EV First Edition
all-new pure-electric Soul EV
offers much more than just standout
styling; its green-as-they-come
tailpipe emissions and refined
driveability are just two of its many
very likeable qualities...
IT'S TRUE THAT MANY of today's cars seem like peas out of the same pod
and that makes the Soul EV's modish styling a breath of fresh air
fronted by an appealingly bluff nose defined by wraparound über-slim LED light
strips above a low-slung trapezoidal grille, with deep flanks that flow back
to a geometrically squared-off glasshouse and a vertical tail dramatically ringed
by boomerang-shaped LED lights, there's nothing else quite like it.
Under the characterful and eye-catching urban crossover skin pulses an all-electric
powertrain. And with a game-changing combined range of 280 miles from a single
charge (or an amazing 402 in a city environment) it's more than able to take
on traditional combustion-engined rivals and all with absolutely no range
anxiety. Given that the deadline to officially 'cancel' all non-electric powertrains
is a fast-closing 2030, it makes sense to stay ahead of the wave by switching
to pure electric now.
so and not only can you bask in that feelgood 'driving without polluting' payback,
but there are no risks involved electrically speaking, Kia have done
it all before with their hugely successful e-Niro
crossover which shares the same electrified powertrain.
Soul EV doesnt
force you to put your life
on hold while it
charges hooked up
to a 100kW fast-charger
the battery pack can be
recharged from 20 to 80
per cent capacity (so
good for another 220+
miles) in just 42 minutes
while you take a break
and enjoy a grande
Not only that, but the Soul EV doesn't force you to put your life on hold while
it charges. The onboard charging hardware enables quicker charge-ups: hooked
up to a 100kW fast-charger the battery pack can be recharged from 20 to 80 per
cent capacity (so good for another 220+ miles) in just 42 minutes while you
take a break and enjoy a Grande mochaccino. Good to have, too, is a SatNav that
locates the nearest public charger for you before directing you unerringly to
The Soul EV's pure-electric motor kicks out a very persuasive 201bhp
it's satisfyingly lively with 0-60mph done and dusted in a cutting 7.6 seconds.
Top speed is 104mph which is fine given our motorway and dual carriageway
70mph limits any more would be a waste. A muscular 291lb ft of torque, put down
through the front wheels, explains the rapid whoosh whenever you squeeze the
accelerator; even a light press with your right foot will see the Soul spurt
forward. Joining motorways is equally seamless and once in the flow there's
still plenty of power in hand.
Getting aboard is a keyless cinch; a Start engine button continues the no-key-needed
theme. Gear selection doesn't come any easier a rotary knob where you'd
expect to find a traditional gear lever offers Reverse, Neutral, or Drive; Park
is selected with a light push on its 'P' centre spot. You also get Drive Mode
Select so can choose between four drive programmes: Normal, Eco and Eco+ (to
maximise range), and Sport.
Paddle-shifters behind the steering wheel enable you to modify the degree of
regenerative braking on-the-fly. The more 'regen' you dial up (there are four
levels of intensity) the more deceleration you get whenever you lift off
effectively you're getting the same response you'd get from dropping a cog (or
two, or even three!) down a manual gearbox. Simultaneously you're also harvesting
kinetic energy to recharge the battery pack. Absolutely a win-win situation.
If you like, you can use the strongest level to bring the Soul to a gentle stop
without necessarily needing to press the brake pedal perfect for 'single
pedal' driving in the city. For those who want to do more than just pootle,
using the highest levels as 'engine braking' adds to the driving pleasure along
challenging country roads.
generous glasshouse capping the Soul's upright crossover-esque body creates
a roomy and airy cabin within its compact 4.2-metre footprint. You'll find loads
of headroom and, thanks to sides that don't taper inwards (as do those of most
cars), masses of room for your shoulders and elbows along with a wide centre
console that definitely aids social distancing!
the steering wheel enable
you to modify the degree
of regenerative braking
If you like, you can use
the strongest level to
bring the Soul to a gentle
stop without necessarily
needing to press the
brake pedal perfect for
single pedal driving in
country roads, using the
highest levels as engine
braking adds to the
driving pleasure for those
who want to do more
than just pootle...
The shapely and supportive leather-clad seats are firmly bolstered and well
padded, and come with two-stage heating; the driver goes one-up on his or her
front passenger with eight-way electrical adjustability and powered lumbar.
In addition to the comfort, the high-set seating position also guarantees first-rate
visibility. In combination with large windows, slim screen pillars and a flat-bonneted
nose, the deep back screen and vertical rear corners make it easy to know exactly
where the Soul starts and finishes.
Consequently, placing it precisely, even in the anarchy of rush-hour traffic,
is a doddle; parking is equally straightforward and is aided by a reversing
camera with active guidelines plus rear sensors. Oh, and you will definitely
be glad of the heated rim that comes with the great-to-grip multifunction steering
In terms of ambiance the Soul also scores highly. The fit-and-finish is spot-on
with some distinctive detailing such as the eye-catching 3D texturing on the
front and rear door panels and the signature 'tweeter' speakers book-ending
the dash. Equally welcome are plenty of large cubbies for your personal stuff,
including a drop-down sunglasses case and bottle-holding door bins. All told
this Soul is a haven from the on-road scramble of daily life and a likeably
de-stressing place to spend time in.
Comms are well specified, starting with a 'floating' 10.25-inch touchscreen
mounted centrally on the fascia that hosts the latest version of Kia's comprehensive
infotainment and navigation system. It's a great setup with intuitive and responsive
menus (and speedy 'jump' buttons) enhanced by clear and sharp graphics that
can be taken in at a glance. Usefully, the screen can be divided up into three
sections enabling the driver to view either a full-width single display (say,
for navigation) or combine up to three elements (for example; entertainment,
battery, and mapping) side-by-side at the same time.
Kia's new UVO App lets you, via your smartphone, remotely check the battery
charge level, pre-charge the battery, and control the heating before you arrive
at your car. In conjunction with the touchscreen it also provides live traffic
information, weather forecasts, points of interest, and details of potential
on- and off-street parking including price, location and availability. In addition
it shows charging station locations, charger availability, and connection compatibility.
entertainment is provided by a DAB radio, Bluetooth with music streaming, and
a 10-speaker Harman/Kardon premium sound system with subwoofer and external
amplifier. Two fast-charge USB ports sit in the centre console and there's an
SOS button in the roof. Making life even easier is voice control for phone,
radio, and navigation functions.
fun to drive and,
with minimal body-roll
under cornering and
plenty of stabilising
weight from the battery pack located beneath
the cabin, it feels
The steering is nicely
direct and combined
with decent grip at the
when you flick through
Naturally Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are fitted, both with voice control,
plus you'll find not one but two unexpected upscale treats: a first-class head-up
display (turn-by-turn navigation directions, road speed information, and posted
speed limit) plus WiFi smartphone charging. The SatNav's 3D mapping is foolproof
and the spoken directions can't be faulted. All the driving information you'll
ever need, including active mapping graphic prompts, is shown on a seven-inch
digital instrument panel flanked by unmissably large readouts for the range
and road speed.
Trim-wise there's just one the feature-rich First Edition. In addition
to the leather, heated seats and steering wheel, head-up display, and WiFi phone
charging already mentioned, there's smart keyless entry with an engine Start/Stop
button, solar glass (screen and front windows), privacy glass (rear windows
and tailgate), electric handbrake with autohold, auto-dimming rearview mirror,
power windows, automatic AirCon with a power-saving 'driver only' mode, auto
lights and wipes, powerfolding heated (on demand and automatically on locking
and leaving) door mirrors, roof rails, and a set of swish-looking 17-inch alloy
Kia has also packed in plenty of safety tech with Forward Collision-avoidance
Assist, Blind Spot Detection with Rear-Cross Traffic Alert, traction and stability
control systems, Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, and Lane Keeping Assist.
There's also Lane Follow Assist that controls acceleration, braking and steering:
at speeds of up to 100mph it will maintain a safe distance from the car in front
while monitoring road markings to keep the Soul EV centred in its lane.
The Soul EV is also equipped with seven airbags (including one for the driver's
knees) plus there are LED headlamps, LED daytime running lights, LED rear combination
lights, High Beam Assist for automatic dip/main switching, auto lights, rain-sensing
wipers, speed limiter, tyre pressure monitoring, Driver Attention Warning, Hill-start
Assist Control, automatic speed-sensing door locking, and child seat fixings
on the rear outer chairs.
spacious glasshouse benefits the driver and whoever's riding shotgun as well
as those using the broad rear cabin. Entry and exit is effortless courtesy of
wide-opening doors and convenient hip-points. Despite sitting about six inches
higher than those up front, rear passengers don't want for head- or foot-room
(the centre tunnel is barely an inch high which is good news if three are seated
across the back) and there's masses of knee- and leg-room so no problem stretching
rear seats are well padded with backrest angles designed to quickly put passengers
at ease. Deep, long windows that drop all the way into the doors are another
plus not just for the expansive views, but also for fresh air fans. The
outer armrests are comfy, and the door bins hold bottles, plus there's a handy
charging USB point as well as a seatback pouch.
is stowed in
a 315-litre boot: its big,
deep and comes with
a versatile two-level floor
(a full-width folding lid
makes for easy access to
the lower area).
The 60:40-split rear
seatbacks fold flat and
with them down
the resulting cargo bay
extends to a practical
Loading in either mode
is easy; and the flip-up
rear parcel shelf-style
luggage cover is quicker
and less fiddly
than any rollerblind...
Travelling in a Soul EV is a pleasant experience. It deals nonchalantly with
lumps and bumps and even tiresome potholes are taken in its stride. The ride-enhancing,
fully independent suspension combined with supportive seats and the refined
electric powertrain creates a laid-back and hassle-free way to get around. But
as well as being comfortable, the Soul EV also surprises with its driveability.
great fun and, with minimal body-roll under cornering and plenty of stabilising
weight from the battery pack located beneath the cabin, it feels reassuringly
planted. The steering is nicely direct and combined with decent grip at the
front-end delivers confidence-inspiring bite when you flick through bends. And
when it comes to shedding speed, the brakes serve up consistent, linear deceleration
with decent feel.
Luggage is stowed in a 315-litre boot: it's big, deep and comes with a versatile
two-level floor (a full-width folding lid makes for easy access to the lower
area). The 60:40-split rear seatbacks fold flat and with them down the resulting
cargo bay extends to a practical 1,339 litres. Loading in either mode is easy;
and the flip-up rear parcel shelf-style luggage cover is quicker and less fiddly
than any rollerblind.
A very accomplished EV with plenty of 'toys', the all-electric Soul's headline
appeal is its real-life affirming range 280 miles perfectly qualifies
it to service most people's daily driving quota. Plus, of course, there's the
added appeal of convenient at-home charge-ups at a fraction of the cost of fossil
fuel, and no road tax. Throw in as-green-as-they-get emissions and the fact
that Kia's pure-electric Soul is a joy to zip around in and you have the perfect
future-proof car. ~ MotorBar
Kia Soul EV First Edition
Maximum speed: 104mph | 0-60mph: 7.6 seconds | Range: 280 miles
Power: 201bhp | Torque: 291lb ft | CO2: 0g/km