Kia Soul EV review: reliability & safety rating
There’s no Euro NCAP scores for the Soul EV yet, but it comes with a lot of safety kit and should prove reliable
It’s impossible to give a definite verdict on the Kia’s safety without independent Euro NCAP crash-test results; as of August 2023, the second-generation Soul EV has yet to be evaluated. However, with a full suite of active safety aids and driver-assistance systems, it should be a very safe car, while the innate reliability of electric motors and Kia's strong reputation – as shown by the brand’s impressive sixth place finish out of 32 manufacturers in our 2023 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey – also promises great dependability.
Kia Soul EV reliability & problems
It’s too early to comment confidently on how reliable the Soul EV will be, but the old e-Niro that shared its batteries and much of its architecture proved itself to be a very dependable family EV; due to their inherent simplicity, electric cars should, in theory, be generally reliable, anyway. Kia's seven-year/100,000-mile warranty gives further peace of mind, too.
Perhaps even more comforting is the Kia Soul EV’s fourth-place ranking in our Driver Power rundown of the best electric cars to buy in 2023. Owners praised the interior visibility – helped by the Soul EV’s boxy shape – while they agreed with us on how well it drives. If you care about value for money, owners reckon the Soul provides this by the bucketload, only narrowly missing out on a podium place in this regard.
Even the entry-level Soul EV gets an impressive array of driver aids and safety kit as standard, including adaptive cruise control, high-beam assist, autonomous emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance. Plus, LED headlights, a reversing camera and parking sensors, six airbags and two sets of ISOFIX child-seat fittings and a passenger airbag that switches off easily. If you upgrade to the 'Explore' trim you also get blind-spot monitoring and Kia’s Safe Exit Warning.
If we’re being picky, it’d be nice to have a driver’s knee airbag (something that’s likely to peg the Soul EV back a bit in a future Euro NCAP test) and a child-lock system on the rear doors that’s easier to switch on and off. There’s no space-saver spare tyre, either – you only get a tyre-inflation kit, which can be found under the cable storage space in the boot.
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 & 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 rating - currently readingThere’s no Euro NCAP scores for the Soul EV yet, but it comes with a lot of safety kit and should prove reliable