Say hello to…
…the Kia Soul an all-electric small family hatchback that rivals cars such as the Mazda MX-30, Peugeot 2008 and new entrants such as the BYD Atto 3 the Smart 1.
With the latest version released in April 2023, Kia offers the Soul with either a 39kWh or 64kWh battery pack with official ranges of 171 miles and 280 miles respectively. These battery packs also coincide with the two trim levels:
Standard equipment on the Urban includes 17-inch alloys, auto headlights, front fog lights, adaptive cruise control, air conditioning, 60-40 split-folding rear seats, 8-inch infotainment screen, 4x USB sockets, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, reversing camera, lane keeping assist and drive modes.
Explore adds auto wipers, heated front seats, powered driver’s seat adjustment, leather-trimmed heated steering wheel, auto dimming rear view mirror, 10.25-inch infotainment screen, rear parking sensors, roof rails and rear cross-traffic avoidance.
Is The Kia Soul Suitable For My Fleet
Despite being a small car, the Soul is only 4.1m long, the Soul EV doesn’t feel small on the inside. However, the upside to its size is that it’s easy to park and it’s not as heavy as some larger EVs. And due to that lower relative weight – it’s 1,758kg in 64kWh form – the Soul is also very efficient.
Officially the range is 280 miles which means 4.4 miles per kWh, but in our testing the Soul is the first car to achieve better than the official figures. We saw 4.7 m/kWh which would give a real-world range of 301 miles. Admittedly this was in mostly warm conditions, but our driving wasn’t especially ‘eco’.
The only downside to the external dimensions is that while you can fit four adults in reasonable comfort in the seats, the 310 litre boot is only average in the class.
Kia’s only other minus mark is the maximum charging speed which is just 77kW which, for those exploiting the great range, may not be quick enough.
Leasing A Kia Soul
Intelligent Car Leasing is offering the Kia Soul EV with the 64kWh battery for £517 a month on a 3+36 contract over 10,000 miles a year. Over the same distance the Soul will cost just less than £30 a month in maintenance according to Gensen Reports and the Class 1A NIC will cost £8 a month.
Driving A Kia Soul
The ‘big small car’ feel continues when you drive a the Kia Soul EV. In part this is helped by the design of the car with a visible bonnet ahead of you and partly because the Soul has good performance. 0-60mph comes up in 7.9 seconds, but it’s the instant shove that most EVs provide that means the car never feels slow or underpowered. Both versions are also well equipped, but the top trim Explore has more equipment than many larger cars.
Ride comfort is good with a decent set up for the UK’s sometimes uneven roads. Steering feel is lacking, but it’s direct and positioning the car is easy. The body is well controlled in the bends even if the car just misses out on feeling actually fun. There are drive modes – eco, comfort and sport – and comfort is the mode that suits the car’s character best.
One pedal driving isn’t quite possible, although there are three levels of regenerative braking (plus no regen), the top level doesn’t quite bring the car to halt.
Inside the Soul, the cabin is built very well even the cabin doesn’t have a premium feel.
What’s disappointing is the speed with which the infotainment system takes to boot-up and respond to inputs. This is where it feels like Kia has saved money – on the computer chip that runs the software.
That said, the screen is clear and large and the operating system relatively easy to navigate.
Overall, however, the Soul EV leaves a feeling of a car that can handle everyday life very well without any fuss or bother.
FleetandLeasing.com Verdict On The Kia Soul
Amazing efficiency leads to a great range in a small EV that’s big on the inside.
- Model: Kia Soul EV Explore 64kWh
- Power: 204hp
- Torque: 395Nm
- Max speed: 104mph
- 0-62mph: 7.9 seconds
- Official range: 280 miles
- Test range: 301 miles
- CO2 emissions: 0g/km
- BIK tax band 2022/23: 2%