KIA Soul EV Versus Nissan LEAF: An Owner’s Comparison

2 years ago by Inside EVs Staff 41

Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV

Hello, EV fans and interested parties! Trish, here. I know I’ve been pretty non-existent on this blog, but I’m finally chiming in to provide my thoughts on my new Soul EV. Further down, you’ll find Ty’s input as well, and a more technical analysis than I care to delve into.

I’m going to start this post off with a disclaimer: I’ve never been a fan of Kia. Moreover, I’ve always thought the Kia Soul was ugly as all get out and assumed that they were cheap and poorly made, and that I would never in a million years want one. So when Kia announced their new Soul EV, I was actually surprised to find myself liking what it had to offer; first, on a visual level, and then on a specs level.

And then I learned that they would only be offered in compliance states. In other words, not Washington. Sad trombone.

But then the 2016 Soul EV arrived, along with the announcement that it would be arriving at Washington Kia dealers this summer. And then they announced that the EV+ trim would be available with a “Sun & Fun Package,” which, most importantly, included a panoramic sunroof. And I was done for. Hook, line, and sinker: Kia reeled me in. On September 19th, we signed the lease papers at Smith Kia in Bellingham, and I drove my new titanium gray Soul EV+ with Sun & Fun Package home. Unfortunately, it was raining cats and dogs, so the sunroof needed to stay closed on her voyage home.

*Editor’s note: This post is co-authored by Trish and Tyrel Haveman. It appears on Trish’s blog here.

I’ve had many people in the EV community, most of whom have a Nissan LEAF, ask what I think about the car. After several months of driving it, I think I’m ready to share some of my feelings about it.

The panoramic sunroof

2016 Kia Soul EV panoramic sunroofLet’s just get this out of the way right now. Obviously, I love this feature. I’m not a fan of feeling like I’m closed-in when in a car, but I also like small cars. The sunroof lets me drive a smallish car and still have plenty of natural light throughout, making things feel more open. I also hate having my hair blow every which way when my window is open, so I get fresh air and a slight breeze from the sunroof without the tangles. The dogs also enjoy this. It’s not great at high speeds, but then I wouldn’t have my window open at that point, either. Some have questioned added drag from the roof being open, but I counter that any driving I do with the roof open is likely to be putting around town where range isn’t a concern. If range is a concern, the roof will stay closed. It will still let lots of light in, anyway.

Less obviously an EV

This is an interesting topic among the EV crowd, and even Ty and I disagree on it: I don’t like driving a car that is obviously electric. That’s not to say I want to hide it; there’s a difference. The reason behind my position is twofold.

2016 Kia Soul EV badgingFor one, I’d rather not be a target for ignorant bullies. We get a lot of “coal rollers” in our neck of the woods, and I’m not comfortable with how aggressively they drive around me when I’m in my LEAF. If I can drive an EV and not feel unsafe, then I’ll be happier. The Soul EV has three little badges on it which indicate that it’s electric, but most of these people won’t notice. The car also looks slightly different from its gas counterparts, but not enough that someone crossing paths with me is going to notice, let alone have enough time to blast out a plume of black soot in my face.

The second reason is that I’ve talked to many people who would be interested in an EV but hate how so many of the options look really different from their perception of a “normal” car. One could call the Soul EV’s looks into question, but as different as it is from lots of other car designs, it still looks pretty much like the gas Soul; it’s not different-looking solely because it’s electric. Ty has mentioned wanting it to be obvious that a car is electric, so more of the public realize just how “normal” EVs are becoming, but I think there are enough EVs out there to serve that purpose, that I can now go on my own tangent, quietly EVangelizing from my not-quite-as-in-your-face Soul EV.

The infotainment system

2016 Kia Soul EV infotainment systemLike the LEAF, the Soul EV has a pretty involved infotainment system. The first thing that caught my attention is the difference in usability. In the LEAF, if you want to scroll down a list of addresses, charging stations, or what-have-you, you have to push the little down arrow and it will bring up the next items in the list. In the Soul EV, you simply drag with your finger, just like on your smart phone. These days, that kind of behavior is so intuitive that I was already dragging to scroll down a list before it even occurred to me that I might not be able to do that. This makes navigating the infotainment system faster and less clunky. This also works with the map, where you can drag your finger around to show the area you want, rather than tap it with your finger multiple times to get it to scroll in the right direction, as in the LEAF. Definitely more user-friendly!

For a long time, Ty and I have griped about how we wished the LEAF would let the passenger do things in the menu or with the navigation, while the car is in motion. If you were driving and trying to input the address you want to navigate to, forget about it. I realize that this is a safety feature, but when we drive, it’s always the passenger who’s handling the navigation. The Soul EV doesn’t let you do everything while in motion, but it does let you do much more than the LEAF does.

Another feature that I like the idea of, but haven’t implemented yet, is that you can create a custom menu that is accessible directly from the home screen. So if you regularly go several levels deep into the menus to get to one screen or another, now you can simplify that process and tailor the menu to your needs.

Quality and features

2016 Kia Soul EV interiorAs I said before, I didn’t expect to be impressed with the build of the Soul EV, but truthfully, I was. The EV+ trim has leather seats, which are two-tone gray and have a subtle but classy light blue accent trim. My LEAF was an SV with cloth seats, which I thought I preferred, as I’m not really into the leather seats in Ty’s SL. I really like the build of the Soul EV’s seats, though. The driver’s seat adjusts the same as in the LEAF, forward/back and up/down. The plastics used inside are also high quality and feel solid.

Other features that I’m really liking but won’t go into great detail on:

  • A really big glove box
  • Auto folding mirrors and turn indicator on the mirrors
  • Being able to tap the turn indicator and have it flash however many times you choose (in the settings), rather than pop into place until you turn
  • LED parking lights that frame the headlights
  • Backup camera with distance overlay (I realize the LEAF now comes with all sorts of cameras, but mine didn’t)
  • Parking sensors on front and back
  • Increased head room (not an issue for 5′ 2.75″ me, but I like passengers to be comfortable)
  • The shifter is a traditional design, which would be less confusing for someone new to EV driving
  • Two 12V outlets in front (120W and 180W), with an additional one in the trunk
  • Volume and climate/temperature control are knobs rather than up/down buttons, making quick adjustment easier
  • Front seats are heated and cooled, with high-medium-low options for each; back seats are individually heated
  • Heated steering wheel has more moderate heating, without wild temperature swings
  • Windshield washer sprays entire windshield more effectively

Driving the Soul EV

2016 Kia Soul EV headlightsDriving isn’t much different than the LEAF. The Soul EV has the same get-up-and-go and handles similarly. The steering wheel has three driving options to choose from: Normal, Comfy, and Sport. I’ve kept it in Normal; Sport is pretty tight. I often noticed that the steering wheel in my LEAF was pretty loose and would occasionally wobble around in my lane when I would take a corner too fast. I have yet to experience that in the Soul EV. So far it feels very responsive and even though I sometimes feel like the car is larger than the LEAF, it’s very zippy. The steering wheel also telescopes in addition to tilting, so you have more options for adjusting it to your comfort level.

The Soul EV’s regenerative braking is noticeably stronger than the LEAF’s, when in B mode. I’m still re-calibrating my driving habits in order to utilize that more when coming to a stop. I do like that the brake lights come on when you let up enough on the accelerator, so I’m not as worried about someone rear-ending me as I regen.

For those who enjoy driving in Eco mode, the Soul EV has that, too. When I first test drove it, I didn’t realize that Eco mode was enabled and was wondering why it seemed to take so much effort to accelerate. I expected the button to be on the steering wheel like in the LEAF, but it’s actually down by the shifter. Also next to that is a button for enabling the parking sensors and an electronic parking brake, like the 2011/2012 LEAFs had.

Technical things

I asked Ty to write about some of the more technical differences between the LEAF and Soul EV, for those of you interested in that part. In his own words…

The first time I drove a Soul EV, back in May, I was impressed with the things that Kia had done. I had the impression that they had spent a lot of time driving around a 2012 LEAF and picked out every little thing that could be improved upon, and made sure that the Soul EV did improve upon most of those things. After looking more closely at Trish’s car, I’m even more convinced that this is the case. Kia really wanted to make something that competes well with the LEAF.

Drivetrain

Diagram of Soul EV drivetrain from service manual.
Diagram of Soul EV drivetrain from service manual.

The motor in the Soul EV has almost identical performance to the LEAF, at 81.4 kW with 210 lb-ft of torque. Due to the body being less aerodynamic, and possibly other factors, however, it’s not quite as efficient, getting 105 MPGe combined compared to the LEAF’s 115 MPGe.

Kia elected to include a larger-capacity battery than Nissan had at the time. The Soul EV comes with a 30.5 kWh battery (27 kWh usable), compared to the LEAF’s 24 kWh battery (22 kWh usable). Kia chose to allow a smaller portion of the battery to be usable in order to help promote longer battery life. Kia is confident enough in this that they include an outstanding battery capacity warranty, covering 70% of original capacity for 10 years or 100,000 miles. The rest of the drivetrain is covered by a warranty of the same duration. This is substantially more than Nissan’s 5-year, 60,000-mile warranty of 70% capacity.

The larger usable battery leads to the Soul EV having a longer range per charge than the LEAF. It also allows for faster DC charging (up to 90 kW). (The Soul EV does include a CHAdeMO port, just like most LEAFs sold in our area.) The EPA-rated combined range for the Soul EV is 93 miles, compared to the LEAF’s 84 miles, which was better than any EV other than the Tesla Model S, at the time of its release.

Nissan recently announced that the 2016 LEAF will be available in some trims with a 30 kWh battery pack. It will have slightly more range, rated at 107 miles, due to the LEAF being slightly more efficient, as I previously mentioned, but it’s still the same LEAF in all the other ways.

Heat pump

Unlike other types of cars, which generate a substantial amount of excess heat which can be used to heat the cabin, electric vehicle motors run relatively cool. However, the motors and their electronics do generate SOME heat and it has to go somewhere.

In the earlier version of the LEAF (2011-12, and the S trim today), an electric resistance heater was used to heat the cabin. The motor and electronics were liquid-cooled, just like an internal combustion engine, with a radiator and fan at the front. The resistance heater might use a substantial amount of energy, which would reduce the range substantially, especially in the winter. All LEAFs include air conditioning, which runs on a high-voltage electric pump.

In 2013 (SV and SL trim levels), Nissan modified the setup to combine the air conditioning pump into a heat pump. A heat pump works just like an air conditioner, but can “pump” heat in either direction: into or out of the car. The heat pump uses a second radiator at the front of the vehicle to either put heat from the car (when cooling) or get heat to put in the car (when heating). Heat pumps can heat the cabin much more efficiently than a resistance heater, so the range impact is even less.

Kia decided to take this a little farther. Since the electronics of the car are generating some heat, the heat pump in the Kia Soul EV is able to use both the air and the electronics as a source of heat. As a result, in the winter the Kia Soul EV will be more efficient than a Nissan LEAF.

Battery thermal management

Like most modern production EVs, the battery pack in the LEAF and Soul EV is located under the floor, primarily under the rear seat. The LEAF’s battery is not ventilated; if it’s too hot, it cools only if the outside air is cooler and then relatively slowly, as the battery is quite dense. If it gets too cold, the battery temporarily loses capacity, and only gains it back once heated again by driving, charging, or an increase in outside air temperature. Nissan includes a battery heater in case of extremely cold temperatures. Unfortunately, this lack of ventilation leads to issues when attempting to take a LEAF on a long trip, especially in warm weather. High temperatures can damage the battery and the car will limit power output and input in an attempt to prevent damage.

Soul EV battery cooling airflow diagram from the service manual.
Soul EV battery cooling airflow diagram from the service manual.

Kia has implemented a very interesting attempt to work around these kinds of issues. The cabin air, which, as I discussed previously, is heated or cooled using a heat pump, possibly using heat from the motor, is also pumped through the battery pack. Since the battery works best when it’s the same temperature that humans tend to prefer (about 70 degrees Fahrenheit), it works out that if it’s hot outside, the A/C is running so the battery is being cooled. Likewise, if it’s cold outside, the heat is on so the battery is warmed up. As a result, the Soul EV is probably a better candidate for long distance drives and will likely perform better in the winter, as well.

Connectivity

In the US, Nissan and Kia both provide connectivity options for their EVs: Nissan Connect EV (formerly called CARWINGS), and Kia UVO. They both allow you to use a smartphone app or website to get information about your car, like the state of charge, estimated distance to empty, and time to complete charging, plus control some things remotely, like turning on climate control.

Battery information on MyUVO website for 2016 Kia Soul EV.
Battery information on MyUVO website for 2016 Kia Soul EV.

There are differences, however. Kia UVO allows you to find the GPS location of the car and show it on a map. Kia UVO also shows the exact percentage of the battery’s state of charge, while Nissan Connect EV only shows how many of 12 charge bars the car has. Kia UVO displays the ambient temperature at the car’s location, and which doors are open, closed, or locked. When initiating a charge remotely, Kia allows you to specify whether you want to charge to 80% or 100%, right on the app or website. They also allow you to configure the charging schedule (timers) this way, instead of having to sit in the car and configure them on the dash.

Setting the climate control for a 2016 Kia Soul EV with the MyUVO website.
Setting the climate control for a 2016 Kia Soul EV with the MyUVO website.

When you wish to pre-heat or -cool your car, Nissan allows you to turn it on immediately or at a specific time, using a temperature pre-configured in the car. Kia allows you to choose, when you make a request to turn on climate control, what temperature you want and even whether you want the defroster on or not. It also lets you configure the climate control schedule.

It’s not perfect, though

There are a few places where the LEAF still has an advantage over the Soul. Obviously the 2016 LEAF is available with slightly more range per charge. The Soul has less cargo space and leg room in the back seats, although the trunk space is taller so you could probably fit some larger things in there that you can’t in the LEAF. The Soul fits better in the garage, though, as the LEAF is a whole foot longer (but 1 inch wider and 2 inches taller).

One feature that we’ve found to be lacking in the Soul EV is the ability to pre-heat or -cool while the car is not plugged in. If you have plenty of battery charge, it’s very nice, with a LEAF, to order the car to start warming up for you while it’s out in the parking lot and you’re finishing up in a store. But that is not an option for the Soul EV. This is probably the most annoying problem we’ve had.

In addition, there appears to be no way to change the dash to display km/h instead of mph! Since we live right next to Canada, this is likely to annoy us at some point. From searching online, it sounds like Soul EVs that are sold in other countries do have this ability, but the option is simply not there in ours.

Conclusion

Overall, we both really like the Kia Soul EV. It’s got great looks and outstanding features. We’ll definitely be using it for our road trips in the future, and we’re very happy to have replaced one of our Nissan LEAFs with a Kia Soul EV.

Let us know in the comments below what questions you have about these cars and we’ll do our best to answer!

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41 responses to "KIA Soul EV Versus Nissan LEAF: An Owner’s Comparison"

  1. MikeG says:

    Nice review and writeup. I too was looking at the Soul EV as a replacement for a Subaru 2nd vehicle. I like the Kia and would like it a whole lot more with a little more range.

    1. Alpha777 says:

      Get a two year lease.
      Then, in 2018 you will have many choices.

  2. pk says:

    Excellent. I leased my Leaf before the Soul EV became available in Canada. Otherwise it would have been a viable option seeing this review.

  3. codes says:

    But what are your range findings??? What kind of range and percentage of battery were you using in the Leaf, and now using in the eSoul???

    1. Trish usually drives about 30 miles per day, so the range isn’t really that much of a factor in either case. However, when doing longer trips, it’s definitely better than the 24 kWh LEAF, and probably fairly similar to a 30 kWh LEAF. It does seem to do better in the winter.

      1. Good post! I got my Leaf before the Soul was available in Canada, but would have considered one for sure, especially if your blog post comparison was available.

        I find the battery healing/cooling scheme to be quite interesting – fairly simple like the Nissan, but at least there is some provision for heat removal. I only wonder about when you are parked and fast charging – I guess you could leave the A/C on, but will the car do that itself?

        I’d also love to see the comparison in winter efficiency of a heat-pump Leaf to the Soul, though I’m guessing the biggest gain is from using the heat-pump in the first place.

      2. jstack6 says:

        We have owned the KIA SOUL EV for about a year. We find we can go 100-120 miles on the highway even with Air Cond on in Phoenix.

        We find the rear seat leg room much more than the LEAF.

        The FACT that the battery is cooled and doesn lose 10-15% capacity every Summer is the best feature for us. We had 2 whiltted LEAFs befor our KIA.

    2. SparkEV says:

      EV range is complicated. SparkEV ranges from 30 miles to 140 miles. Unlike gas cars, driving habit makes huge difference. I suspect her range will be very different than yours, so easiest is to go by EPA figure unless there’s something like my blog post about range for SoulEV.

      http://sparkev.blogspot.com/2016/01/sparkev-range.html

  4. Assaf says:

    Thanks Trish for sharing this on insideevs. That’s the place to be!

  5. Paul says:

    I have a Soul EV as well, in France. And my true range in spring/summer/autumn is 200 km (13,4 kW/100 km). But since you never truly empty the battery but keep 10% as reserve and since you can fast charge to 94%, I often use around 85% of the battery, which translates to 170 km on one charge.

    I used it last summer on a trip from southern France through the Alps and Switzerland to Holland and back and found out that my range stayed the same in and out of the mountains (because of regen in the mountains and the curves that slow you down).

    I like the car. The quiet (i like listening to classical music while driving, impossible in my ICE-cars before) and the peppiness at lower speeds (I live in the mountains and this torque is great for overtaking a slower car on a winding road).

    1. I live in the mountains in Canada and appreciate the low-speed peppiness too 🙂 I also really enjoy the quiet of the car for listening to music, conversations with passengers, and the accompanying lack of vibration. Really makes our other car (an ICE) look like a dinosaur. I avoid driving it!

  6. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Kia Soul EV has more interior passenger volume than the LEAF and it is cheaper for comparable equipment.

    But I am afraid that it is nothing more than a compliance car.

    Why does automakers keep making great compliance cars? I guess it is probably due to low profit.

    1. I disagree that it is nothing more than a compliance car. Washington is not a compliance state, but they’ve been selling like hotcakes here. In addition, compliance cars typically don’t have DC fast-charging options, nor do they install DC fast-charging stations at their dealerships.

      I’ve talked with a couple people at Kia and they really do care about making a great car.

      1. Dave K. says:

        I agree, Kia sells EVs in Ga. as well, something they wouldn’t do if it was a compliance car.

    2. RedLeafBlueLeaf says:

      I wonder if they do this partly because the Soul EV just isn’t ready for the temperature extremes in some of the other states, both hot and cold.

  7. Brian says:

    Kia sold 1015 Souls last year, Nissan sold 1054 in its worst MONTH last year… no comparison at all. Kia only wants to get compliance credits and thats it.

    1. If all they want is compliance credits, then why are they now selling them in non-compliance states?

      1. miggy says:

        and the rest of he world.

      2. SparkEV says:

        Tyrel, too often the commenters here throw around compliance car as dirty word. As you point out, when EV is sold outside of compliance area, it’s not just for compliance. There are few EV only for compliance, Fiat 500e being a primary example.

        As with SparkEV, I suspect SoulEV is more of a test vehicle for future EV. Due to federal tax credit, wider sales could affect future EV from Kia that might net them more profit to cost $7500 more (eg, Bolt will make more profit than SparkEV, hence limiting SparkEV makes sense financially). I describe it in my blog, not sure if link below will show.

        http://sparkev.blogspot.com/2015/11/sparkev-you-are-not-compliance-car.html

        This also means Kia probably has better EV in the works. But SoulEV is pretty dang good, especially with temperature managed battery.

      3. Mark C says:

        Tyrel, I appreciate the write up, but the Kia is not sold all over the US. When I Googled it this morning, this is the result.

        States that Currently Sell the Kia Soul EV:
        Connecticut – new for 2016 model.
        Maryland – new for 2016 model.
        New Jersey – new for 2016 model.
        New York – new for 2016 model.
        California.
        Georgia.
        Hawaii.
        Oregon.

        Some of us in the really non compliance states don’t see half of what you can find in Washington. And, I don’t like the lack of options.

        1. Murrysville EV says:

          Thanks for that list. As a Pennsylvania resident living in an EV wasteland, any discussion of the Soul EV, e-Golf, or 500e is merely academic.

          In fact, here in western PA (where people “cling to their guns and religion”), about 6 months went by before I even saw another Leaf on the road. Even now, I might see a Leaf only every couple months. To date, I’ve never met another Leaf driver from my area, but I am acquainted with one Model S driver. That’s it.

          Nice writeup, however. As a former 12 Leaf driver, I can appreciate the improvements the Soul EV offers. Too bad I can’t consider one. And no, I won’t buy one from a neighboring state, because then it just becomes a white elephant I can’t unload someday.

          1. Larry says:

            +1 from western Virginia!

        2. David D. Nelson says:

          Mark,

          You forgot Washington – new for 2016

  8. Ambulator says:

    Sorry to hear about the lack of km/h as a display option. In fact, when I was looking at the temperature display in your post I was thinking about how I would change that to degrees Celsius, but now I realize that is also probably not available.

  9. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    @Trish & Ty:

    Thanks muchly for a very informative, thorough review!

    Amazing that the Leaf doesn’t even use forced air heating/cooling; that seems like a simple enhancement and I don’t understand why Nissan won’t do it.

    I can’t say I care for the minimally streamlined, boxy shape of the Soul, but it’s great to know that Kia has engineered it so well.

  10. Trish, Ty, as a 2010 Soul (ICE) Owner, I was wondering – mostly because I like the unobstructed space between the front seats that I have, compared to the new Soul’s – which have a big Console Hump there (which I did not like in my 2004 Prius that I bought used in 2012) – so I wonder how you find that? I found the reason I did not like the console in the space – is my technique for connecting the seat belt – and I always found that the console impeded on easy access to the seat belt at the center side of the seat, and slowed down connecting and releasing the seat belt!

    As to the Temps, Speeds, etc., do you have access, as a Soul EV owner, to a specific or separate customer service line to connect with where you can ask about, or suggest such upgrades/options to US cars, in part to make them more ‘Global’ – or internationally usable – since as you mention – up here in the Great White North, we do things a bit different with speeds (& Temps), and it would be nicer to be able to switch the selections when you cross the border!

    As they move more from analog dials to digital displays, like Tesla has – this should be an easy software option!

    1. We were actually just talking about the center console the other day. It does seem quite large, especially considering the Soul EV doesn’t have a transmission under there! I like what Chevy is doing with the Bolt, and I think BMW did the same with the i3, where there’s a lot more space in the area between the front seats.

  11. SteveR says:

    If you stop at a rest area charging station, can you keep the cabin heating/cooling running indefinitely?

    1. Yes, Steve, while you’re plugged in you can run the climate control as long as you want, theoretically.

    2. David D. Nelson says:

      My wife and I usually turn on the climate control when we charge if we remain with the car. It is a minimal impact on quick charging time and keeps the air fresh and at an optimal temperature.

  12. Dr. Steelgood says:

    I had the chance to test-drive both cars last year (among others) here in Germany: Temperature was in Celsius and range was in km in both cars.
    I felt more comfortable in the KIA: A/C was excellent and the car was at my command, be it steering wheel, or gas pedal with recuperation. There were only two spots to look at on the dash board to get infos about my driving, vs three spots in the LEAF. The numbers given in the kia were very true which means that the indicated remaining kms always matched with the driven kms and I had an indicated energy consumption of 12.7 kWh/100 km. With the Leaf, I had eaten up an expected additional range of 20km after a slow ride of 12km. It was also boring with the Leaf that – while stopping at the traffic light – the indicated consumption goes immediately to infinite, which is mathematically correct but frustrating because you cannot reduce it while stopping. I like the KIA understatement, having a 30kWh battery but telling you only the usable part of 27kWh, whereas the Leaf specifies the full capacity of 24kWh (like other BEV brands), although only 22kWh are usable. This is a question of seriousity.
    Finally let me give you a good reminder for our general BEV problem: It is
    R. I. P., which stands for Range, Infrastructure, and Price.

  13. GeorgeS says:

    Good tech write up.

    Thermal management is a big deal and the subtle differences in how each manufacturer handle the situation is very interesting.

    Here is an interesting way that KIA recycles heat from the power electronics and uses it for cabin heating:

    article quote:
    “Kia decided to take this a little farther. Since the electronics of the car are generating some heat, the heat pump in the Kia Soul EV is able to use the electronics as a source of heat. ”

    end quote

    I believe this is simply accomplished by putting the heat exchanger for the electronics in front of the front heat exchanger for the heat pump. Super simple and low cost.

    Capturing waste heat for heating is a good thing especially if it can be done in a low cost manner.

    Tesla recycles waste heat from the electronics and uses it to heat the battery. They get it accomplished simply by adding a 4 way valve so that the liquid in the electronics cooling loop can go thru the battery as we saw in this IEV’s article:

    http://insideevs.com/tesla-model-s-recycles-waste-heat-to-warm-the-battery-bower/

  14. Mister G says:

    I have a 2016 Leaf SV what is the usable KWh?

  15. JimGord says:

    Excellent write up. We too have a Leaf (2013 SV) and a Soul Plus (2016) in Canada.
    The difference between the two that we have found are the same with a couple of exceptions;
    We find that:
    – The Soul has a noticeably more comfortable ride. The Leaf ride is much harsher
    – The Soul has a better ride height and forward visibility without the A pillar obstructions and “opera” windows as in the Leaf
    – The Leaf map is by far easier to read with streets in a dark contrast.

  16. Dr. Steelgood says:

    I assume 27kWh, like with the current KIA Soul EV.

  17. Djoni says:

    The heat recovery in the Kia is simple and well thought of.
    They do have studied the Leaf weak point to design their own and they did it well.
    But it’s not available at too many place, and then with delay.
    The only thing missing as going a little further down the road of efficiency is to get full regeneration all the time and use the non recoverable energy when the battery is full or dead cold to heat some cumulative resistor somewhere in the heating loop and saving more range.
    It will come!

  18. Mike says:

    sounds like we are going to use experimental car as a euphemism for compliance car.
    Does that stop the Soul from being a better car – definitely not.
    But until Kia really commit to it there will be only a limited number of people who can actually buy one.

  19. Goofycat says:

    Been driving a soul EV+ dive last April. I agree with much is the article. One obvious thing that was missed is that the leaf and the Soul are different classes of cars. The leaf is a compact hatch while the Soul is a small SUV or crossover.

    I chose the Soul because i need a SUV. There is no way i can get my road bikes in a leaf or load my 14 feet open ocean SUP’s on the roof of a leaf. My very tall dog would not fit in the leaf either.

    Just because the are both EVs doesn’t make them the same kind of cars. I didn’t get a tesla because i don’t want a sedan.

  20. Alpha777 says:

    I see they’re online lease calculator is Not set up to handle the $7500 tax credit off the lease.

    This needs to be fixed.

  21. Guy hall says:

    Great comparison. Important to note however that’s the 2016 leave does have some value not present early models. The cameras around the car are incredible. You can see what’s in front of you when your parking, or the parking stall lines on the side. They also stitch all four cameras together in a way that it seems that you’re looking down at the car from 10 feet above, seeing all around the car. They also have multi setting seat heaters, including rear seat heaters.

  22. Nick says:

    I had a 2014 Leaf SV for over 2 years and enjoyed it. I’ve had my 2016 Soul EV+ for just a few days and absolutely love it. Each has its good points but right now I’m preferring the Soul.