(Reading time: 6 - 11 minutes)

The Kia Soul is now the brand's first fully electric crossover. Since it's 2008 launch, the Soul has been known for it's quirky looks, great performance, plenty of space and oodles of standard equipment.

Now, it adds to all of this with a combined long range of up to 280 miles (WLTP) Not only that, it's range can go much higher in the city, reaching the lofty heights of up to 400 miles. When it comes to charging, Kia have you covered, as it's got rapid charging capabilities. It can get you from 20% to 80% in just 42 minutes using a 100kW charger.

This model is the Maxx, and to make things simple, Kia have made the Soul available in just this model, and it's fitted with a 64kWh battery that's paired to a 159kW electric motor that produces 201 BHP and 395 Newton meters of torque.

Presenting the Kia Soul

Now Kia has been in the electric game for some years, and it all started with this and that was back in 2015. This is one funky machine! 
 
It's fitted with a fully electric powertrain and funky looks, and it certainly stands out in a crowd. The other thing is, it's pretty peppy. I mean, we know that EV powertrains are pretty rapid anyway, but this – it’ll put a smile on your face.
 

Exterior

You can see, I suppose it's what you'd call typical Kia design language. However, this almost looks a bit hellcat, not what you expected to see. Big chunky bumper and some driving lamps down here and even the shaping of the bulbs inside. It just gives it character. I'm a Soul man. And to be honest, I am. It really grabs me, as it’s nice and easy to charge.
 
And unlike most vehicles, it charges on the front. But it just makes it easy to drive into the bay, plug in, and done! It will home charge,  type 2 charge, and rapid charge. And I am a fan of this - this in the bonnet, it was just something different. It's lifted that common or garden shape and given it a soulful, funky side.
 
And I like it. The thing is, this is built for practicality and it's got that in droves. I suppose it reminds me of a Yeti, but let's face it, that was a damn good car. So if key kid to build something with a similar kind of proportion, shall we say, was very clever, especially with an electric powertrain. Funky satin roof, rails, glossy black roof, and a-pillars.
 
That's a two tone car. Always looks the part. Keyless entry. Colour-coded door handles. And some chunky side skirts. And it gives it an off-road style with the cladding on the arches. It's just the wheels. Well, they suit it. It doesn't look over the top. It just looks as well-balanced. Yeah, weirdly, the doors don't cover the sills.
 
This is the one vehicle you'd think you'd see it on...anyway! Take a look inside.
 

Interior

Nice, wide opening door. Solid plastics. But that makes it easy to clean. Nice and robust. This I like. So you've got a cut out here as a handle and a Harman Kardon sound system. Climbing in, absolutely no problem. And the seats raised up as well, as you call it, an MPV driving position.
 
I do like race seats. We had a Xsara Picasso and it was a fantastic vehicle. Now, obviously, somebody has decided they wanted the seat on the roof drop that! Yes a stellar race position, but I've now got three or four inches of headroom. This looks fully kitted out, nice and supportive. Comfortable seats reach and rake in the steering wheel and the styling on here: rotary -there's little buttons. Oh, this is cool. It's like these are tweeters. Lane departure warning. Cross-Traffic alert. Wow. It's fully loaded. Lovely. Infotainment screen. And it's enveloped into the dash. Rotary dials. The switchgear feels pretty good and build quality as a whole: little bit of flex, but still pretty damn solid. It's simplicity to use the drive train too: reverse neutral drive.
 
Heated seats, heated steering wheel, parking sensors. And it looks like a reversing camera as well. The list goes on. It's rather sleek in here. You wouldn't expect this kind of profile in a vehicle like this. I suppose the key word in this is funky and it carries off style, right? No old school handbrake. Let's try the back. Okay.
 
The door doesn't open as wide as a 14, but this looks a decent opening. Yeah, it's because the seats set for me at six three. It is a bit of a squish in, but it is possible. The headroom I've got absolutely no problem. So as long as I'm not so lavish in the front, it'd be all good to be honest and I can get my feet under the seat.
 
I've got a decent area here. Flip cap, USB in the middle. Oh, it's a funky styling. And look at that padded armrest. I like what I see. Nice light headliner. No grab handle above the driver's door, but there is one above the others and a coat hook here. One pap pocket. I've never understood that. Oh well. No vents in the middle, but you do have - well - comfortable seats. Nice and supportive. Isofix points. It's a good, practical vehicle: perfect for the family, to be honest. Right, let's take a look at the back. One thing that sets this car off is the red chunky styling. Interesting lenses. Look, it runs all the way around here, it's a really nice design feature and the brand new Kia badge, lots of gloss with a blacked out back window just looks pretty sinister, to be honest, which you never thought I'd say about a Soul.
 
So seems to be such a kind and cute vehicle. Decent ride height too. So you can afford to get a little adventurous. It's a perfect vehicle to say, go camping with an electric powertrain. You can get there in double quick time, too. Let's take a look in the boot. Nice and easy to load. Minimal lip tethering points you've even got what looks like a Harman Kardon sub in the boot. 
Yeah, it's not the biggest boot. It's perfectly fine for shopping. I'm going to jaunt some charging cables down there. One thing that really appeals is a proper parcel shelf - it means you can get some plants in here and all types of things. Dropping the seats - nice and easy. Push that up and increase as well pretty substantially 60:40 folding seats and look, no gap.
 
It makes it easy to load big items and especially with the reduced boot lid, the Soul is such an interesting vehicle dynamics. The way it drives.
 

Driving the Kia Soul Maxx

Welcome behind the wheel of the funky Kia Soul - fully electric and this is the latest generation. So yeah, the overall shape and things just hasn't changed, just styling tweaks and facelifts, but the essence of the car has remained exactly the same, which I think is key for the Soul.
 
It's like a funky MPV so let's shut all the windows, as for ome reason every window down in the car! So we've got 153 miles of range. I can see that the energy flow here, digital analog readout and a little fuel computer. So let's see how fast it is off the lights. It is pretty quick and then for some reason, it gets quicker. That's interesting. I didn't expect that - I expexted it to be fast, but I suppose that makes perfect sense because then it won't wheelspin. 
Feels nicely balanced, with comfortable suspension, and you can tell it has weight behind it because it feels glued to the road like every other EV. But that means it's nimble and agile. We've got lots of safety in here. At a glance, I can see things like lane departure, warning, road sign recognition.
Steering - well, it's not the heaviest, but it is very, very responsive. You just give it a little twist and it just...Yeah, very good. Good feedback. Yeah. Let's see what this can do on 90 degree bends round here, sweeping. 
 
I love that sound. Wow. Yeah, it's lively. Yeah, this is impressive. Considering its dimensions, it handles! It cruises along at 60 miles an hour - lane departure warning going a bit crazy there!
 
Comfortable suspension, not too stiff, and takes pretty much everything...check those brakes! 
No, I like its power delivery. He he heee.
 
So it's got paddles on the back of the steering wheel and that's for regen. So if you use the right one, it will coast more. Driving modes - ah, there we go. When it comes to the driving modes, we've got Eco, Normal and Sport.
 
When you go into Eco, you have fairly seriously power down and that's obviously the best mode to drive. And if you're trying to get miles, I think it's miles per kilowatt hour, you feel it, pick up its feet and then if you hit  Sport, wow. Yeah, this is pretty quick. It also reduces the regen too.
 
Whoops bit of wheelspin. If you look at the cluster as well, you can see the torque. So when I plant the foot, wheeee! Almost 100% and you've got your charge and your power so you can see when it's regenning. It also goes red when you go to Sport. I didn't expect that.
Yeah.
A little bit of torque steer. I like that. 
 

Verdict

It's very short and sweet, but at the same time extremely enjoyable. I can see why people buy the Soul, it's got like the old school looks, lots of practicality, but with an electric powertrain, it completely transforms this type of vehicle. Immensely fun, especially in Sport, but it doesn't seem to really guzzle range either.
 
Nice and easy to read everything, decent infotainment screen and options throughout price. Well, yeah, I think it's competitively priced too. And the other thing is this type of vehicle, well, they're certainly being phased out and there's only a handful of vehicles left in this class. But let's hope the Soul continues to live on for many, many years.
 
As I mentioned earlier, it's well fitted out, and as standard it comes with:
  • Driver assistance: Reversing camera with rear parking sensors; Adaptive Cruise Control; Forward Collision-Avoidance; Lane Keep Assist; Lane Follow Assist; High Beam Assist; Blind Spot Detection; Rear-Cross Traffic Alert; Driver Attention Warning; Emergency Stop Signalling
  • Choice of three colour finishes: Quartz Black with Red Roof; Clear White with Red Roof, and the pictured Neptune Blue with Black Roof
  • Head-Up Display
  • 10.25″ touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support
  • 10 speaker 640 Watt Harman/Kardon sound system
  • 7″ OLED instrument cluster
  • Three USB charging ports - two in the front and one in the rear
  • 8-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support
  • Qi smartphone wireless charging pad
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Full LED front and rear lights
  • Rain sensing front wipers

So for £34,995.00 on the road, there's a lot to love about the Kia Soul - and don't forget that seven year warranty.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Pin It