Alex Bradley is a skilled writer and digital content specialist focusing on automotive and sports. He has a degree in Multimedia Journalism and previously worked for The Northern Quota as Head Sports Editor.
The Kia Soul EV is an all-electric crossover that stands out from the crowd. Breaking the mould of modern electric car design, the Soul EV gets heads turning with its unique exterior while keeping drivers happy with its superb electric range.
Our Kia Soul EV review covers:
The first thing you'll notice about the Soul EV is its boxy design. The front features slim LED lights and a high bonnet line, while the roof is almost perfectly flat and drops off at the end to make a van-like rear end. It's certainly unique and will be up to preference whether you like it or not.
A consequence of the boxy shape of the Soul EV is that it has a spacious cabin. There's loads of leg and headroom for anyone over six feet tall in the front, and three adults can comfortably fit in the back, albeit with their shoulders rubbing. If we're being harsh, there's less room than in the MG ZS EV, but this is being picky.
Boot space comes in at 315 litres for the Soul EV, which falls short of most of its rivals. You do get a height-adjustable floor as standard, which can create some extra space below the main compartment. If you're looking for more cargo space, go for the Kona Electric or the Nissan Leaf.
Once in the Soul EV, you're greeted with a logical dashboard and some soft-touch materials. It's certainly not upmarket, but it's well-designed and easy to get comfortable. If you fancy an EV with a more premium interior, look at the Smart #1.
You get an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard that features a DAB radio, Bluetooth, and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay. If you upgrade to the Explore trim, the screen increases to 10.25 inches and has built-in sat-nav.
Two trims are available for the Kia Soul EV: Urban and Explore.
Urban comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, dual full LED headlamps, engine start/stop with a smart entry system, cloth upholstery, automatic air conditioning, an eight-inch touchscreen display, a seven-inch colour display cluster, adaptive smart cruise control, lane follow assist, and forward collision avoidance assist.
Explore adds to this with black leather upholstery, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a 10.25-inch touchscreen with sat-nav, roof rails, privacy glass, a reversing camera, and rear parking sensors.
Two drivetrains are available for the Soul EV. The entry-level Urban trim comes with a 39.2kWh battery, returning 134bhp and a range of 171 miles.
Explore comes with a 64kWh battery that is more suited to those who will be travelling with a full car. It increases power to 201bhp, coming with a top speed of 104mph, achieving 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds and returning an official range of 280 miles.
For the entry-level unit, charging via a 7kW home charger takes around six hours, while the larger battery takes around 10 hours. Unfortunately, they neither have rapid charging capabilities and only accept power up to 44kW.
However, the biggest pull of the Soul is its range. Having capabilities of up to 280 miles on a single charge is superb and exceeds most of its rivals, such as the Nissan Leaf.
You'll be pleasantly surprised by the Soul EV's performance. Although it looks like it belongs plodding along in the inside lane, it can actually shift through the gears when needed while at the same time keeping the ride quiet and composed.
Around town, the Soul is a breeze to drive. It also comes with regenerative braking, so every time you brake, power is generated for the battery. Getting up to motorway speed is rapid, and once there, the Soul EV is at home cruising in the outside lane.
If you're after some fun, the Soul EV holds its own on a country road. The handling is precise and accurate, and the suspension handles small bumps and cracks in the road well. There's no denying it's better suited to cruising, but it is capable of having a bit of fun.
Prices for the new Kia Soul EV start from £32,095.00 OTR* or to lease from £348.76 per month.
Leasing may be cheaper than an outright purchase, thanks to a low initial deposit and fixed monthly rentals.
*' On the road' price correct at time of publication and includes one year's road fund license, DVLA first registration fee and number plate fee. Prices are subject to change; always check with your nearest retailer.