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In-depth reviews

Kia Soul EV review - Interior, design and technology

The Soul EV features a long list of equipment and an excellent infotainment system

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.0 out of 5

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The second generation Soul EV is arguably less dramatic than its predecessor, but the pseudo-SUV’s unique boxy silhouette remains the same. The incredibly slim LED headlights are another distinguishing feature on the Soul, along with the off-set charging port housed in the front bumper.

The Soul did get a couple of minor styling tweaks as part of its recent facelift, namely the new Kia badge integrated into the section linking the headlights and on the tailgate.

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When you consider the Soul has to sit alongside the Niro EV, flashy EV6 and seven-seat EV9 in Kia’s showrooms, its ability to stand out next to what are already some of the most distinctive and futuristic-looking electric cars on sale is arguably impressive.

Meanwhile, the Soul’s cabin is a more simplistic and functional affair than those in its stablemates. There’s no fiddly touch-sensitive climate controls, just chunky buttons and dials that are easy to use. The high driving position favoured by SUV drivers is also present and correct and overall build quality is solid. 

That said, it’s not the plushest interior and the piano black trim will attract lots of dust and fingerprints. Some of the other plastics feel a little low-rent too, but the key touch points leave a good impression.

Standard kit on the base Urban model includes 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a reversing camera, fabric upholstery, air conditioning, lots of safety kit, a seven-inch instrument panel and an eight-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. 

Explore specification builds on this with leather upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, tinted windows, more safety tech and rear parking sensors, plus a 10.25-inch touchscreen with sat-nav built-in.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The new eight-inch touchscreen is a relatively low-res display compared to the 10.25-unit that’s been fitted in the Mk2 Soul since it launched (pictured above). In past tests we’ve found the larger display is sharp and easy to read, and Kia’s infotainment system is intuitive and packed with features. There are big physical shortcut buttons below the screen as well, and as we mentioned Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard with both setups, so you can use your favourite music and navigation apps.

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