2017 Kia Soul EV Review

Soul EV

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2017 Kia Soul EV Overview

The all-electric Kia Soul EV was first introduced in 2015, following the regular Soul’s 2014 redesign. This quirky 5-door, 5-passenger car combines all the versatility of a small wagon with the eco-friendliness of an electric vehicle (EV). The 2017 Soul EV comes in three different trims, each equipped with the same powertrain but offering varying levels of comfort and convenience features.

The Soul EV is powered by an 81.4 kW electric motor paired with a single-speed direct-drive transmission for an output of 109 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque. It provides a driving range of 93 miles, which is good, but not as good as the Nissan Leaf’s 107-mile range or the new Hyundai Ioniq’s 124 miles. Using a 120V port, the Soul EV will fully charge in 24 hours—that time speeds up to less 5 hours with a 240V port and under an hour with a 480V port. The Soul EV offers selectable Normal, Comfort, and Sport steering modes for further driver control.

Part of the Soul EV’s appeal lies in its design, which not only makes it stand out from the crowd but also provides for a spacious interior. The Soul EV has ample room for 5 adults, and even tall passengers will find plenty of headroom in the 60/40 split-folding rear seats. With the seats up, the trunk offers 18.8 cubic feet, and with the seats folded, cargo capacity extends to 49.5 cubic feet. The large rear tailgate opening makes loading and unloading a breeze, especially if you’re carrying big, awkward cargo.

The 2017 Soul EV is available in three trims—the EV-e, EV, and EV+. The base EV-e starts at $32,250 and comes with 16-inch alloy wheels with black spokes, projection headlights, LED combination taillights, and an Eco Electric fender badge to differentiate it from the gas-powered Soul. The seats are cloth with blue stitching, with a 6-way manually adjustable driver’s seat and 2 levels of heating for the front seats. The cabin boasts a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, a leather-wrapped shift knob, and an infotainment system with a 5-inch color display, an integrated reversing camera, AM/FM/MP3 capabilities, 4 speakers with 2 tweeters, Bluetooth, and Sirius satellite radio.

The mid-level Soul EV trim is priced from $33,950 and adds satin metal spokes to the wheels, outside mirrors with triple turn-signal indicators, and an 8-inch color display. The infotainment system gets an upgrade with navigation, an internal amplifier, 4.0 LTE telematics, and a swipe feature. UVO Eco services with a 3-year subscription is also included, and the only optional features are an LED cargo light and overhead LED room lamps.

The Soul EV+ is the top trim, with a starting price of $35,950. It comes with projection-type front fog lights, power-folding outside mirrors, and aero-blade windshield wipers. The interior gets an upgrade with leather upholstery with blue piping, 3-level heated and ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, and leatherette trimming on the upper console and doors. The LED cargo light and overhead room lamps become standard, along with an electrochromatic rear-view mirror, a 12V luggage outlet, a cargo screen, and a cargo net. The EV+ is also the only trim with speaker lights and an optional panoramic sunroof.

As for safety features, every 2017 Soul EV is equipped with a pedestrian warning system, multiple airbags, electronic stability control, hill-start assist, and an electronic parking brake. Park assist with front and rear comes standard on the top EV+ trim level.

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Nicole Wakelin's passion for cars started on the day she went for a ride in a bright red Ferrari as a teenager. She writes reviews and covers everything cars for CarGurus, The Boston Globe, BestRide, and Be Car Chic and blogs all things geek over at TotalFanGirl.

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