Kia Soul EV interior & 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 is dominated by a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which you can read more about below. 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.
Features including the head-up display (standard on UK cars) are adjusted in this way. 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
In the UK, the Kia Soul EV is offered in a single, high-specification 'First Edition' trim level. More trim levels may be added at a later date, but it'll be 2021 at the earliest before this happens. All UK cars also get the 64kWh battery as standard; a smaller 39kWh unit is offered in some other markets, but won't be coming here.
Standard kit with the First Edition is generous: you get 17-inch alloys, privacy glass, full LED headlamps and running lights, LED foglamps, power-folding heated door mirrors, 60:40 split-folding rear sears, a dual-height boot floor and a tyre repair kit.
Inside, there's heated black leather seats, a heated steering wheel, automatic air-conditioning, adaptive cruise control, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a 10-speaker premium audio system, DAB radio, USB fast chargers, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, sat nav with European mapping, a reversing camera, a head-up display and wireless phone charging.
Infotainment, apps and sat nav
The Kia Soul EV gets Kia’s latest infotainment system as standard, meaning a large, very clear and very smooth-to-use 10-inch touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard. It looks great and responds quickly, offering advanced sat nav, including a 3D view that works well around town.
There are some obvious settings within the navigation that could be more easily accessible, but generally this is one of the best systems you can get at this price. The BMW i3’s is even better for graphics quality, but that car isn't as well equipped as standard.
As noted above, the Kia gets everything thrown in, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, DAB, Bluetooth, voice control, multiple USB ports and wireless phone charging. The Harmon-Kardon audio system with subwoofer sounds great, too.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe Kia Soul EV is the funkier member of the Kia electric-car family: more stylish but less practical than the Kia e-Niro
- 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 costsThe Kia Soul EV is one of the most financially compelling mainstream electric cars on the market right now
- 4Performance & handlingThe Kia Soul EV is a slick city car and a good motorway cruiser, with clever regenerative braking and seriously punchy acceleration
- 5Interior & 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
- 6Practicality & boot spaceThe 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 & safetyThere'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