There are three conventionally fuelled engines to choose from, plus an all-electric version called the Soul EV. The 130bhp 1.6-litre petrol isn’t turbocharged, so compared to the equivalent turbo petrols offered in the Juke and the Captur it provides less low-end shove. This forces you to make more gear changes and rev it harder to keep pace with everyday traffic, but when you do it does offers decent performance. The sporty 201bhp petrol is turbocharged, so not only does it have a lot more zip, it offers easier progress when you just want to relax using the higher gears only.
The 126bhp 1.6-litre diesel offers plenty of oomph at low and medium revs, but is ever so slightly slower overall than the entry-level petrol, although it’s still fine for most people’s needs.
Low-end grunt isn’t something the Soul EV is short of. The instant hit of torque from its electric motor is great for zooming away first from the lights, but from about 50mph you notice its performance starting to wane, although it’ll still cruise happily at 70mph on the motorway. The realistic range between charges is around 70 miles, which is someway behind electric car rivals such as the VW e-Golf and Nissan Leaf.