Kia Soul EV 2020 – FULL REVIEW
If youve been waiting for the right moment to join the battery powered automotive revolution, that time may just have arrived Music, you might think that the full electric car market could be pretty much divided into a couple of kinds of contender. There are the relatively affordable ones like the nissan leaf develops 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 which luxury models use cars. Like the jaguar, i pace the audi e tron, the mercedes eqc and various teslas. Now, 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 a couple of ev models, offering the kind of range that you get in a luxury ev for the kind of price that you pay for a more affordable one, namely the hyundai kona electric and The kia e nero this pair, followed a year later by the car that we look at here: the kia soul eevee prior to this cars introduction in late 2019, we had already had two generations of soul uh, the original one appearing back in 2008, when it was One of the very first stylized compact crossovers predating even the nissan, duke its second generation successor, launched in 2014, attempted to move the game on by introducing the option of an all electric drivetrain alongside combustion power.
But with the electric ev version. The battery range was restricted and the styling was somewhat awkward. Undaunted kier has regrouped and drawn on more sophisticated electrified technology, which it feels far more confident about so much so that its decided that this third generation soul model should only be available in full ev form. Whats it like well lets find out Music, given that there are no longer any combustion engine variants of this sole and kier feels it unnecessary to offer any sort of hybrid variant. Its just as well that the driving range of this ev derivative is considerably lengthier than the previous generation. Full electric sole model could offer its up from 132 to 280 miles, which has brought this car into play with a much wider cross selection of buyers. It shares its 64 kilowatt hour battery pack, its electric motor and its drivetrain with another kia, the e nero and with hyundais kona electric too. Unlike those models, though, you dont get the option of a lesser ‘.2 kilowatt hour variant with a lower driving range and a commensurately lower price. Still the 64 kilowatt hour version is the one that youd ideally want and with 201 brake horsepower, it offers virtually identical performance to its two korean cousins, making 62 miles an hour from rest in 7.6 seconds on route to 104 miles an hour. The suspension has been carefully worked on to try to deal with the effects of this cars. Rather prodigious 1757 kilo kerb weight not enough to make this car feel anything like a satisfying steer through the bends, though uh the rather vague steering doesnt help either.
As with the e nero, the most impressive aspect of this souls, powertrain lies with its adjustability and thats, thanks to the provision of a couple of different driving modes, normal eco, eco plus and sport, and the ability to change the amount of regenerative charging that the car Develops under braking now, this regenerative setup can be controlled through steering column mounted, paddle shifters just here and once youve adjusted to that its really very straightforward to use Music, if you happen to like previous versions of the soul, youll probably recognize this third generation model, which Draws on this model lines, boxy origins, but adds a more modern, feel uh. At the front, this souls urban crossover design theme has been enhanced, with sharp full led headlamps integrated into this upper brow, which extends across the front theres. Now a solid central panel in place of the usual grille and just below set off to the right. The charging socket is housed behind this small flap theres, a trapezoidal, lower grille section and straight style, led fog. Lamps beneath the headlights replaced the cutesy round lamps found on the previous soul ev in profile. A previous soul owner might notice that this mark 3 model is a bit bigger than before, at around 4.2 meters in length, its actually 80 mils longer than its predecessor. Its also 1605 millimeters high and 1800 mils wide, which makes this mark iii design a full size larger than the 2008 original. The windows tapered towards the rear of the car and theres.
This rather fussy c and d pillar arrangement flowing into that branded upper panel. A unique 5 spoke, 17 inch, alloy wheel, design also features the rear now features an led light strip that wraps almost all the way around the rear screen, but it also draws on the design of previous models by retaining this island of bodywork in the tailgate. The cabin design apparently draws inspiration from the visualization of sound now were not quite sure what that means, but it probably explains the prominence of the signature tweeter speakers which bookend the dashboard. Now these are part of the harman kardon premium audio system, which typifies the high standard of spec uh. Hence this black leather upholstery, at least with this very top model anyway, which was the only one which was available at the time. This test in mid 2020 youd expect the interior of an electric car to be fully digitalized and sure enough thats what you get here, uh through the many buttons three spoke multi function wheel. You view a seven inch tft lcd supervision instrument cluster, and this has battery charge and range readings on the left, a digital speedo and an eco driving meter on the right and a customizable data section in the middle. That includes trip computer data, driving style, readouts and an animated energy flow diagram. Anything that this cant tell you will probably be found on the sophisticated 10.25 inch uvo center dash touch screen. This is the infotainment display that includes all the usual functions uh, including apple carplay and android.
Auto split screen functionality allows the user to monitor different features at the same time, say: navigation, audio settings and the many and varied ev preferences which can be accessed here. Theres. No gear stick, of course, this being an ev uh. Just this circular drive controller twist for reverse neutral or drive, and press park keith tried to add some nice design features. The stitched top of the instrument. Binnacle and copious mounts – have easily smeared piano black finishing. For example – and there are lots of connectivity, ports and plenty of useful storage areas, for example, this deep bin between the seats one particularly nice, more practical touch is the provided button that enables you to control heat or chill only the drivers portion of the cabin. If youre one up and you need to maximize range, the rear seats benefits from this mark iii. Models, 30 millimeter increase in wheelbase length and the soles boxy dimensions, and that makes this rear bench feel far more spacious than more conventionally styled. Comparable compact hatches with a similar roadway footprint, the low center transmission tunnel, means that you could just about fit a third adult back here too, a little surprisingly, given this cars squirrel looks uh boot capacity isnt as much as you get in this models. Kia e nero cousin 315 litres as opposed to 451, but it is a very versatile space with practicality, thats, aided by this adjustable height boot floor kia has forgotten to add bag.
Hooks though fold their 60 40 split, rear bench and up to 13’ litres of capacity can be freed up Music at the time of this test in mid 2020, the only version of the soul ev available was the plushly specified. First edition version were trying here which comes fully loaded with extras, but costs just over thirty four thousand pounds. Once the governments, three thousand pound plug in car grant, has been deducted so basically youre, looking at a similar amount to that, youd have to find for plusher 64 kilowatt hour versions of the mechanically identical kia e, nero and hyundai kona electric or indeed for the up Rated e plus version of the nissan leaf that youd have to buy. If you wanted to match this soul, evs driving range at least standard kit levels are generous uh. Well for this first edition version, they are anyway uh outside you get 17 inch, alloy wheels. Privacy, glass, full led, auto headlamps front, led fog, lamps power, folding mirrors and rain sensing wipers inside theres, black leather upholstery, heated and electrically adjustable front seats. A heated steering wheel, theres, also automatic air conditioning smart cruise control, an auto dimming rear view, mirror a head up display and a 10 speaker, harman kardon premium sound system uh the seven inch tft supervision cluster digitalized instrument. Binnacle screen is standard. Two, as is a 10.25 inch uvo center dash touchscreen, which has navigation, bluetooth, voice, recognition and android, auto and apple carplay, smartphone, mirroring plus.
It also incorporates a reversing camera too. You also get plenty of camera safety tech. There is, of course, autonomous braking kia calls its setup forward, collision avoidance assist, and this is complemented by a lane keeping assist system. A lane follow assist setup which will help you in traffic jams and blind spot detection, which stops you from dangerously pulling out in front of another vehicle. Theres. Also high beam assist driver attention warning as a guard against drowsiness and rear cross traffic alert, and that will warn you of oncoming traffic when youre reversing out of space, plus all the usual air bags and electronic systems for stability, braking and traction control, Music, Music. Many potential customers love to fire up their spreadsheets and produce some involved calculations, which attempt to answer the question of whether the electric model will work for them better than a diesel or petrol version of a representative ownership period. So lets have a look at that weve. Already mentioned the 280 mile wltp rated driving range, which incidentally, rises to as much as 402 miles for exclusively city orientated motoring, obviously to get anywhere near the official quoted range figures. Youll need to be using the two most sensible of the provided driving modes, eco or ideally, eco plus, both of which slightly restrict throttle travel and climate system performance. The latter majorly, so youll need to maximize brake regeneration. Using these steering wheel, paddles and youll also want to keep an eye on the drive indicator to the left of the instrument binnacle screen and stay in the lower blue charge zone and out of the upper white power section.
This central part of the instrument binacle display, offers a selectable energy flow monitor and the driving style reader, which rates your driving in percentage terms in economical, normal and dynamic categories. All the main ev stuff, though, is located on the 10.25 inch center dash screen drill down into your ev screen options and youll find a map with a little blue radius bubble, showing the range that you can drive from your current point and theres, an eco driving Section, which shows the carbon dioxide reduction that youve achieved on your journey compared to a petrol engine vehicle of comparable size, plus what it calls your fuel economy history, even though you arent actually using any fuel in miles per kilowatt. What else? Well, in ev settings you can plot your forward ev route, showing range and charging places and theres an energy information section with an energy consumption area which, at any given time, shows cumulative percentage, consumption from driving climate systems. Uh, the electronics and the battery energy information can also cover the potentially complex issue of charging. This area can show the charging times necessary to replenish the battery with either a dc charger, an ac charge station or an ac portable charge station talking of charging. There is a charge management screen section which allows you to set your own bespoke charging times to benefit from off peak electricity tariffs and to set charging limits and charging current levels. Youll want to know about how this soul, evs charging times stack up to segment standards.
Well pretty! Well, as it turns out, it is possible to replenish this models. Lithium ion cells, with a charge of up to 80 percent in just an hour and a quarter thats providing you have access to a 50 kilowatt dc fast charger. If you havent, then the 7.2 kilowatt home war box will recharge your soul ev completely in 9 hours 35 minutes which to give you some idea, would use around nine pounds worth of electricity at current rates if youre somewhere, where you only have a normal three pin Plug from a 220 volt ac power supply itll take a yawning 31 hours to charge the car up completely. If you can find a fast charging, 100 kilowatt charging station, the battery can reach 80 of charge in only 54 minutes. Servicing costs will be low. After all, with this soul, ev theres, no starter, motor or alternator to go wrong, no drive belts to break and no particulate filter to get clogged up with diesel fumes. The car will need a routine checkup every 12 months or 10 000 miles, depending on which comes around first, and you can budget ahead for garage visits by opting for on the korean companys fixed price service plans. Uh there is the usual impressive seven year care warranty too, but insurance thats up at group 34. Music car manufacturers are now getting a lot smarter when it comes to developing electric vehicles and thats something thats safely demonstrated by this soul.
Ev range anxiety used to be a sensible reason for not buying a full battery power model, but these days thats becoming less of a credible excuse for the majority of people. The 280 mile range figure offered here will be quite sufficient and although this sole still costs quite a lot, more than youd have to pay for an average family hatch to buy youd quickly start making that premium back in day to day use in a volkswagen id3. Youd get an arguably classier interior in the nissan leaf.