2018 Kia Soul EV Electric

#10
in Midsize wagons
2018 MODEL

$32,250 - $33,950

7.5

Overall Rating

FILTER BY YEAR

FILTER BY BODY STYLE

Overview

The EV buyers are oddballs amongst petrol heads and so are EV cars. They want something exclusive, estranged from the conventional cars. It might be space driven looks, muted engine noise, or just the sheer will to save the planet. Kia understands its EV shoppers’ needs and is keen on delivering the same with its 2018 Kia Soul EV.

The Kia Soul EV is backed with a 30-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery which churns out a 109 horsepower and 210-pound-feet of torque. Its range has been stretched from 93 miles to 111 miles which is a big improvement. Empty batteries are recharged from Kia’s DC Fast Charge, which is capable of reviving 80% of an empty battery in 30 minutes.

EV vehicles might not have the variety as its gas-powered hatch counterparts, however, the competition is stiffer with fewer players. The Soul EV gets a tuff time from the likes of Nissan Leaf S, Hyundai Ioniq Electric, and Fiat 500e.

See detailed review ยป

Pros

Spacious Cabin

Impressive standard feature list

SUV like body structure

High rising seat position

Cons

Poor Power output

Less range than its competitors

Limited accessibility

What's New?

Total range expanded from 93 miles to 111 miles



Ratings

Exterior

6.6

Engine

6.6

Fuel Economy

9.4

Driving

6.8

Interior

7.9

Features

7.8

7.5

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2018 Kia Soul EV electric e

e

Fuel: Electric fuel, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$32,250

Configurations
e 4dr Wagon (electric DD)
Seating: 5 HP: 109 -hp @ 8000 rpm
Torque: 210 ft-lbs. @ 0 rpm MPG(City/Combined/Highway): MPG(124/108/93)

 2018 Kia Soul EV electric 4dr Wagon

4dr Wagon

Fuel: Electric fuel, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$33,950

Configurations
4dr Wagon (electric DD)
Seating: 5 HP: 109 -hp @ 8000 rpm
Torque: 210 ft-lbs. @ 0 rpm MPG(City/Combined/Highway): MPG(124/108/93)

Expert Review


CARHP Editorial October 31, 2018

7.5

Overall Rating


7.8/10
Features

 

6.6/10
Engine

 

9.4/10
Fuel Economy

 

7.9/10
Interior

 

6.6/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

The Kia Soul EV is backed with a 30-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery which churns out a 109 horsepower and 210-pound-feet of torque. Its range has been stretched from 93 miles to 111 miles which is a big improvement. Empty batteries are recharged from Kia’s DC Fast Charge, which is capable of reviving 80% of an empty battery in 30 minutes

Features

7.8/10

This all-electric hatch is only available in limited parts of the USA. Though it’s a zero-emission vehicle Kia markets the Soul EV for its space-age look and comfort. The Soul EV is offered in 3 trims, the EV-e, EV, and EV Plus. All three trims are powered by a 30-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery and blessed with a rich standard equipment list. As you climb up the trim ladder you will get valuable additions to your basic Soul.

For starters, the Basic soul EV exhibits features like automatic climate control, multiple steering modes, 2-level heated front seats, 5-inch infotainment screen and more.

Trim

EV-e

EV

EV Plus(+)

MSRP

$32,250

33,950

35,950

Key

Features

Standard Features- 

All Features on the EV-e TRim Plus-

All Features on the EV-e TRim Plus-

Heated mirror

16-inch wheels

Rear parking sensors

 

DC fast-charging port 

Mirror turn-signal indicators

Foglights

16-inch alloy wheels HD radio and an 8-inch touchscreen interface that brings with it integrated navigation, 3G Wi-Fi and Uvo Eco services

Power-folding mirrors

Automatic headlights 

 

Faux-leather-trimmed dash

LED running lights  

Auto-dimming rearview mirror

Rear privacy glass  

Cargo cover

Keyless ignition and entry

 

Three-level heated and ventilated front seats

Automatic climate control   Heated outboard rear seats and leather upholstery

Pedestrian warning system

   
Multiple steering modes (Normal, Comfort and Sport), a height-adjustable driver seat    

Two-level heated front seats

   
Cloth upholstery    

Heated leather-wrapped steering wheel

   
60/40-split folding back seat    

We Recommend

The rich features list makes the base model worthy of your attention. We would recommend to not jump ships with other trims, get the base variant and you are good to go. With a price lesser than $35K and features such as heated steering wheel and seats, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and an 8-inch infotainment screen the Base Soul EV is a worthwhile car for your money.

 

Engine

6.6/10

"The Soul’s driving experience is on par with similar cars like the Nissan Juke, Chevy Trax and Hyundai Elantra GT, but it’s the turbocharged engine in the 2018 Kia Soul Exclaim that really wakes this car up. The Exclaim’s on-road performance is further enhanced by firmer shock and spring settings along with a big 18-inch wheel/tire package"- KBB

Engine and Transmission

It looks pretty high tech and drives like an old spaceship, without the blasting nose of the carbon-emitting exhausts of course. The 30-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pumps out 109 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. The battery’s power is led to the front wheels of the car. However, it’s disappointing to know its top speed is limited to 90 mpg. Like most of the EV vehicles, the major part of its weight is locked in the chassis giving it a central balance and easy modulation.

Models

Kia Soul EV

Nissan Leaf S

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Fiat 500e

MSRP

$32,250

$28,412

$29,500

$32,995

Engine

Electric

Electric

Electric

Electric

Transmission

Automatic

Single Speed Reducer

Single Speed Reduction

Single Speed

Horsepower

109 hp @ 8000

145 hp @ 3282

118 hp

111 hp

Torque

210 lb-ft @ 2730

 236 lb-ft

 218 lb-ft

147 lb-ft

The Soul EV is on the wrong side of the affordable plane, the competitors are priced lesser than this hatch while delivering more power and torque output. The Nissan Leaf S inspires the segment with more 140 hp power. The Fiat 500e features a similarly powered engine, on the other hand, Ioniq is powered with 9 more ponies.

Acceleration

The low torque figure is the reason the Soul EV lacks the punch while initial acceleration. The hatch doesn’t yank forward as you nail the accelerator down but give it a few seconds and it will show you power. The 2018 Soul EV hits the 60-mpg mark in 9.5 seconds. To hit the quarter mile light the Soul took 17.4 seconds. Its fair but not quite there yet, the competition is much quicker in the race.

Models

Kia Soul-EV

Nissan Leaf S

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Fiat 500e

0-60 MPH

9.5 sec

7.4 seconds

7.5 second

8.8 second

Quarter mile

17.4 sec

 15.8 seconds

16.1 second

16.8 seconds

Engine

5.7L

5.7L

5.0L

5.7L

The Soul EV lacks the necessary kick while accelerating, the Nissan Lead S is much faster with 7.4 seconds. The Hyundai Ioniq shows a similar performance with is 7.5-second acceleration. Similar specs followed the quarter-mile run.

Ride and Handling

To be direct the ride quality is below average and there is a variety of reasons supporting the notion. Though you have 3 drive modes Normal, Comfort, and Sport, it does nothing but to suppress the car’s real power which emerges as you switch to sport mode. The steering only feels responsive and straight out normal in the Sport mode, and the rest two just feels controlling the wheel for no reason. There is no traction or road grip, which is bad.

The only thing great about the EV is its chassis calibrated for comfort and the regenerative braking doing much of the work for you. The tall SUV like the body can make cornering fun and is ideal for city driving.

Braking

The driving dynamics are not that impressive but we can all agree upon its impressive regenerative braking. Inside the cabin, the brake pedal is devoid of any feel and it’s not that easy to modulate too. The benefit which the chassis infused and put the Active daily driver tag is now questionable with such poor braking. In the panic brake test, the car halts form 70 mph to a standstill by taking 186 feet of total distance to stop.

Model

Kia Soul-EV

Nissan Leaf S

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Fiat 500e

Brake Front (in.)

11.8

11.1

11

11

Brake Rear (in.)

11.1

11.5

11.2

9.4

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3289

3433

3164

2980

70-0 MPH (ft.)

186 feet

192 feet

177 feet

192 feet

All cars in the lot are installed with similar brake rotors yet Kia’s performance is pretty mediocre. The Hyundai Ioniq features are about 100 pounds lighter than the Soul which gives it an edge while hard braking. The Nissan leaf S and Fiat 500e showed a parallel 70 to 0 result at 192 feet.

Fuel Economy

9.4/10

Electric Vehicles are all about range and this year’s EV gets a major upgrade. The 2017 variant had a maximum range of 93 miles, however, the folks from Kia were able to stretch it to 111 miles this year. In the city the Soul- EV features an economy of 124 mpge, furthermore, this number dropped to 93 mpge on the highway. Combined you get a total of 108 mpge on the Soul EV, which is good but its undermining for the class delivering much higher.

Model

Kia Soul-EV

Nissan Leaf S

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Fiat 500e

MPG (city)

124

125

150

121

MPG (highway)

93

100

122

103

MPG (combined)

108

112

136

112

Kia might have increased its range but doesn’t contribute to its economy. The Soul EV is still the last car when it comes to mileage. On the other hand, Hyundai tops the list with its 136 mpge. Other cars deliver much less but they are better than the Soul EV.

Interior

7.9/10

"For the most part, the Soul EV's interior is user-friendly. All but the California-only EV-e has a likable touchscreen that's relatively easy to use, as well as easy entry and exit. Materials quality isn't as good as we'd like for the price, but it's not a deal-breaker"- Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

The Soul EV’s cabin invites 5 passengers but its only comfortable for 4. It is inspired by the SUV design, the seats sit high from the ground but it’s not that difficult to get in or out from the cabin like SUVs. Inside the cabin, all features are in the driver’s reach and the infotainment is ok-ish for a car priced around $ 30K. However, you won't find a lot of quality on the dash or any other element in the interior. Courtesy of the tall body, the Soul-EV get big windows which enhance the visibility, but the big pillar hinders the cross view and impairs with the parking ability of the car.

The boxy roofline delivers 39.5 inches of front headroom and similar rear headroom. The battery might take up space and cut down on legroom, but surprisingly there is not much compromise here, instead, it offers more legroom than some of its rivals.

Model

Kia Soul-EV

Nissan Leaf S

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Fiat 500e

Passenger capacity

5

5

4

4

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.5/55.5/40.9

41.2/54.3/42.1

39.1/56.1/42.2

38.9/49.4/40.7

Rear (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.5/54.7/36

37.3/52.5/33.5

37.8/55/35.7

35.5/46.4/27.6

The Kia’s roomy cabin delivers a lot of headroom and legroom space. However, the competitors deliver a similar cabin space aswell.

Interior Features

  • Parking Assist w/ Front and Rear sensors
  • Speaker Lights
  • Tilt and Telescopic Steering Column
  • FlexSteer
  • Active Eco System
  • Heat Pump Heating and Air Conditioning System
  • Air Induction Control w/ Auto Defog System (ADS)
  • 6-Way Adjustable Driver's Seat
  • 60/40 Split-Folding Rear Seat
  • Supervision Meter Cluster w/ 3.5" Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) Color Display

Infotainment

The placement of the infotainment screen is smart and within the drivers reach. It’s a UVO3 8- inch infotainment screen has every menu and audio feature simplified to its core, but some menus are left with loose ends. Other features like remote vehicle control, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto are standard features on the base trim. However, there is just one USB port and wireless charging is absent form this year's Soul EV lineup.

  • UVO eco w/ Navigation, 8" Color Touch-Screen Display, SiriusXM® Traffic, and HD Radio™
  • Android Auto
  • Apply CarPlay
  • Rear-Camera Display
  • BLUETOOTH® Wireless Technology Hands-Free Connectivity w/ Steering-Wheel-Mounted Controls
  • 6 Speakers w/ Dash-Mounted Tweeters
     

Cargo Capacity

Generally, Electric vehicles suffer from deprived cargo volume because of the extra batteries, but that ’s not the case with the Soul. The large portion of its body is dedicated to deliver a roomy cabin, so at first, the buyers might seem a little disappointed with the 18.8 cubic feet of boot space. But pull down the second row and the 49.5 cubics of cargo bay opens up to become the class leader. Its competitors either don’t have the foldable second-row option or they don’t deliver much space.

Model

Kia Soul-EV

Nissan Leaf S

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Fiat 500e

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

18.8

23.6

23

N/A

Cargo Volume upt Seat 1( ft.3)

49.5

30

N/A

N/A

Cargo space is Kia’s strong suit, its 49.5 cubic feet of total cargo volume is the best in the lot. The Nissan has the same option but its total cargo space is limited to 30 cubic feet. Other cars do not have the expandable cargo option.

 

Exterior

6.6/10

"You'll still immediately recognize Kia’s Soul for 2018 for what it is, but there are minor tweaks to the exterior that distinguish from the first generation. Front and rear bumpers have changed a bit, with the Soul Plus getting body-color inserts, and the Soul Exclaim getting black"- KBB

Design and Styling

Much of Soul-EV’s appeal comes from its boxy futuristic design, glad Kia didn’t tamper with it much, as for why change the winning formula at all. You might not trace the updates with the first look as the difference lies in the detail. There are minor tweaks on the front and rear bumpers. The upper Plus trim takes it a bit further by adding body color inserts and 18-inch alloy wheels, that is one heck of a look.

Those who think style and practicality are two ends of a river can stay quiet, the engineers at Kia says otherwise. The boxy design adds a respectable amount of headroom space. While you get a number of color options on the base trim, it’s the glossy black and red combo on the Plus trim which wins the customer over.

Dimensions and Weight

It looks alluring and might turn a few heads too, however, the fun doesn’t end there, the 2018 Soul EV is quite a sizable car on its own. The Soul is 163 inches long and 70 inches wide. The SUV like shape makes it the tallest car in the lot with its 63 inches of total height. Talking about the weight, the huge chunk of the Soul EV’s weight comes from its chassis, the car weighs 3289 pounds in total. The seats have a high placement due to its class-leading 5.9 ground clearance. The shorter wheelbase gives it a smaller turning radius, better than some of its competitors.

Model

Kia Soul-EV

Nissan Leaf S

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Fiat 500e

Curb weight (lbs.)

3289

3433

3164

2880

Length(in)

163

176.4

176

142.1

Width(in)

70.9

70.5

71.7

64.1

Height(in)

63

61.4

57.1

60.1

Ground clearance (in)

5.9

N/A

5.5

4.5

Wheelbase (in)

101.2

106.3

106

90.6

Track width (in) F/R

62/62.4

60.6/61.2

N/A

55.4/55

The revamped Nissan Leaf S is the longest EV in the lot along with the Hyundai Ioniq. The Soul EV’s SUV like structure gives it a 63-inch height, inches taller than its adversaries. The Fiat 500e get the smallest wheelbase giving it better maneuverability. Other than that, all cars are equally matched with minor differences.

Exterior Features-

  • Body-Color Bumpers w/ Contrasting Color Accents
  • Body-Color Front Grille Charge Port Door
  • Mirror-Mounted LED Turn Signal Indicators
  • Dual Body-Color, Heated Power Mirrors
  • Heated Rear Glass w/ Timer
  • Variable Intermittent Windshield Wipers
  • Power-Folding Outside Mirrors
  • Projector Beam Headlights

Safety

The 2018 Kia Soul EV has not yet undergone any third party crash testing. However, Kia hides a long list of safety features under its sleeve. Some of these features are-

  • Front Seat-Belt Pretensioners
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/ Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Pedestrian Warning System (PWS)
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Brake Assist System (BAS)
  • Tire-Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • Hill Start Assist Control (HAC)
  • Front and Rear Crumple Zones
  • Side-Impact Door Beams

Competition

Kia Soul EV vs Nissan Leaf S-

Unlike Kia, Nissan made major changes in the Leaf’s design. To a point, it looks like a completely different car. However, it’s the same under the hood. The strong point for the Nissan is its nominal sticker price and more horsepower. The Nissan also features better fuel economy numbers which is a savvy point for EV buyers. The Kia’s story is a practical one, with more cargo space and a roomy cabin.

While the Soul EV looks like an ideal option, its deprived of power, acceleration, and drivability, everything served just right by the Nissan Leaf S.

Kia Soul EV vs Hyundai Ioniq Electric-

The Hyundai Ioniq is one of the most ideal electric hatches in the segment. It's affordable, packed with more power, and for obvious reasons crowned the 2018's most efficient electric car of the year. However, the back seats are congested, unlike the Soul EV’s roomy cabin. But still, the Ioniq features a number of driver assist features which the Soul EV doesn’t have.

Overall from the price perspective and the temperament of teh EV buyers, the Ioniq is the better car to buy.

Kia Soul EV vs Fiat 500e-

The Fiat 500 e is the closest competitor to the Kia Soul EV. Both are evenly priced and crank out a similar power. The point of difference comes with the economy, the Fiat’s 84 miles range is its kryptonite against Kia’s 111 miles. You don’t get a lot of features as well. However, the handling is responsive and better than that of the Soul EV.

Between the two the Soul Ev is the better choice in terms of deliverables. 

Final Verdict

The Soul EV is the eco-friendly practical car which has everything to knock other EV’s out of the park. You may like it's futuristic look, the roomy cabin, SUV like design, or the geeky feature list believe us the list goes on and on. A lot of the EV buyers suffer from range anxiety which was earlier hounding the 2017 Soul EV which couldn’t make up to the 100 miles mark. The engineers took a note and stretched the range to 111 miles which is its true marketing point.

However, Kia Soul EV is a little overpriced for what it delivers. Its engine doesn’t have the power punch shared amongst its rivals and economy is average for the class. Overall its drivability also goes downhill with poor drive mode performance. At last, the Soul EV is only available in limited parts of the US which is a major disadvantage.

Sure the Soul EV is a decent Eelectric car but why invest in an OK car when you can have better. 

Top Cars

2018 Audi A4 allroad
8.8/10
2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
8.4/10