The 2015 Kia Soul EV was relatively recently released into select markets in the US, and has now been out long enough for some of the first comprehensive reviews to come out, giving us a better insight into what it’s like to use the vehicle on a daily basis.
While test drives are nice and everything, they don’t necessarily tell you much about what it’s like to actually own a car — and to be forced to rely on the car. So the comprehensive reviews that come out some time after the initial release are, to my mind at least, of notably more value.
- The positioning of the battery pack under the cabin floor (ala Tesla’s Model S, and many others) was certainly a good call — resulting in a roomy design, a nicely lowered center of gravity that improves turning, and a still-good ground clearance.
- The added weight of the large battery pack gives the Soul EV good handling — with the previously mentioned maneuverability, as well as “punchy” acceleration.
- The car is just not that fast. The acceleration from 0-60 mph takes ~11 seconds — not terrible, but certainly not the car for people obsessed with movie car chases or anything like that.
- The range is “uninspiring.” 93 miles to on a full charge isn’t bad, especially for an “affordable” EV, but that sort of range does limit potential uses somewhat. Or as the author of the review pointed out it: “it’s like having a four-gallon gas tank, one that takes five hours to fill on a 220-volt current.” (The other side of that, however, is that you are normally charging at home without having to pay any attention to the car or ever visit a dirty gas station.)
- Overall, not bad for the price. Certainly not a bad car. But not on par with higher-end “luxury” offerings… of course.
The Kia Soul EV’s starting price (before tax credits) is $33,700 (which would be $26,200 after the federal tax credit). While availability is still rather limited (with regard to states where it’s being sold), that is expected to change in 2015 — with a rollout in much of the rest of the country expected to occur.
Image Credit: Kia
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