In-depth reviews

Kia Soul EV review - Engines, performance and drive

The Kia Soul EV offers rapid acceleration, clever regenerative braking and a comfortable ride

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

4.0 out of 5

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

Some electric cars lose momentum after 30mph, but that’s simply not the case in the Soul EV. It feels quick and punchy, even at motorway speeds, which allows you to merge with traffic with ease.

Regenerative braking handles the task of bringing the Soul EV to a halt, and you can adjust the rate of deceleration using the paddles mounted behind the steering wheel. With practice, you’ll become accustomed to driving without the brake pedal.

There are four driving modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and Eco+. The latter sticks the Soul EV into maximum efficiency mode, to the extent that power is reduced and the air-conditioning is switched off. It’s a torturous experience, but it could come in handy if you’re down to your last few miles.

The Soul is a thoroughly pleasant car to drive. The steering is light, but not overly so. There’s a reasonable amount of body roll, but it’s kept in check. And the ride quality isn’t overly firm, which isn’t always a given in a heavy electric car. Even wind and road noise are suppressed, which creates an eerily silent driving experience.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

The Soul EV will accelerate silently from 0-60mph in just 7.6 seconds, going on to hit a top speed of 104mph. In comparison, the Nissan Leaf e+ manages the same sprint in 7.3 seconds, while the Renault Zoe is the slowest of the three, taking 9.5 seconds to reach 60mph.

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