In-depth reviews

Kia Soul EV review

The Kia Soul EV is more interesting than the e-Niro, with bold styling, clever technology and a decent range

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

  • Impressive range
  • Clever tech
  • Good to drive
  • The e-Niro is more practical
  • Expensive finance
  • Divisive styling

The Kia Soul EV might be one of the best electric cars you can buy. It’s great to drive, interesting to look at, comfortable and will return up to 280 miles of electric range. It promises to deliver exceptionally low running costs, which should help to offset the expensive finance, which is arguably the Soul EV’s biggest issue.

About the Kia Soul EV

The original Kia Soul EV was one of the first electric cars we saw in the UK, but sales were hampered by a high price, limited range, a charging network in its infancy and general apathy towards EVs. The electric version was sold alongside conventionally powered Souls.

This new version is a different kettle of electric eels, and is the only kind of Soul you can buy. How much does the Kia Soul EV cost? The high price remains – it costs £34,545 after the plug-in car grant – but its 64kWh lithium-ion battery delivers up to 280 miles of range, which is a realistic prospect for a greater number of people. Plugging it into a 100kW DC charger will replenish the battery to 80% in less than an hour.

The decent range of the Soul EV could well be the deciding factor for customers choosing between the ever-increasing number of compact rivals. Neither the popular Nissan Leaf or Renault Zoe can match the maximum range of the Soul EV, while the Hyundai Ioniq is a capable contender, but is still unable to match the Soul for distance covered on a single charge.

The Soul is great to drive, feeling zippy and agile in the city, yet comfortable and supremely quiet on a motorway. There’s a choice of driving modes, along with regenerative braking, so you could find that you rarely use the brake pedal.

There’s only one trim level: a lavishly equipped First Edition model, which features the likes of 17-inch alloy wheels, a Harman Kardon premium sound system, 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, leather seats and full LED headlights.

Only a relatively small boot and expensive finance deals prevent the Kia Soul EV from finishing top of the class in the electric car segment. The Kia e-Niro is more practical, but the Soul EV is more interesting and helps to move the electric car industry to the next level.

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