Kia Soul EV Comes To Canada This Fall As The "Affordable" Range Champ
Most of the time the United States' neighbors to the north play second fiddle when it comes to electric vehicles; many times new electric cars are released in Canada much later than in the US (or not at all).
2015 Kia Soul Interior
Not so with the Kia Soul EV, as first deliveries are expected in the fall.
As a precursor to their arrival, test drive reviews of production-intent Soul EV models are now showing up north of the 49th parallel. For the CarGuide, they note that the little KIA CUV has strong enough range attributes to displace the Nissan LEAF.
"When it rolls into select Canadian dealerships next fall, the 2015 Kia Soul EV will immediately knock its main competitors out of the endurance race, starting with the Nissan Leaf."
So how far did CarGuide peg the Kia's range at?
"Kia...is boasting 160 kilometres (99 miles) of range, which is the best we’ve seen among electric compacts. Not only that, but when driven in ideal conditions this car can apparently beat the 200-kilometre (124 mile) psychological threshold, which is fully 50 kilometres (31 miles) more than other vehicles in the same category."
As for performance, they note that Kia is being very conservative with their 'stated' specs:
"Like all electric vehicles, the Kia Soul EV and its single-speed transmission delivers linear acceleration that seems more dynamic than the advertised 11.5 seconds it takes to go from 0-100 km/h (62mph). When we tested it, we managed to race to 100 km/h in less than nine seconds!"
Ok, The Interior Is Kinda 'Meh'
Their only real beef with the car seems to be the additional weight and what it does to the 205/60R 16" super low rolling resistance tires. Apparently the traction can be poor enough even on dry surfaces that the "Low Traction" warning flashes on the dashboard.
No pricing has yet been given on the Kia Soul EV in Canada, but it is expected to be priced about $4,000-$5,000 more than the 2015 Nissan LEAF, somewhere in the mid $30,000s - while about $38,000 will net you the more premium trim package that includes heated rear seats, steering wheel and CHAdeMO fast charging.
Check out the whole CarGuide review here.