2015 Kia Soul EV

A Practical, Electric City Car. Hip electric five-door hatchback.

  • Likes
  • Torquey motor
  • smooth performance
  • handling improved over gasoline Kia Soul
  • Dislikes
  • Range still limited
  • long charging times

The electric version of the Kia Soul, with an EPA-estimated 93-mile range, is a practical city car that combines the virtues of the standard Kia Soul with the benefits of a gas-free commute. To supply its 109-horsepower motor with electrons, the Kia Soul EV packs a 27 kilowatt-hour lithium ion polymer battery pack designed specifically for this car. The batteries are kept under the Kia's modified floor so as not to eat up cargo space. It's clever packaging, and has the added benefit of lowering the boxy little car's center of gravity, making it feel more responsive and corner more flatly. In fact, the Soul EV feels subjectively more sporty to drive than the standard, gasoline-engined Kia Soul.

Initially sold only in select markets, including California, the Soul EV will come with lease deals designed to offset its $35,000-plus MSRP. Federal tax credits also help make the Korean automaker's first all-electric vehicle more affordable. All Soul EVs come well-equipped, with heated and ventilated leather seats, an 8" touch-screen navigation system with built-in EV charging station locator, Kia's UVO infotainment user interface, a rear camera and park assist.

The HVAC system in the Soul EV is worth noting for its multiple energy-saving modes. Summoning the juice to run an A/C compressor or heater without eating into your available range has often been a challenge with electric cars, but Kia's "heat pump" system aims to save energy by scavenging waste heat from electrical components to power the heater. A similar regenerative system helps ease the burden of air conditioning. We didn't get a chance to test the system to its fullest, but can report that in California weather the Soul EV's A/C and heat work just fine. Based on our driving, the EPA range estimate of 93 miles on a charge seems attainable as long as you can avoid steep hills and high speeds.

Warranty/Service: 10 year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty, 10 year/100,000 mile limited battery warranty, 5-year/60,000 mile basic warranty, 5 year/60,000 mile roadside assistance

Visit the Kia website

Specs

Base Price: $35,700

As Tested: $35,700

  • 120 / 92 mpg
  • EPA
  • 109 hp
  • Horsepower
  • 100 mph
  • Top Speed
  • Engine: AC Synchronous Electric
  • Horsepower: 109 hp
  • Torque: 273
  • Transmission: 1-speed direct
  • Brakes: Front and rear disc with regenerative braking KERS
  • Suspension: Independent front, twist-beam rear
  • Traction: Stability Control standard, nondefeatable
  • Top Speed: 100 mph
  • EPA City: 120 mpg
  • EPA Highway: 92 mpg
  • Seating Capacity: 5
  • Safety: Dual airbags, seat-mounted side airbags, side curtain airbags

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