What's the used Kia Soul EV hatchback like?
Is the hit 1967 single “Soul Man” by Sam & Dave really about one man’s ownership of a Kia Soul? Well, of course it isn’t – the original model didn’t arrive until 2009. That being said, it might have been the focal point of the song if it were recorded today. Especially in this electric (EV) form, the car has many endearing features, such as impressive range, good equipment levels, reasonable used prices and funky styling. Be prepared to sing its praises – perhaps literally.
Following on from its all-electric predecessor, the latest Soul EV gets a much bigger battery – a 64kWh one – and a lot more power. With 201bhp and a 0-62mph time of 7.6sec, it’s brisk. The model feels urgent from the moment you put your foot down and continues to pull consistently up to motorway speeds.
You also got LED headlights, electrically folding and adjustable heated door mirrors and automatic wipers. And the great news is that, when First Edition trim was replaced with Maxx, that long standard kit list was unchanged.
On the road, the Soul EV controls its body movements well over undulating B roads and takes the sting out of potholes. That said, it’s still choppier than some more premium rivals. It fidgets slightly at all times, even on smooth roads.
Naturally, being electric, its punchy performance is cloaked in serenity. Its motor emits nothing more than a faint murmur when pushed and the Soul EV is a far more tranquil travelling companion than any equivalent diesel SUV. You’ll notice some road and wind noise at 70mph, but the suspension thudding noticeably over bumps is the most prevalent audible intrusion around town.
The Kia Soul EV is a good example of how designers can make a car easy to use. The model has a supportive driver’s seat that feels high enough, without leaving you feeling unnaturally perched. The seat isn’t heavily bolstered, but still holds you in place well enough around corners and is electrically adjustable as standard, including for height and lumbar adjustment. There’s a fully rake and reach-adjustable steering wheel with plenty of range.
The standard 7.0in digital instrument screen doesn’t offer any greater functionality over a set of regular analogue dials. You unfortunately cannot configure the screen to show a full-screen navigation map, for instance, but it’s easy to read, with clear graphics.
The Soul EV’s sharply defined 10.3in touchscreen is mounted high for easy viewing, and its graphics are ace, especially the 3D sat-nav maps, which render cityscapes accurately. It’s also responsive and most of the menus are intuitive enough that you won’t need to break out the manual every time you use it.