The second-generation Kia Soul EV (or Kia e-Soul as it is also known) may be a forbidden fruit in the United States, but the boxy electric hatchback is alive and kicking in Europe. 

In the United Kingdom, the Soul EV has gained several updates for 2023MY, chief of which is a new, smaller battery pack with a capacity of 39.2 kWh that enables Kia UK to offer the Soul EV at a more competitive price point—from £32,795.

Already available in continental Europe, the 39.2-kWh pack makes its debut in the UK offering a maximum range of 171 miles (275 kilometers) on the WLTP Combined cycle, or up to 252 miles (405 kilometers) in the city. 

The battery powers a 100-kilowatt (134-horsepower) electric motor that produces a maximum torque of 395 Newton-meters (291 pound-feet). Mated to a single-speed automatic transmission, the motor enables the Soul EV to sprint from zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 9.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 97 mph (156 km/h).

Charging the battery pack from 0 to 80 percent using an 80kW rapid charger takes just 54 minutes, while a 7.2kW home charger will replenish the battery from zero to 100 percent in 6 hours and 10 minutes. Using a domestic plug socket, the battery can be recharged from 0-100 percent in 18 hours.

Gallery: 2023 Kia Soul EV in UK specification

The new battery will be offered on a new trim level called Kia Soul EV Urban, while the existing 64-kWh pack will carry over on the Soul EV Explore, a new grade that replaces the previous Maxx. As a reminder, the bigger battery enables a driving range of 280 miles (450 kilometers) on the WLTP Combined cycle and 402 miles (645 kilometers) WLTP City.

The Kia Soul EV Explore features a more powerful electric motor as well, rated at 150 kW (201 horsepower) and 395 Nm (291 lb-ft) of torque. The sprint from zero to 62 mph takes 7.9 seconds, while the top speed is 104 mph (167 km/h).

Despite being 63 percent larger, the 64-kWh pack can be recharged 0-80 percent in the same 54 minutes as the Urban model using an 80kW rapid charger. With a 7.2kW charger, replenishing the battery from 0-100 percent takes 9 hours and 35 minutes, while a domestic charger will take 29 hours to recharge 0-100 per cent.

Prices starts at £32,795 for the Urban model equipped with the smaller battery, while the Explore grade is priced from £38,995. Customers can now place orders for the 2023 Kia Soul EV in the UK, with deliveries expected to start during Q4 2022.

Standard equipment for the Kia Soul EV Urban includes full LED headlights, 17-inch alloys, power windows and mirrors, 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 7.0-inch OLED color driver instrument cluster, reversing camera, automatic air conditioning, Adaptive Smart Cruise Control, and much more.

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