Soul EV

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2018 Kia Soul EV Overview

After three years of being on the market, Kia has given their electric-only model, the Soul EV, a refresh for the 2018 model year.

The big news is that Kia has increased the capacity of the lithium-ion polymer battery from 27 kWh to 30 kWh. This boosts range from 93 to 111 miles. While it trails competitors, the increase does make the Soul EV an attractive option for those with short commutes. When plugged into a 480V quick charger, the battery can recharge to 80 percent within 35 minutes. With a 240V charger, the Soul EV takes between five and six hours to recharge. As for the 120V outlet, it takes a very long 33 hours.

Power comes from an electric motor that has 109 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. Despite the battery adding an extra 26 pounds to the overall weight, Kia expects performance to be similar to the outgoing model with a 0-to-60 mph time of around 10 seconds. Reviewers who have driven the 2018 model say it is slightly quicker around town than the outgoing model. On the road, the Soul EV delivers a composed ride on all road surfaces.

Telling the Soul EV apart from the gas-powered Soul is easy. The EV has a larger and closed grille where the charging ports reside. It also has 16-inch alloy wheels finished in black or white. A new instrument cluster and white trim pieces differentiate the interior of the Soul EV from the Soul. The boxy design allows for the Soul EV to have one of most spacious interiors in its class. Passengers are given ample head- and legroom. Cargo space is similar to standard Soul when the rear seats are up, 18.8 cubic feet. Fold the rear seats and there is 49.5 cubic feet.

The base Soul EV-e comes with a 5-inch touchscreen with satellite radio and reversing camera. The EV and EV+ get an 8-inch touchscreen featuring Kia’s UVO Eco services that provide information on public charging stations and the ability to schedule vehicle charging times. Reviewers like both systems as they offer crisp graphics and an easy to understand layout.

For safety, the Soul EV comes with a number of airbags, traction and stability control, hill-start assist, and a pedestrian warning system. Front and rear parking sensors are standard on the EV+ trim.

The 2018 Kia Soul EV begins at $32,250 and climbs to $35,950 for the EV+. The Soul EV does qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit and various state tax credits for EVs.

Updated

Ask William Maley how he started as an automotive writer and he would say he just fell into it. Based in Michigan, William has driven vehicles of all sizes and shapes. His work has appeared on Autobytel, CARFAX, Cheers & Gears, and U.S. News Best Cars.

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Soul EV

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