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2018 Kia Soul EV – Video

2018 Kia Soul EV – Video

The 2018 Kia Soul EV is a compact, battery-electric hatchback that’s versatile and fun, albeit with a slightly more serious price.

This year, the automaker increased the battery capacity from 27 KWh to 30 KWh, which bumped up the overall combined range to 111 miles. That’s better, but still behind rivals that offer more range for less money.

The Kia Soul EV is offered in EV-e, EV, and EV+ (plus) trims starting from $33,145, but base models are available only in California. The EV trim starts at $34,845 before federal and applicable state and local tax rebates or incentives.

A 109-horsepower electric motor provides motivation and the Soul EV benefits from a competent chassis made better with most of its mass close to the ground. It’s quiet and fun to drive around town, but its mission is efficiency.



The Soul EV comes well-equipped in most trims, including a heated steering wheel and heated seats (they’re more efficient at warming up passengers), Bluetooth connectivity, and most models will have an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment. Cooled seats and leather are available on EV+ trims.

Performance isn’t the 2018 Kia Soul EV’s prerogative. The electric car benefits from a 109-horsepower (81.4-KWh) electric motor. It’s enough to power the car smoothly and quietly, but its top speed is limited to 90 mph.

The Soul EV corners well for a tall hatchback, and its steering is responsive, although not very communicative.

An aggressive regenerative braking system means the Soul EV can be driven by using just one pedal—like a golf cart—and it’s best around town. Drive the Soul EV on highways and its range drops roughly 10 percent.

At its heart, the 2018 Kia Soul EV is a small car. Its boxy shape and upright stance give it more interior room than some small cars, but we’d stop short of asking too much.

Front passengers have good head room and leg room, with enough support for most body types, but the seats lack thigh support for long legs.

Rear seat passengers get 36 inches of leg room, which should be adequate for most adults. The Soul EV’s compact dimensions rEVeal itself in shoulder room—it’s not wide enough for three adults in the rear.

The Soul EV offers 18.8 cubic feet of cargo room, which is impressive among small cars but lags other hatchbacks. EVery Soul EV is equipped with a split-folding rear seat that opens cargo space up to 49.5 cubic feet.

Without a lithium-ion battery tucked into its cargo floor, the gas-powered Soul offers 24.2 and 61.3 cubic feet of cargo room, respectively.

Base Soul EV models are equipped with heated cloth seats and a heated steering wheel, which are more energy efficient than air conditioning on cold days. Keyless ignition, a 3.5-inch driver instrument display, 16-inch wheels, a rearview camera, and a 5.0-inch display for infotainment with Bluetooth and USB connectivity are all standard.

EVery Soul EV includes a 6.6-KWh onboard charger for quicker charging times. Kia said when connected to a standard 120-volt wall outlet, the Soul EV will take more than 33 hours to recharge. Plug the Soul EV into a LEVel 2 charger, and that time plummets to just over 5 hours. Plug the Soul EV into a DC fast charger, and the Soul EV can charge from 0 to 80 percent in roughly 30 minutes.

The mid-grade Soul EV swaps in a more efficient climate control system that draws less power from the batteries, which boosts range. It upgrades infotainment to a slick 8.0-inch touchscreen and better-looking 16-inch wheels.

At the top, the EV+ trim comes with leather upholstery, cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and parking sensors. A single options package for EV+ trims includes speaker lights, interior LED lights, and a sunroof for $1,100. Its value is debatable.

All Kia Soul EVs are eligible for a federal tax rebate, and they may qualify for state and local incentives, depending on the area.

The news for the 2018 Kia Soul EV is good for shoppers this year. This year, Kia increased the overall battery size from 27 to 30 KWh, which bumped up the range for the Soul EV from 93 to 110 miles.