners will have a home wall box installed. this will deliver a full charge into the care in 9 hours at a cost of around 9 pounds on most domestic utility tariffs.
Charging overnight will help to take advantage of off-peak rates. you can do that very easily in the Kia thanks to the settings in the cars menu or the free phone app that allows remote control of the charging and the climate control presets.
All of the cables that you need to charge at home or a public charging station are provided.
You will get a 7-year or 100,000-mile warranty that covers the car and its battery.
Efficiency and Driving Range
Kia Soul EV has got an official range of 280 miles. which is very impressive. it makes this car one of the longest range electric cars on sale at any price.
In the real world, it is no less impressive. the cold weather conditions which can affect the range of a car. and that means the real-world range of this car would be about 230 miles. also, if you drive this in calm weather, such as summer. the real-world range would rise to about 300 miles for sure.
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So Kia the Kia has nailed the efficiency of their electric cars. it’s one of the reasons they’re doing so well with their electric cars and why they’re so in demand as well. so I do think that you will see the official range on this car in the summer. especially if you drive around town.
Kia has got a really good brake regeneration system on its cars. so you can toggle through the three levels using these paddles. which is nice because it makes things very intuitive. it means that you can use the different levels of brake regen almost like you would an automatic gearbox in a normal car. it has a standard automatic setting which means that it uses the same radar that it has the adaptive cruise control system on to maintain a distance from the car in front. and that means that obviously, the car will automatically adjust the brake region forces as it sees fit. and that is all very clever.
More importantly, is that it’s well-suited to around town as well nice brake feel so you know what’s going on there and that brake regen always sort of bleeds in smoothly too. so it’s very easy to know what the car is going to do and Trust it and within you know a few minutes of driving it you don’t have to think about. it at all it’s all very intuitive. it’s exactly what you want the ride too is pretty good. it’s a little bit firm but it’s well-damped enough that it never bothers you. so I think that’s very good and it’s refined too.
Performance and Handling
The Kia Soul EV produces 201 brake horsepower. it’s got a real sort of nice nippy performance. but also because. on that same note, the car can accelerate 0-62 mph in under 8 seconds. it is not a hot hatch. it doesn’t feel like a hot hatch and you never expect it to be a hot hatch. but for all that, it does have a nice cohesive sort of ride and handling. so front-wheel drive like I said. it’s got plenty of grips.
The steering’s nice and light but it’s got a nice progression to it. so you always know how much grip. there is at the front of the car you can thread it down a nice road quite neatly. and it’s not without satisfaction this car.
This car has got a decent suite of driver safety aids. so it’s got that adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane keeps assisting, rear traffic cross assist, etc. it’s got everything that you could want in terms of driver aids and they all combine to give it a semi-autonomous driving mode. so even though of course you’ve got that very blocky front end of this car. there’s not that much wind noise until you get up to motorway speeds anyway. and that’s the thing to take away from the Kia Soul EV of it but it’s so easy to drive.
I mean a lot of electric cars are but between the brake feel on this nice steering it’s going to be such an intimidating car for anybody even if you’re coming from a petrol or diesel car. so in that respect, it does everything you would expect of it.
Trims and Specs
The Kia Soul EV is only offered in one high spec trim called “The First Edition“. which does suggest that there might be some cheaper trims joining the range but we’re not sure if or when that might happen. in the meantime, it’s easy to see why you would want one of these anyway because it’s so well equipped. the only thing I would add is that there are only three exterior body colors. white blue or black all with contrast roof. I like the blue best. and also there aren’t even any alloy options so you have to have the alloy design that you see here. and I am not convinced.
There are masses to enjoy in here too including heated leather seats reversing camera and reversing sensors keyless entry climate control the digital drivers dancing even get a head-up display you do get everything that you could want in this car and a little bit more.
Interior and Infotainment
everything you want is included in the car interior. starting with an excellent 10-inch color touch screen, which is quick to respond logically to use and includes nav with the charger search function, digital radio, USB inputs, a-10 speaker Harman Kardon sound system, Apple Carplay, and Android Auto. and just everything that you want really. it’s honestly one of the best systems out there short of premium stuff in Audi and BMW.
The driving position is good too. so there’s plenty of adjustment rear visibility isn’t great perhaps but it’s not gonna bother you and you even get full led automatic headlights as standard too. so there is nothing to argue with in terms of the equipment on this car.
Boot space is one area where the Kia Soul EV loses out to more conventional hatchback or crossover alternatives such as the Nissan Leaf and MG ZS EV with 315 liters to spare. it is more than enough for a small family to get by but it is quite a short boot floor so getting chunky buggies or sports equipment in will be a bit awkward .at least there is underfloor space that’s ideal for stowing the cables. and there’s also loads of rear passenger space with enough Headroom back there to accommodate adults and their top hats.
As with most electric cars if you compare the Kia Soul EV to petrol alternatives like the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur. it can look a bit expensive. but in the context of the other electric family cars available at roughly this price, it is a no-brainer. given the range given that it’s got more equipment and you can even think of never mind need. giving them it’s a tidy Drive and a practical thing as well. then it is the complete package.
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