2019 Kia Soul EV – price, specs and release date
New Kia Soul EV will challenge rival electric cars including the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Ioniq Electric, and here's everything you need to know about it...
On sale: Early 2019 | Price from: £32,000 (est)
Treading the fine line between funky looks and being practical for families, the Kia Soul is a boxy small SUV which competes with small SUV rivals including the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and the current class leader, Seat’s Arona. An all-new version has been revealed at the Los Angeles motor show, but in a sign of the times it will only go on sale in electric Soul EV form in the UK, with conventionally powered versions reserved for the US market. That means that as well as the small SUVs mentioned above, rivals also now include the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Ioniq Electric.
2019 Kia Soul EV electric motor and range
Described as being “just as quirky, fun-loving and crowd-pleasing as ever,” the new Soul EV is powered by a single electric motor developing 201bhp and 291lb ft of torque. There’s also new suspension designed to give the car more agile handling and a more comfortable ride – both are areas where the old Soul fell down next to key rivals. Drivers can choose from four different modes – Eco+, Eco, Comfort and Sport – which adjusts the accelerator response to potentially conserve energy, as well as adjusting the Soul’s climate control and regenerative braking settings. All of that could lead to you getting more miles out of each full charge, the same as hypermiling in a conventional car.
Tesla won’t confirm the Soul EV’s range until early in the new year, but seeing as the car will use largely the same technology as Kia’s other electric car, the e-Niro, a real-world range of at least 200 miles is likely. Indeed, the e-Niro managed an impressive 253 miles on our Real Range tests. That will be well up on the old Soul EV, which could manage around 70 miles between charges in real-world conditions.
2019 Kia Soul EV interior
The previous Soul offered a spacious and well thought out interior, and the new Soul EV should be no different. Inside, there’s a new 10.25in touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, plus a reversing camera. The old Soul EV’s chunky gear shifter has been replaced for a smaller rotary knob, too.
In terms of safety technology, as well as seven airbags the new Soul EV will come with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control, although Kia has yet to say how much of that will be standard. Also on the options list will be wireless mobile phone charging, two-tone paint schemes and an upgraded stereo from Harman-Kardon.
2019 Kia Soul EV price
Pricing hasn’t been confirmed yet, but with the old Soul EV still priced at £30,495, a price tag of around £32,000 seems likely. That would place the new Soul EV into the same price point as the e-Niro, but the two models are intended to attact very different buyers – the e-Niro is seen as the practical, family friendly choice, while the Soul EV is more style-led. Remember, too, that both the Soul and e-Niro will qualify for the government's electric vehicle grant of £3500.
The new electric cars coming soon
Demand for electrified cars has surged in the last four years, with registrations increasing from around 3500 in 2013 to almost 119,000 in 2017. However, they still represented only 5.6% of the UK car market – and the majority of that was plug-in hybrids rather than fully electric models.
The reason for this is that many of today's fully electric cars have quite a limited range between charges, making them unsuitable for long journeys. But a host of manufacturers are preparing to launch new models that solve this issue, while also offering stylish looks and innovative technology. Here we take a look at what's coming when, starting with the Audi Q3.
On sale Early 2019 Price from £71,000 (est)
In a first for production cars, buyers can opt to replace the conventional door mirrors with cameras that feed rear-view images on to small screens inside; the more compact cameras help to make the E-trom more aerodynamic. Meanwhile, other features designed to help it slip through the air include special 19in wheels and a smooth underside.
The E-tron is powered by two electric motors – one on each axle, making the car four-wheel drive. Those produce a combined 402bhp, allowing it to cover the 0-62mph sprint in less than six seconds and go on to a top speed of 124mph.
The latest WLTP tests give the E-tron a range of 249 miles on a single charge – similar to that of the Mercedes EQC but down on the Jaguar I-Pace’s 292-mile official range. Air suspension comes as standard, promising a comfortable ride. Plus, it allows the car to rise by up to 50mm for extra ground clearance when off-roading.
If you’re recharging the E-tron at home, expect a full charge to take about eight and a half hours, or that can be halved by using an optional high-capacity charger. When using the fastest chargers available (150kW), the E-tron can be charged up to 80% in about half an hour.
The E-tron is expected to cost about £71,000, with the Government’s £3500 electric car grant taking that down to £66,500. That means the E-tron will be slightly more expensive than both the I-Pace (£63,495) and EQC (an estimated £60,000).