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2015 Kia Soul EV + Long-Term Update 1

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/26/2015 Kim Reynolds, Motor Trend Staff

With its formal introductions now complete and our new black and red and lipstick-adorned Kia Soul EV at its first update checkpoint, it was time to sit down and ask a few questions. Get to know each other. You know, guy to car. I caught up with it while it was charging in my garage. Pulling a folding metal chair over next to it, I sat down and cleared my voice to get its attention.

Research

Reynolds: "Got time for a chat?"

Soul: "I've barely got one battery bar left, and I'm lassoed to this plug. Not going anywhere, pal. Ask away, Charlie Rose."

Reynolds: "OK. For starters, that socket you're plugged into is my NEMA 14-50, the one I used for our long-term Tesla Model S. That's got to be sorta cool for a little EV like you, right? Sort of like sipping from the king's china."

Soul: "So the Tesla's royalty, eh? All right, maybe I've got an inferiority complex. But already in my Arrival story you said I was a quarter the car that the Tesla is."

MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image Reynolds: "Er, yes I did."

Soul: "How'd you feel if you read that you're a quarter the writer Scott Evans is?"

Reynolds: "Well, first of all I'm not — but wait a minute. How did you read that? Our Model S had a 3G Internet connection and a hi-res, 17-inch multi-touch screen for Web browsing. It actually could have read that on Motortrend.com. But you, how did you "

Soul: "I don't look as smart as a Tesla, is that it? I asked Kalin, the tech studio manager, to hold up the magazine for me to read. Those gas-in-their-veins guys don't like EVs like me. I guess he thought it was funny or something. I was so ticked I almost had a battery fire."

Reynolds: " You can do that spontaneously?"

Soul: "None of us have. But try me. Go ahead. Make my day."

Reynolds: "Wow, that's weird. A "Dirty Harry" line from an electric car with lipstick."

Soul: "All right, I love movies lines. And so why in hell did you have me painted up like this anyway?"

MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image Reynolds: "Look, it's a tough world out there for little EVs. It'll make you stronger. Sort of like naming a boy Sue. You'll thank me later. But getting back to my Tesla comparison: I also said you were a quarter of the price, too. Admit it. That's a compliment — you're a great value!"

Soul: "A value proposition. Like a Van Heusen shirt at JC Penney, eh?"

Reynolds: "Err, I guess so. And I'm also getting nearly 100 miles of range out of you. That's the best BEV range of any electric car besides the T—"

Soul: "Stop right there. Compliment accepted. And speaking of charging, why are you using this Aerovironment TurboCord thing and not a proper wall charger?"

Reynolds: "I meant to get one, but this thing works so well I just stopped thinking about it. It's carried around in your trunk in case I need a charge and stumble across a 240-volt plug somewhere."

Soul: "Whoop. De. Doo. You ought to use my 50 kW-CHAdeMO fast charge port more instead. Not all of us have that, you know."

Reynolds: "Agree, it's a critical feature I can't see BEV owners living without. I've used it some. Got an NRG eVgo account for just that reason, and it's worked pretty well. Though they're not exactly a 120-kW Tesla Super—"

Soul: "Ah — that'll be enough. Here's something I'd like to know: Did you also drop Gobstoppers and Runts under the Tesla's seat like you have been below mine? Crazy paint job candy in the carpet. I don't get no respect! No respect at all!"

Reynolds: "Whoa — Rodney Dangerfield, right?"

Soul: " 'Caddyshack.' Great movie."

MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image Reynolds: "Look, I don't know why you're so defensive. Admittedly, your numbers don't quite compare to our long-term, gas-powered 2014 Soul Exclaim — you weigh 252 pounds more, are seven-tenths slower to 60 mph — though your torque matches it through 40 mph — and you corner with about 0.03 g less grip. That extra weight settles your freeway ride, though sometimes you run out of suspension travel a little bit. How is it that you stop shorter, though — is that your better weight distribution?"

Soul: "58/42 front/rear, baby. The gassie is 60/40."

Reynolds: "You know, I drove both you and our gas-powered Soul Exclaim back-to-back the other day, and wow, you're way more sophisticated. Silent at a stop, a burst of torque off the line, no jerky shifts, no vibrating, no foolish snorting. And I can hear the music I like way better in you, too. I even prefer your restyled front and rear fascias. The only thing I don't care for is that embarrassing forklift sound you make at low speeds. Ever work summers at Home Depot?"

Soul: "Oh man, I really do get no respect!"

Reynolds: "I'm going to add a loose necktie below the grille. Hey, but you've my respect. You're a '+' in my book for sure. Seriously. Do I see your lipstick grille grinning slightly? Come on. There you go — bigger smile! There. That's my happy Soul EV!"

2015 Kia Soul EV + Long-Term Update 1

Our Car
Service Life 2 mo / 3,311 mi
Base price $36,525
As tested $36,650
Avg CO2 none
Energy cons 31.5 kW-hrs/100 mi
EPA city/hwy/comb fuel econ 120/92/105 MPGe
MT Fuel Econ 106.9 MPGe
Unresolved problems none
Maintenance cost none
Normal-wear cost none

More on our long-term Kia Soul EV+ here:

2015-Kia-Soul-EV-plus-front-three-quarter-in-motion-071© Provided by MotorTrend 2015-Kia-Soul-EV-plus-front-three-quarter-in-motion-071

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