There was a time when electric vehicles (EV) covered 60 miles before they had you running to the nearest outlet. Five years later, newer EVs boast an average of 90 mile range and more. The Kia Soul EV claims 90 miles, which we’ve tested for you over the space of a week. Our verdict is… Well, we’ll let you read on.
Quick Specs & Info
4.5 Charging Plugs
2015, KIA, Soul, EV
Class: Electric Vehicle
Base Model Kia Soul EV-E
As Tested: Soul EV
Powertrain – Electric: 27 kWh, 109 HP, 210 lb-ft
MSRP as tested:
The Kia Soul EV comes in with a hefty 27 kWh battery pack that will not send you chasing frantically after a charging station or plug every time you park. That is high praise for the company’s first electric attempt and shows how far these second generation electric vehicles, EV have come. We found the Kia Soul EV to be an easy EV to get along with and probably your first best bet if you’re still on the fence.
Feel and Driving Experience
The KIA Soul EV packs a lot of space. In fact, it is about as big as its internal combustion engine sibling and roomy enough to accommodate four people, with suitcases. We felt very comfortable in every seats and the trunk had plenty of space. It even manages to keep the same trunk space and almost the same floorboard as the gas version.
The drive and feel of the Soul EV is similar to the gasoline version in terms of acceleration and handling. Maybe this is something we’d like to ask carmakers to change. EVs are different. Let us feel that wild torque. Most of us are looking for something different anyway. The different EV driving modes, Eco, normal and sport are on par with most other EVs. The Eco mode seriously restricts the torque. However, floor it and it comes alive. The normal mode slightly boosts the torque and the sport mode is the fun giddy torquey mode you’ll love. We noticed almost no battery drain under 7 MPH in cruising mode.
Kia Soul EV, Infotainment
The KIA Soul EV’s infotainment impressed us with its ease of use and clear navigation display. Coupling our various iPhones to it was as easy as it should be. The parking assist and detection system worked as advertised, without over doing it, a tendency we sometimes find on other cars. The cruise control worked flawlessly, maintaining the proper speed without unduly stressing the battery. Overall, the functions were well thought out and had anything we needed and wanted in an EV.
BMW i3, Nissan LEAF, VW e-Golf, Mercedes A Class Electric
This the EV with the most range at the time of testing, only topped now by the BMW i3 and the soon to be released 2016 Nissan LEAF. It has a very generous trunk and doesn’t sacrifice space or cargo room, unencumbered by a battery pack. Generous battery pack, 27 kWh and 93+ miles of stress free driving. Self reclining mirrors when parked.
No trunk blind system. The inside of the trunk is left visible to the outside world. Its price is above average.
We feel the year waited to test drive the KIA Soul EV was worth it. KIA intrigued us originally with such a big the battery pack. Although we were skeptical, the result is an electric car that does everything well.
Test Period Length and Limitations
We reviewed the car for seven days and put 439 miles on it. We deliberately mimicked a normal commute of 35 miles a day, ten in city, the rest on highway.