2016 Kia Soul EV Review The 2016 Kia Soul EV is, a flip phone inside a smartphone age: Its comparatively restricted functionality is justified only by its comparatively low asking price tag. Function, not surprisingly, is relative. In the utility sense, Kia’s electric hatchback is an electron-powered pack mule. But as a kind of mobility, the Soul EV nonetheless features a functional deficit. Its 27-kWh battery pack is good for an EPA-rated driving range of just 93 miles, two miles superior than the typical we saw through our testing.
2016 Kia Soul EV Review
That mentioned, 93 miles on a single charge is adequate for many Americans, thinking about that the typical commuter right here drives less than 30 miles each day, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. However, in a market that is soon to welcome the $37,495 Chevrolet Bolt and its EPA-rated 238-mile range, the $36,800 Soul EV+ is only months away from getting woefully outclassed. (Note that these prices usually do not element in any probable federal, state, or municipal tax incentives.)
Even with out the prospect of your Bolt, though, the Soul EV is an irrelevant electric-car selection for most Americans. That is for the reason that Kia limits sales of the model to just 10 U.S. states: California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. Odd as this may well appear, such a sales tactic is practically nothing new on the planet of electric vehicles, along with a number of producers take a equivalent method. This really is commonly done to comply with individual state standards concerning the distribution of zero-emission automobiles (ZEVs).
In contrast to a few of these other so-called “compliance vehicles,” the Kia Soul EV doesn’t feel as if it has been converted to run on electricity merely for the sake of leaping by means of a regulatory hoop. Where some competitors, including the Ford Focus Electric, sport giant space-eating humps in the cargo bay to accommodate a battery pack, the Soul EV’s cargo location loses no utility compared with its gasoline-powered counterpart. As such, the Soul EV can happily swallow as much as 50 cubic feet of cargo with its 60/40-split rear bench folded down and 19 cubic feet with all seats in location. Like all Souls, the Soul EV also has storage space below its cargo floor.
2016 Kia Soul EV Review - Interior:
Outdoors, you'll find handful of differences in between the EV along with the normal Soul. Keen eyes will notice distinct headlights and taillights, a unique set of 16-inch wheels, and an readily available two-tone exterior paint scheme. A revised front end incorporates a bigger “tiger nose” grille that folds out of the way to expose two charge ports-one for AC charging, the other for DC speedy charging. The former port can totally charge a Soul EV in much less than 5 hours on a 240-volt circuit but could take as long as 24 hours on a 120-volt outlet. Meanwhile, a 50-kW DC connection can charge a Soul EV’s depleted battery to 80 % in much less than 35 minutes.
Electrifying the Soul doesn’t come without consequences, though; the floor-mounted battery pack consumes a fantastic chunk in the car’s rear footwell. With more than 3 inches of rear legroom lost, the Soul EV’s rear seats are significantly less long-haul friendly than these in the typical vehicle. Around the plus side, the rear bench remains comfy, although the Soul EV’s restricted variety means the likelihood of settling in to the rear seat for specially long periods is slim to none. Thankfully, front-seat space is uncompromised.
For by far the most part, the cabin mirrors that in the typical Soul, a car we like a good deal. Quality switchgear abounds, and our high-end EV+ test car or truck included luxuries including heated and cooled leather front seats, a touchscreen navigation method, and a keyless-entry technique with push-button start off. Differences involving the EV and common Soul interiors consist of a digitized gauge cluster (it shows electric-vehicle-specific information and facts for instance remaining battery charge and energy usage), white interior trim, an electric parking brake, center cupholders having a sliding cover, and driver-selectable modes for regenerative braking by way of the gearshift lever and a center-console-mounted Active Eco button. Four regenerative-braking settings are obtainable, using the most intense setting primarily rendering the brake pedal all but redundant.
2016 Kia Soul EV Review - Machine:
Eventually, significantly less reliance on the Soul EV’s friction brakes can be for the very best, as the electric hatchback required 186 feet of tarmac to come to a halt from 70 mph-19 feet longer than the last gasoline-powered Soul we tested. Thank our test car’s low-rolling-resistance Nexen N’blue EV tires also as its 3427-pound curb weight-342 pounds higher than its fuel-sipping sibling.
These added pounds don’t support straight-line acceleration, either. With a modest 109 horsepower on tap, the front-motor, front-wheel-drive Soul EV sauntered from zero to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds, crossing the quarter-mile in 17.4 seconds at 79 mph. Fast, the Soul EV will not be. Nevertheless, it fares improved than some electrics: A Nissan Leaf we not too long ago tested needed ten.4 seconds to hit 60 mph and took 17.9 seconds to undergo the quarter-mile at 77 mph.
In spite with the Soul EV’s relaxed acceleration, the electric hatchback proved to be a fine companion on city streets. The electric motor’s generous 210 lb-ft of torque made it easy to snake by way of visitors and pull away from stops. Further adding to the Soul EV’s low-speed likability is the car’s surprisingly tossable nature and composed ride high quality. It packs that added battery weight low and toward the rear, offsetting the effects of the high roof and the nose-heavy bias identified inside the normal model. Seriously, we could want all Souls handled this well.
2016 Kia Soul EV Review - Features:
For 2016, Kia introduced the new, low-cost, California-only Soul EV-e. This model forgoes characteristics for instance a navigation program in addition to a rearview camera to bring the Soul EV’s cost of entry down to $32,800-$2000 under that in the EV trim that serves because the entry-level model in the other nine states. On the other finish on the spectrum, the top-of-the-line Soul EV+ adds a new Sun & Fun package to its options list. As found on our test vehicle, the $1100 package includes LED interior lights, a massive panoramic sunroof, and lights around the audio system’s speakers. Floor mats added another $125 to our example’s bottom line, bringing its as-tested value to $38,025, or $530 greater than a base Chevrolet Bolt.
Sure, a loaded Kia Soul EV+ includes luxuries that the base Chevrolet Bolt simply won’t offer, and, as mentioned, both cars are eligible for federal and state tax credits that can bring the actual cost of entry down significantly. Nevertheless, opting for the feature-laden Soul EV+ over the similarly priced Bolt and its 145 miles of additional driving variety is like choosing to go with a flip phone simply mainly because it comes preloaded with all the game “Snake.”