Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Which version of the Kia Soul EV suits you will depend entirely on how far you need to travel between charges. The entry-level Urban comes with a 39.2kWh battery, giving it an official range of 171 miles (it's unlikely to get that far in real-world driving, though). It has 134bhp and can manage 0-62mph in just under 10sec. 

For something quicker and with a longer range, there's the Explore variant. It has a 64kWh (usable) battery, and went around 250 miles on a full charge in our tests. With 201bhp, it pulls well, and we timed it at 6.5sec for the 0.62mph sprint.

You can vary the amount of regeneration using paddles on the steering wheel, and when the system is set to maximum you can stop the car simply by lifting off the accelerator. The Soul can also increase the regenerative braking effort automatically if it senses traffic slowing ahead, making for a more relaxed driving experience. The steering is quicker than you might expect, although you soon get used to it, and placing the nose in bends is easy.

Suspension wise, the ride is quite a bit more pliant than that of the Hyundai Kona Electric but is firmer than the Niro EV’s. That firmness helps the Soul control its body movements on undulating B-roads far better than the comparatively soft MG ZS EV.

The trade-off is that it feels as though it’s fidgeting as you drive along, even on smooth roads. It’s not uncomfortable, and the Soul actually takes the sting out of potholes well, but it is choppier than the more sophisticated VW ID 3.

Kia Soul EV 2022 rear cornering