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2015 Kia Soul EV

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/1/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

The 2015 Kia Soul EV is a new addition to the Soul range.

Research

UPDATE – March 2015: Kia has announced the expansion of the Soul EV’s availability to other states including Georgia, Oregon, Texas, and Hawaii. Read more in the Motor Trend news post here.

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Kia Soul EV is powered by an electric motor with a 27-kW lithium-ion battery and has 109 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque paired to a single-speed automatic transmission. It has an estimated range of 93 miles and is available with a charger that can fully charge the battery in 4-5 hours. A Level Three fast charger with 50 kW can replenish the battery back up to 80 percent in around 30 minutes. The Soul EV is only available in select states including California, Oregon, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey.

Overview

Thanks to the electric motor's torque being available anytime, the 2015 Kia Soul EV accelerates well from any speed and off the line. Quirky styling remains a hallmark of the Soul range and the EV model retains its boxy shape but is now accented with a roof in contrasting colors. The car's practicality remains intact as well with up to 49.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down, which is the less than the gas-powered Soul without the available cargo tray; however, with it, both have the same maximum cargo capacity. Its infotainment system helps drivers optimize the amount of power the car uses by informing the driver how much electricity auxiliary systems such as the headlights and turn signals use.

Regarding safety, the Soul EV hasn't been crash tested, but the gas-powered variant received a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars) and is considered a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS, achieving a Good score on five testing categories. (Good is the highest possible score.)

What We Think

While it doesn't have as much range as extended range plug-in hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt and BMW i3, the 2015 Kia Soul EV is one of the better choices in the market since it offers more space and practicality than some of its competition. In a First Test review, we said the car "drives much better than its test numbers would suggest" because the electric motor's torque is available at any time. Additionally, the Soul EV retains its quirky styling, enabling drivers to "show off how green they are without turning off those just looking to save a few hundred bucks per year commuting."

You'll Like

  • Plenty of power for acceleration at any speed
  • Quirky styling
  • Boxy shape keeps cargo capacity practical

You Won't Like

  • Not available nationwide
  • Limited range

Key Competitors

  • Nissan Leaf
  • Chevrolet Spark EV
  • Ford Focus Electric
  • Mitsubishi i-MiEV
  • Fiat 500e

Rating

4 star

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