Kia e-Niro vs Kia Soul EV: interiors
The Kia e-Niro is a former What Car? Car of the Year and remains an excellent choice if you're looking to go electric. But is the same brand's new Soul EV even better?...
Behind the wheel
Driving position, visibility, build quality
The Soul's interior features lots of swooping lines and convex surfaces, whereas the e-Niro's is more conservatively styled. Which is better is a matter of personal taste, but what's certain is that both cars feel very well screwed together, and the bulk of the materials – from the soft-touch upper dashboard plastics to the leather on the steering wheels – look and feel plusher than those in a Nissan Leaf.
Their steering wheels also better the Leaf's by featuring reach as well as height adjustment. And while you sit high enough to remind you that you’re driving an SUV, they don't leave you feeling like you're perched unnaturally - unlike the Hyundai Kona Electric.
Neither driver's seat is heavily bolstered at the sides, so you do slide around a bit when cornering. However, there's enough cushioning to keep you comfortable on long motorway journeys, and fine tuning your position is dead easy, thanks to standard eight-way electric adjustment, including for lumbar support.
Forward visibility is good in both cars, too, but your view of what's behind is restricted in the Soul, due its shallower rear screen and tapering rear side windows. Fortunately, it matches the e-Niro in having rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera, although only the e-Niro also has front sensors.
The two cars use the same infotainment interface, but that’s no bad thing, because it’s a fine bit of kit. It's a 10.3in touchscreen with pin-sharp graphics and quick responses. Plus, most of the menus are intuitive to navigate, even if you have to look away from the road for longer than you do with the rotary controller in BMW's i3.
Features that are common to both Kias include sat-nav, a DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless mobile phone charging, and online connectivity for up-to-date traffic and parking information. Indeed, the only big difference is that the Soul gets a powerful 10-speaker Harman Kardon stereo with a subwoofer, whereas the e-Niro has to make do with an 8-speaker JBL system.
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