Kia Soul EV review: boot space, seating & practicality
The 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
|Length||Width||Height||Boot volume (seats up/down)|
The Kia Soul EV has grown a bit for this latest generation and doesn’t really feel like a small city SUV any more. It's a bit shorter than the old Kia e-Niro and a fraction longer than a Nissan Juke, so as long as you’re not expecting it to feel dinky like a city car or supermini, then the high driving position, easily judged extremities and decent visibility all make the Soul a doddle to drive around town.
There’s room for you and your top hat, too. Overall, it’s a fine car for a small family, but you can't ignore the fact that you can get a very nicely specced petrol or diesel Skoda Karoq or Nissan Qashqai for the same price as the Soul EV; both are far roomier and more versatile family SUVs.
Kia Soul EV interior space, storage & comfort
The Soul EV has masses of room inside for tall adults to get comfortable, front and back. A low central tunnel in the floor means a third occupant in the back will be okay for short journeys, although they’ll be clashing elbows with those either side.
But the fact that you can sit a six-foot-something adult behind another, with both in top hats, is impressive for a fairly compact car. There’s plenty of storage space up front, with a deep cubby under the central armrest and storage pockets on the inner wall of the footwells as well as in the doors.
There’s also a convenient dish to put your phone in, which doubles up as a wireless charging pad if your phone is compatible, and is next to a USB port anyway if it’s not. Two fixed cupholders between the driver and passenger are big enough to accommodate large takeaway cups. Those in the back get door pockets and a central armrest with a cup-holder, as well as map pockets on the back of the front seats.
This is could be what persuades some buyers into the Kia Niro EV or Volkswagen ID.3 instead of a Soul EV, since its boot is quite a bit smaller than theirs, at 315 litres. Yet it’s big enough for a lightweight buggy or medium-sized dog to fit easily, so don’t discount it if you’ve got moderately heavy-duty carrying needs.
Drop the rear seats and 1,339 litres is freed up for garden-centre, IKEA or recycling-centre expeditions. Critically, there’s dedicated underfloor storage space for the charging cables, too, so they won’t be hanging about the boot and annoying you all the time.
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 & chargingWhile 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 & practicality - currently readingThe 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