Kia Soul EV in the individual test: Reasonably priced E-speedster
Casual and cool, the Kia Soul is also available with a combustion engine. The E-variant, however, has many more benefits. We put it to the test.
Electric cars are on trend, and following on from BMW, VW etc., the Koreans are now sending their first electric car to join the race, based on the Kia Soul. With an entry level price of 30,790 Euros, in terms of purchase cost the electrically powered Kia Soul EV is no longer particularly closely related to its conventional platform brothers. After all, they are available for almost half the price. Compared with electric cars the i3 and e-Golf, however, the EV is 5,000 Euros cheaper and comes with a comprehensive range of equipment. The only way to get more is by purchasing the Comfort package for 990 Euros. This includes, for example, ventilated part-leather seats to the front, heated seats to the rear and parking sensors front and back.A nippy small car
In terms of visual appearance, not much has changed during the transition to electric. The drive system is another story: in place of a 1.6-litre diesel or petrol engine, an 81 kW electric engine is at work in the Kia Soul EV, which propels it through the city or countryside swiftly and powerfully. However, if you accelerate too vehemently, you'll pay the penalty. Not only on account of the dwindling range, but also through the death of a tree — if only digitally, shown on the clear eight-inch touchscreen. If the tree on the eco-display is shown in full leaf, the highest of the eight eco-levels has been reached; if it drops leaves, this indicates that the driver has accelerated too much or applied the brakes too late.
Kia Soul Ev reaches 100 km/h in 11.1 seconds
Regarding braking and accelerating: the EV takes 11.1 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h. However, the 39.1-metre braking distance required from this speed is only on the low side of average. The combustion versions manage this better. On the other hand, the 156 kilometre range in the test really makes a statement. This is made possible by the 27 kWh battery in the vehicle floor, which lowers the centre of gravity and makes it possible to speed briskly through the corners.
All in all the EV, with its comfortable chassis and the comfortable seats, is a good driving companion and would, provided the range and small boot (281 litres) allow, also be ideally equipped for holiday trips.
Date16 May 2015