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Kia Soul

The Kia Soul EV is the Korean manufacturer’s entry into the electric car market and is an interesting model which is sure to divide opinion. Read on to discover whether the Kia is the right electric car for you.

Design

The EV version of the Kia Soul has an 81.4kW AC synchronous permanent magnet motor and offers 109bhp. As is the case with all EVs, the Kia Soul has the ability to deliver the entirety of its 210lbs of torque from a standing start. This means it should feel more responsive than traditional cars.

Kia Soul Electric Car

Kia Soul. Source: Google Images

Of course, the Kia is a supermini and its squat appearance may not be for everyone. Its upholstery is biodegradable and feels surprisingly plush. The battery is packed under the floor which means things can get uncomfortable for passengers in the back since a few inches have been taken off their legroom. Overall, the interior has that clean and sanitised look that you either love or loathe. From first glance, you wouldn’t think the Kia Soul has much room in the boot but its capacity is 281 litres which is reasonable.

Performance

This version of the Kia Soul actually weighs 300 pounds more than the gasoline-powered model; this is not a surprise once you realise the battery weighs a hefty 620 pounds. While Kia claims the range on the vehicle is over 130 miles, various tests show it to be closer to 90 miles in real-world conditions which is about the norm for existing electric cars.

When in Drive mode, the Soul’s acceleration is seamless while the steering feels as light as a feather. While out in the open road, it’s almost as if you are gliding to your destination and the lack of noise made by the Soul is a typical electric car bonus. It is an excellent vehicle for navigating city traffic as it takes off from a dead stop effortlessly.

Verdict

Had the Kia Soul been released in 2012 or even in 2013, it would probably have been a market leader. Unfortunately for Kia, there are better electric cars on the market right now for a comparable or even cheaper price. It appears as if Kia does not have delusions of grandeur as it only expects to sell a few hundred units which makes us wonder why it bothered. The Soul is a decent electric car but it needs to be so much more to compete.

Rating 3/5

  • Cost: $37,000 (£24,995 after UK Government Grant)
  • Miles Per Gallon Equivalent (MPG): 105mpg
  • Official Driving Range (Miles): 93 miles, Kia claims 132 miles.
  • Standard Charging Time (Hours): 5 hours on 240-volt charger
  • Practicality (Seats & Doors): 5 doors, 5 seats
  • Engine Size: 81.4kW
  • Engine Power: 109bhp
  • Transmission: Single-speed front wheel drive
  • Acceleration (0-62mph): 10.8 seconds
  • Top Speed (mph): 90mph
  • NCAP Safety Rating: 4 stars

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