Autocar Test Drive Review Of Kia Soul EV

DEC 1 2014 BY MARK KANE 7

Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV

Autocar recently had the chance to test drive the Kia Soul EV.  Since we know all of the car’s specification and features, we are mostly interested in Autocar’s driving impressions.

As it turns out, the Kia Soul EV was well received. It’s called smooth, refined and responsive with torquey performance and a quiet cabin by Autocar.

However, Autocar notes that something is missing in the Kia EV, which places it behind the new German models like the Volkswagen e-Golf, Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive or BMW i3 in nearly all areas.

“If you are going to buy an electric car, it would be hard to find a compelling argument for the Soul over rival models. It does everything pretty well, aside from suffering a somewhat disturbed ride on poor roads, but is short of EV class leadership.”

“Had this car been launched three years ago, it would have been easily class-competitive with the Nissan Leaf. But the world of the EV has moved on rapidly and the new Volkswagen e-Golf and Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive are better cars than the Soul EV.

The two German models feel more refined both in terms of cabin ambience and ride quality, the drivetrains perform better and both cars have far superior handling.

That’s not to say the Soul EV has nothing going for it; quite the opposite, in fact. In addition to its EV driving and performance traits, the lofty driving position and boxy styling make it easy to position in busy city-centre traffic.”

“As it stands, the Soul EV, as competent as it is, is neither the best to drive nor the best value.”

At £24,995 (after the government grant and with a wall charger) Kia Soul EV seems competitive on price. Kia isn’t forcing sales targets and, according to Autocar, just 100-200 units will be sold next year in the UK through the select 13 dealers who applied.

Source: Autocar

Categories: Kia, Test Drives

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7 Comments on "Autocar Test Drive Review Of Kia Soul EV"

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Get Real

NEVER trust British car rags like Autocar. They are almost always completely enslaved to the German brands.

Brian

Interesting that they don’t mention the class-leading range. For many who have lived with EVs for a while now, increasing range seems to be king. The Soul EV has every car in its class solidly beaten on range (I would not put the Mercedes in the same class as a Kia).

Bryan Whitton
I don’t know that I agree with them. I haven’t driven the MB but I test drove both the BMW and the Kia and I personally preferred the Kia. I felt that the ride and comfort was better in the Kia. I really don’t care that the BMW or any car can go through the slalom or circle tests better. I don’t drive my cars that way. I want a car I can see out of, I can merge and make a lane change comfortably and safely. Can I get to the dog park or work comfortably and without concern for battery longevity. I wasn’t impressed with the BMW as compared to the Kia. The BMW has another point that concerns me, the new technology for the body. How much will it cost to repair in the case of a small collision? Can I get it repaired at a body shop or do I have to go to a BMW dealer. I know the answer to these questions for the Kia. Yes the BMW is lighter and has sharper handling, to this I wholeheartedly agree. I just am not sure that is worth the extra cost for a city car.… Read more »
Murrysville EV

Interesting that you bring up body repair.

My Leaf is now sitting at my Nissan dealer’s outsourced body shop for collision repair. I took it there for several reasons:

1. It’s a lease, so I don’t want doubt from the dealer when it is returned.
2. Where I live, most people have never seen an electric car (PA, not CA). This means they don’t even know how they operate, or how to put it in gear. My local body shop wouldn’t know what to do with it. Most people I encounter hear ‘EV’ and assume it’s a hybrid.

EV Vinod

As a Kia Soul EV Owner for 6 weeks, this car is way ahead of the Leaf I used to own! The 105 mile range I am getting makes this a joy to own, have never charged it away from home. The “b” mode with high regen is all we use now, rarely press the brakes. This car is a better overall car than the competition, but tough to find outside CA which is the real problem with the car.

Brian

Your problem is that you are being far too practical. If there’s one thing I have learned from automotive journalism, it’s that you can’t judge a car based on ownership experiences. You can only determine the superior car by driving it around a closed track.

Phr3d

Agreed – where would Top Gear’s popularity be if they didn’t occasionally drive a Bugatti into the weeds.