The interior layout, fit and finish
The Kia Soul EV is a good example of how designers can make a car easy to use. It shows the likes of the Nissan Leaf how things should be done, with 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 also a fully rake and reach-adjustable steering wheel with plenty of range (the Leaf’s is height-adjustable only).
Visibility is excellent out of the front, thanks to the relatively upright driving position and thin front pillars. The rear screen is a tad shallow, but it’s the heavily angled rear windows and thick rear pillars that do the most to restrict your over-the-shoulder view. Rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera are both standard, as are LED headlights with an automatic main beam.
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.
It’s well kitted out, too. Sat-nav, a DAB radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will all be standard, as will online connectivity for up-to-date traffic and parking information, plus a Harman Kardon 10-speaker stereo with a subwoofer.
You can also download an app to your smartphone, to which the car will send data covering the battery’s charge status and the vehicle’s location; or you can send commands remotely to the car, including to prime the interior temperature or to send a route to the sat-nav in readiness for your journey.