KIA

KIA SOUL ELECTRIC HATCHBACK 150kW First Edition 64kWh 5dr Auto

Fuel

FuelElectric

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph7.6s

WLTP - Pure Electric Range

Electric Range280 miles

The Kia Soul now comes only in all-electric form, so it's just as well that this brand's EV technology has hugely improved. To the point where almost anyone ought to be able to consider it. If you've been waiting for the right moment to join the battery-powered automotive revolution, that time may just have arrived.

KIA VOLTS INTO CONTENTION

The third generation Kia Soul is entirely wedded to battery power. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

The Kia Soul now comes only in all-electric form, so it's just as well that this brand's EV technology has hugely improved. To the point where almost anyone ought to be able to consider it. If you've been waiting for the right moment to join the battery-powered automotive revolution, that time may just have arrived.

Background

You might think that the full-electric car market could be pretty much divided into a couple of kinds of contender. There are relatively affordable ones, like the Nissan LEAF, developed steadily to the point where its lithium-ion batteries can offer up to around 180 miles on a good day. Or for around twice the money, buyers can graduate to the more sophisticated battery technology that luxury models use - cars like the Jaguar I-PACE, the Audi e-tron, the Mercedes EQC and various Teslas. With these, a driving range of around 300 miles or more is the norm. That used to be a reasonable EV buying perspective. But in 2018, the Hyundai/Kia conglomerate turned up on the market with three EV models offering the kind of range you'd get in a luxury EV for the kind of price you'd pay for a more affordable one; namely the Hyundai Kona Electric, the Kia e-Niro and the car we look at here, the Kia Soul EV.

Driving Experience

Given that there are now no longer any combustion-engined versions of this Soul, it's just as well that this EV model's WLTP-rated all-electric driving range is quite lengthy - 280 miles. That's thanks to a large 64kWh battery pack that can be recharged to 80% in just an hour and a quarter, providing you've got access to a 50kW DC fast charger. If you haven't, then a 7.2kW home wallbox will re-charge a Soul EV completely in 9 hours 35 minutes (which, to give you some idea, would use around £9 of electricity at current rates). You can eke out range by using these steering wheel paddles that allow you to vary the amount of regenerative braking. And by using the many EV features provided on the centre-dash screen. The powertrain develops 201bhp and like most EVs, this one feels rapid away from rest, making 62mph in 7.6s. The suspension has been carefully worked on to try and deal with the effects of this car's rather prodigious 1,757kg kerb weight. Not enough to make this car feel anything like a satisfying steer through the bends though.

Design and Build

If you happened to like previous versions of the Soul, you'd probably recognise this third generation model, which adds a more modern feel with a front end shaped by narrow lights and a trapezoidal grille. The rear features an LED light strip that wraps almost all the way around the rear screen. It's intended to be distinctive and needs to be to mask the boxy shape which is bigger this time round. This MK3 model measures in at 4,195mm, 55mm more than its predecessor. It's also 1,605mm high and 1,800mm wide and has a 2,600mm wheelbase that's 30mm lengthier than before. That's not enough to enable this Kia to offer more luggage space than its EV cousin, the Kia e-Niro (315-litres as opposed to 451-litres), but the Soul has a nicer cabin and its higher roofline makes the interior seem much airier. There's also plenty of tech, with the latest 10.3-inch version of the brand's centre-dash touchscreen and a head-up display. One particularly nice touch is the provided button that enables you to control heat or chill only the driver's portion of the cabin if you're one-up and need to maximise range.

Market and Model

At present, the only version of the Soul EV available is a 'First Edition' version which comes fully loaded with extra equipment but costs just over £37,545 - or just under £35,045 with the government's Plug-in grant deducted. Once more standard variants become available, expect to be paying a very similar to the amount of money to that you'd have to find for Kia's mechanically-identical e-Niro and Hyundai's equally similar Kona Electric. And it's probably not that much different to the uprated version of the Nissan LEAF that you'd have to buy if you wanted to match this Soul EV's driving range. You also get plenty of safety tech, including a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and blind spot monitoring. There are plenty of EV rivals in this part of the market, but most of them are unable to match this Soul's driving range. For a little less, there's Renault's ZOE, a Volkswagen e-Golf and a Hyundai IONIQ electric. A Nissan LEAF would cost quite a lot less too in its volume form, but you'd actually need that car in its uprated 62kWh 'e+' guise to match this Kia's driving range - a variant that costs around the same as a Soul EV. BMW's i3 costs significantly more.

Cost of Ownership

Many potential customers love to fire up their spreadsheets and produce some involved calculations that attempt to answer the question of whether the electric model will work for them better than a diesel or petrol version over a representative ownership period. So let's see. We've already mentioned the 280 mile WLTP-rated driving range. Obviously, to get anywhere near the official quoted range figures, you'll need to be using the two most sensible of the provided driving modes - 'Eco' or, ideally, 'Eco+', both of which slightly restrict throttle travel and climate system performance, the latter, majorly so. You'll need to maximise brake regeneration using the steering wheel paddles. And you'll also want to keep an eye on the drive indicator to the left of the instrument binnacle screen, staying in the lower blue 'Charge' zone and out of the upper white 'Power' section. The central part of the instrument binnacle display offers a selectable 'Energy Flow' monitor and a 'Driving Style' read-out which rates your driving in % terms in 'economical', 'normal' and 'dynamic' categories. You'll want to know that this Soul EV's charging times stack up to segment standards. Pretty well as it turns out. It's possible to replenish this model's lithium-ion cells with a charge of up to 80% in just an hour and a quarter, providing you've got access to a 50kW DC fast charger. If you haven't, then a 7.2kW home wallbox will re-charge a Soul EV completely in 9 hours 35 minutes (which, to give you some idea, would use around £9 of electricity at current rates). If you're somewhere with only a normal 3-pin plug 220V AC power supply to connect into, it'll take a yawning 31 hours to top the car up completely. If you can find a fast-charging 100kW charging station, the battery can reach 80% of charge in only 54 minutes.

Summary

Car manufacturers are now getting a lot smarter when it comes to developing electric vehicles, something ably demonstrated by this Soul EV. Range anxiety used to be a sensible reason for not buying a full-battery-powered model but these days, that's becoming less of a credible excuse. For the majority of people, the 280 mile range figure offered here will be quite sufficient. And though this Soul still costs quite a lot more than you'd have to pay for an average family hatch to buy, you'd quickly start making the premium back in day-to-day use. In a Volkswagen ID.3, you'd get an arguably classier interior. In a Nissan LEAF, you'd get more rear seat passenger space. But you'd have to be looking at the very priciest versions of both these cars to match the driving range this Soul EV can offer. And neither is quite as trendy to look at as a Soul, though of course, that's a matter of opinion. One thing's for sure: if you're serious about EV motoring, this car's a serious contender.

  • Rear wash/wipe
  • Variable intermittent front wash/wipe
  • Solar glass
  • Rain sensing front wipers
  • All round electric windows with drivers and front passenger auto up/down function
  • Privacy glass - Rear windows and tailgate
  • Automatic window defogger
  • Aero blade wiper

  • Regenerative braking level controlled by paddle shift mounted on steering wheel
  • Electronic Stability Control + Brake Assist System + Vehicle Stability Management + Hillstart Assist Control
  • Electronic parking brake
  • Hill start assist
  • Anti-lock Brake System and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
  • Traction control

  • Apple car play/Android Auto with voice control
  • Charging indicator on dashboard
  • UVO app connectivity
  • Wireless Mobile Phone Charger
  • E-call

  • Forward collision avoidance assist
  • Drive mode select (Eco, sport)
  • Adaptive smart cruise control function SCC
  • Emergency stop signalling system
  • Blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert
  • Reversing camera
  • Lane keep assist
  • Speed limiter
  • Motor driven power steering
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Driver attention warning
  • Lane Following Assist (LFA)

  • Trip computer
  • Digital clock
  • Head up Display
  • 10.25" Touch screen navigation with european mapping & traffic messaging channel
  • 7" OLED colour display cluster

  • Electrically adjustable/heated/folding door mirrors with LED indicators
  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror
  • Body colour door mirrors

  • Steering wheel mounted audio controls
  • Bluetooth audio streaming
  • DAB Radio/CD + MP3
  • Harman/kardon premium sound system with 10 speakers and subwoofer, external amp & front centre speaker
  • 2 x USB port in centre console

  • Premium two tone paint
  • Black side sill and wheel arch body mouldings
  • Silver sill styling
  • Silver skid plates
  • Body colour door handles
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Roof rails

  • Automatic headlight control system
  • Manual headlight levelling
  • Follow me home headlights
  • High beam assist
  • LED front fog lights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED rear combination lights
  • Dual full LED Headlamps
  • Rear bulb fog lamp

  • Single automatic air conditioning with driver function only
  • Rear ventilation duct
  • Heat pump

  • 12V power socket in centre console
  • Luggage net hooks
  • Tilt/telescopic adjustable steering wheel
  • Satin chrome interior door handles
  • Front and rear door storage
  • Interior door lock/unlock function
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Leather trimmed steering wheel
  • Centre console storage box
  • Front centre armrest
  • Leather upholstery
  • Dual height load floor
  • Front cup holders
  • Shift by wire SBW
  • Light grey headlining
  • Luggage area load cover

  • Map lamp with sunglasses case
  • Luggage area light
  • Centre cabin light

  • All round 3-point seatbelts
  • Twin front airbags
  • Front passenger airbag cut-off switch
  • Impact sensing auto door unlocking
  • Height adjustable front seatbelts
  • Fasten seatbelt reminder
  • Front seatbelt pretensioners + load limiters
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Driver knee airbag
  • Twin front side airbags
  • Twin curtain airbags with roll over sensor

  • Drivers seat power lumbar support
  • 8 way power adjustable drivers seats with sliding, reclining & height adjustment
  • Heated front seats
  • Passenger seat back pocket
  • All-round height adjustable headrests
  • ISOFIX Child seat top tethers and anchor fixings
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat

  • Speed sensitive auto door locking
  • Engine Start/Stop Button with Smart Entry System
  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Visible vehicle identification number
  • Deadlocks
  • Remote central door locking
  • Alarm system and engine immobiliser

  • Driver and front passenger sunvisors with illuminated vanity mirrors

  • 17" alloy wheels

  • Tyre mobility kit

  • Battery Charge Slow Time (Minutes): 1860
  • Battery Charge Slow kW: 2.2
  • Battery Charge Slow Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Fast Time (Minutes): 575
  • Battery Charge Fast kW: 7.2
  • Battery Charge Fast Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Rapid Time (Minutes): 75
  • Battery Charge Rapid kW: 50
  • Battery Charge Rapid Percentage: 0-80
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Time (Minutes): 54
  • Battery Charge Super Charge kW: 100
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Percentage: 0-80
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 7
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 64
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - City: 647
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb: 451
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - City: 10.9
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 15.7
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - City: 5.7
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 4
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - City: 402
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb: 280

  • CO2 (g/km): 0
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • CO: N
  • HC: N
  • NOx: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N

  • Cylinders: N
  • Cylinder Layout: N
  • Number of Valves: N
  • Camshaft: N
  • Fuel Delivery: N
  • Catalytic Convertor: N
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Compression Ratio: N
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): N
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): N
  • CC: 1
  • Engine Code: N

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: N
  • EC Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Combined (mpg): N

  • Coin Series: First Edition
  • Coin Description: N
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 7
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 5
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 10
  • Service Interval Mileage: 10000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 84
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 82
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 59
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 56
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 4
  • Badge Power: 201
  • Badge Engine CC: 0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Generation Mark: 2
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 34D
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False

  • Engine Torque - MKG: 40.3
  • Engine Power - KW: 150
  • Engine Power - RPM: 3800
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 291
  • Engine Torque - NM: 395
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 3600
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 7.6
  • Top Speed: 104
  • Engine Power - BHP: 201
  • Engine Power - PS: False
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): True

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP

  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: N
  • Tyre Size Front: 215/55 R17
  • Tyre Size Rear: 215/55 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY

  • Width (including mirrors): 1825
  • Height: 1605
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Wheelbase: 2600
  • Length: 4220

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1757
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): N
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2180
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 315
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: N
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: N
  • Max. Loading Weight: 423
  • Max. Roof Load: N
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1339

  • Premium two tone paint - Neptune blue with black roof: £0
  • Premium two tone paint - Clear white with red roof: £0
  • Premium two tone paint - Cherry black with red roof: £0

  • Leather - Black: £0

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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