Kia Soul EV

2016 Kia Soul EV Review

I just finished a weeks worth of driving a Kia Soul EV. Totally electric vehicle. As in no gas. Sorry, you probably knew that but in case there is one person (like me!) who didn’t realize EV means absolutely no gas.

Driving an all-electric car was quite an experience for me. Me the lover of the letter E. E as in Emma, Eli and EMPTY. Yes folks I am a thrill seeker when it comes to driving on empty. Don’t know what it is, I guess I am scared of the cost at the gas pump?? Whatever the reason, for as long as I can remember E has stood for ‘enough’ and never empty.

This car really threw me for a loop. When I first read up on the EV I read the 90 miles a tank as 90 miles per unit. That would be wrong. 90 miles on a charge. I admit that number freaked me out. It seems like such a little number to me. How could I possibly drive a car that would only allow me to drive 90 miles!

Well, the first 2 days I admit I was paranoid I would run out of juice. I mean you can’t exactly call Triple A to bring you electricity. Wait, you can’t can you? After I settled down and and stopped being in a constant state of panic I really enjoyed the ride.

First and foremost the Kia Soul EV is quiet. As in so quiet my car now seems overly loud. The Soul EV is so quiet that I got out of the car and tried to lock the door to run into the grocery store. The car alarm started going off. I double checked that I had the key fob in my pocket on my person. Then I tried unlocking and locking from the key fob, that didn’t fix the noise that was now starting to garner me some looks. I checked the lights they weren’t on. Duh, I hadn’t turned the car OFF!! So, that’s a good thing to know! You can’t forget to turn off the car and you can’t lock the keys in the car either. I tested that; yes with the window down.

There are many perks that I really like about the Soul EV. More than just the quiet ride. The outer door handles illuminate when you walk up to the vehicle with the key fob on your person. That’s a feature I miss!! I also really miss the fact that when you lock the door of the Soul EV the side mirrors fold in. When you approach the car they fold out. The mirrors also have the turn indicator on them; that’s a great safety feature I miss on my Honda CRV.

The Kia Soul EV has a lot room inside. It will comfortably seat 4 adults or 5 if you want to get friendly. With smaller passengers you can easily fit three people or three grandkids in the backseat.

Another added bonus for the backseat is the heated seat option. That will be nice if California ever goes below 90 degrees again! One or both of the backseats fold down for hauling larger items.

The Soul EV is EPA-rated for a 93-mile range with the 27-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. A 480-volt DC fast charger is standard, or the Soul can be plugged into a 240V or 120V outlet.

Heading to a fast charger station you can get an 80º charge in just 30 minutes.  Charging at home in a standard 120 volt outlet it takes 10 hours to fully charge the car. The navigation system in the car will also tell you how close the nearest charging station is. Added bonus when I put in destinations the EV would tell me if I had enough power on the charge to make it to my destination. I loved that feature.

This car is a lot of fun to drive. It has a lot of pick up and go. I was very surprised at how MUCH pick up and go!  Like 60 mph in 12 seconds. I actually found the ride so smooth and so comfortable that I had a real lead foot.

The car comes with a standard 6.6kW onboard charger.  It’s the size of a gas hose, it stores easily in the rear of the EV. The charger plugs into a standard outlet. Easy as pie. I charged the car each night (I really was paranoid over that 90 mile leash!). I’m not sure if that will show any type of spike in my electric bill or not next month. I’ll keep you posted.

I am really impressed with people that drive electric vehicles. My friend Deborah loves her little electric car. She hauls around 3 kids. 2 of which are in carseats. I just don’t think I am one of them.  It takes dedication and commitment to drive an electric car. At this time in my life, I like the freedom of knowing I can go as far as my gas card will allow me.  With that said, this was a fun car to drive. If I were completely retired and not entertaining Alice all week this might be something I would consider.

The Kia Soul EV Starts as low as $24,450* ($31,950* MSRP – $7,500 federal tax credit), the Soul EV has a best-in-class EPA*-estimated driving range of 93 miles.

Thank you Kia and Drive Shop for allowing me to test drive the Kia Soul EV for the week. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.
[ReviewDisclaimer]

15 Comments

  • Pamela Gurganus

    I am not sure if I would feel comfortable driving an all electric vehicle, but my sister is looking to buy one. I am going to be sharing this review with her. Thank you!

  • Marnie G (Derrick Todd)

    I really like that it doesn’t use gas. It really is one of the more affordable electric vehicles. It would take some time though to feel comfortable that you weren’t going to get stranded somewhere.

  • Kelly O

    I have a big gas guzzling car and have though of going to an electric car. You addressed some of my concerns. 90 miles does seem like too few, but I bet I rarely drive farther than that. I also am nervous about the “get up and go”. I am not a race car driver but I do need the car to go when I tell it too. Especially when merging in traffic. You have given me some confidence though. I will have to do a test drive for myself 🙂

  • Sarah L

    I really like: The navigation system in the car will also tell you how close the nearest charging station is. I’d like to have an electric car.

  • Tamra Phelps

    My cousin has an electric car & recently visited. He gave everyone rides & it was impressive! They go from 0 to 60 pretty darn quick, lol.

  • Rosie

    It sounds like a nice car for running those short errands or trips. I’m not so sure about the mirrors, in that icy weather the inside mechanism will probably break, then you could be without your mirrors in a storm – yikes! other than that, sounds nice!

  • KATE SARSFIELD

    I’ve just worked out the difference in price: US dollars 24,450 equals 15,832.24 British Pounds or 21,522.89 euros. All fine & dandy, I hear you say, but when you factor in the exhorbitant vehicle tax in Ireland, the cost is almost 40,000 euro for the basic model. Madness!

  • KATE SARSFIELD

    My goodness Connie, you have the best job EVER! Imagine getting to trial a spanking brand new car for a whole week – lucky thing!

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