New Kia Niro EV vs Kia Soul EV: costs
Historically, Kia’s electric Niro has always overshadowed its Soul sister. Is now the time for the underdog to fight back? We find out...
Buying and owning
Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security
The 64.8kWh Kia Niro EV is offered in a number of trim levels, 2 being the cheapest, but if you want a Kia Soul EV with a similar-sized battery, you have to go for Explore trim, which comes with all the bells and whistles. That also means it costs rather more as a cash purchase. And if you look three years into the future, the Soul is likely to have cost you more to own overall, due to the fact that it’s pricier to insure and is predicted to depreciate at a faster rate than the Niro.
That said, we suspect most will opt for a PCP finance agreement, and here the Soul works out £33 a month dearer than the Niro (on a three-year deal with a £4000 deposit and a limit of 10,000 miles per year). However, if you opt to buy either car at the end of the term, the Soul’s balloon payment is around £1000 less, in part due to its 5.9% APR interest rate, compared with the Niro’s 7.9%.
Being electric cars both make perfect sense as company cars, keeping company car tax payments to a minimum. The Niro will cost just £24 per month and the Soul £26 for 40% tax payers. However, the Soul’s longer list of standard kit might sway your decision. While both cars are generously equipped, with 17in alloy wheels, keyless entry and start, adaptive cruise control, full LED headlights and the parking aids we mentioned earlier, the Soul adds such niceties as leather seats and a higher-spec infotainment system with an upgraded sound system (see panel). To get these things in the Niro, you have to upgrade to 3 trim, which costs more than the Soul.
When judged by the standards of the class, neither car is particularly fast to charge; the Niro can accept power at up to 80kW and the Soul 77kW. In real-world terms, that means the Niro’s battery can be taken from 10-80% on a rapid charger in 41 minutes, while the Soul takes 44 minutes. If you charge at home using a 7kW wallbox, both cars will take around 10hr 30min to get from 0-100%.
When it comes to safety, the Niro performed well across the board when it was tested by Euro NCAP, being awarded the full five stars. The latest generation of Soul has yet to be tested. Both cars come with plenty of safety equipment, including automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane-keeping assistance, but the Soul piles on even more kit, including blindspot monitoring, a system that monitors driver awareness, and rear cross-traffic assist to warn of vehicles approaching from the side when you’re reversing.
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