Kia Soul EV interior, dashboard & comfort
The Kia Soul EV's interior is logical and easy to use, with an outstanding infotainment system, but it's dull to look at
The Kia Soul EV's interior is comfortable, spacious and has about the best infotainment system we've experienced in a non-premium electric car. The high-set driving position helps to enhance the sense that this is a small SUV rather than a raised-up hatchback, although it's a pretty fine line.
Overall, it’s as easy to find a natural-feeling driving position as it is to get to grips with the impressive touchscreen and dashboard layout in the Soul EV. Our only complaint concerns the look and feel of the interior; there's not much design flair and the colours are dark and dull.
Kia Soul EV dashboard
The Soul EV’s dashboard features either an eight-inch or 10.25-inch touchscreen depending on which spec you go for. Otherwise, everything is easy to figure out, and looks classy enough thanks to gloss and metal-effect finishes as well as the funky-looking and simple-to-use rotary gear selector.
Quite a few of the car’s functions are controlled from the steering wheel, which can be a bit confusing at first, but doesn’t take long to figure out thanks to a large colour digital readout that shows the menus and information you’re toggling through.
Our main quibble is that some of the plastics feel pretty cheap, and the Soul seems to deserve a more imaginative interior design to match its 'statement' exterior styling. The steering wheel is also a bit shiny-feeling and lacks the 'squidgy' effect you get in some rivals.
Equipment, options and accessories
As of October 2022, the Kia Soul EV is available with two battery sizes and two trim levels. The entry-level 39kWh battery model comes in Kia’s ‘Urban’ trim level, featuring 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a reversing camera, cloth upholstery and an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Standard driver aids include adaptive cruise control, high-beam assist, autonomous emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance.
The ‘Explore’ trim is offered exclusively with the 64kWh battery, and replaces the current ‘Maxx’ trim. It gets a 10.25-inch larger touchscreen with sat nav and Kia Connect live services, plus auto wipers, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and leather upholstery. It adds extra safety features in the form of blind-spot monitoring and Kia’s Safe Exit Warning, and you also get an SUV pack with more rugged looks and roof rails. The Soul EV in Explore-spec costs £38,995 before options.
The ‘free’ colour for both versions is Mars Orange, with single-tone paint costing £595 for the Urban edition. Explore versions get a two-tone paint scheme, with optional colours costing £745.
Infotainment, apps and sat nav
As we mentioned, depending on which specification you go for, the Kia Soul EV will be fitted with either an eight or 10.25-inch central touchscreen running the latest version of Kia's operating system – the same system you get in the new Niro EV. If you don't like it though, the Soul EV does come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. It's also compatible with the Kia Connect app, which you can use to monitor remaining charge or find your car, among other functions. The Harmon-Kardon sound system in our test car sounded great, too.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe Kia Soul EV is the funkier member of the Kia electric-car family: more distinctive but less practical than the Kia Niro EV
- 2Range, battery & chargingThe Kia Soul EV has one of the best driving ranges available at this price, as well with 100kW rapid charging capability
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe Kia Soul EV is one of the most financially compelling mainstream electric cars on the market right now
- 4Performance, motor & handlingThe Kia Soul EV is a slick city car and a good motorway cruiser, with clever regenerative braking and seriously punchy acceleration
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfort - currently readingThe Kia Soul EV's interior is logical and easy to use, with an outstanding infotainment system, but it's dull to look at
- 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 crash-test rating for the Kia Soul EV yet, but its kit and the scores achieved by other Kias suggest it’ll do very well