Kia Soul EV review: range, battery & charging
While the smaller battery offers a range figure better suited to town driving, Soul EV Explore cars are competitive even with newer rivals
|Model||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|39kWh||171 miles||6hrs 10mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||54mins (0-80%, 77kW)|
|64kWh||280 miles||10hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||54mins (0-80%, 77kW)|
The Kia Soul EV is offered with a choice of two batteries – both of which are offered in the outgoing Hyundai Kona Electric. The Soul’s 39.2kWh unit is good for a 171-mile range, with Kia claiming up to 252 miles is possible if you only drive around town. Meanwhile, cars with the 64kWh battery offer 280 miles of range – or 402 miles in town, according to Kia.
Kia Soul EV range
The Soul EV’s real-world performance is just as impressive as its claimed range. Our test drive in a 64kWh Soul EV over a mixture of motorway, rural and urban roads suggested it’ll do some 230-240 miles with ease in mild conditions, which is on-par with what the Renault Megane E-Tech returned during our real-world tests. The Soul EV also betters the range of both the Nissan Leaf and Peugeot e-2008, but falls slightly short of what’s offered by its more modern sibling, the Niro EV.
The Soul EV can charge at up to 77kW through its CCS port (located in the nose), so if you can find a 100kW rapid charger, topping up either battery size from 0-80% takes around 54 minutes. It’s a shame that the Soul EV can’t charge faster, though, as even the much cheaper MG4 can top up at speeds of up to 135kW. Soul owners can, however, download the Kia Connect app in order to check their car’s charging status, adjust its charging parameters, set it to pre-heat and more.
The standard Type 2 charging cable provided with the car works with pretty much all the public AC chargers, as well as untethered home wallboxes and on-street charging points. At home, fully recharging the smaller-battery Urban model from a 7.4kW home wallbox takes just over six hours, compared to around nine-and-a-half hours for Explore cars fitted with the 64kWh unit.
Also provided is a three-pin cable that allows you to plug the car into the standard power sockets in your house. Using a domestic three-pin socket – an emergency option for most buyers – takes 18 hours and 29 hours for the 39kWh and 64kWh cars respectively.
In This Review
- 1VerdictA quirky exterior design makes the Kia Soul EV an interesting left-field alternative to the more-practical Niro EV
- 2Range, battery & charging - currently readingWhile the smaller battery offers a range figure better suited to town driving, Soul EV Explore cars are competitive even with newer rivals
- 3Running costs & insuranceLike most EVs, the Soul EV is relatively affordable to run – but it’s quite expensive to insure and service
- 4Performance, motor & handlingThe Kia Soul EV is better to drive than you might expect, with punchy acceleration and a clever regenerative braking system
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortThe Kia Soul’s interior doesn’t match the pizazz of its exterior; the infotainment system is a highlight, though
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe Kia Soul EV's practicality is hard to fault for a small SUV, but there are larger and more versatile alternatives available for similar money
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThere’s no Euro NCAP scores for the Soul EV yet, but it comes with a lot of safety kit and should prove reliable