NEW FOR 2015:
- All-new model.
While electric cars aren’t exactly commonplace on Canadian streets, an increasing number of manufacturers are offering them for sale in the Great White North. Kia is the latest to join the foray with the Soul EV to challenge the likes of the Nissan Leaf and the Ford Focus Electric in the entry-level e-car sector.
Although the Soul was designed from the get-go to accommodate electrification, Kia has increased the structural rigidity and tweaked the suspension to cope with the additional mass of the battery pack. Although rear-seat legroom and overall cargo room are down slightly from gas-powered models, the Soul EV is more practical and spacious than its competitors.
It looks the part of an electric car too; the signature "tiger nose" houses the charging ports, and there are aerodynamic-optimized bumpers and wheels. Eco-friendly interior trim and plastics add to the little wagon’s green credentials.
All Soul EVs are powered by a 109-hp and 210 lb-ft of torque AC motor that drives the front wheels through a single-speed transmission; its 27-kWh lithium-polymer battery offers up a 149-km estimated range, which is trumped only by the Tesla Model S.
The Soul EV is also one of the few electric cars with an available 480-volt DC charge that can fill its battery to 80 per cent capacity from empty in 33 minutes. Though DC charge points are fairly hard to come by in Canada, thanks to the 6.6 kW on-board charger, the Soul EV can be fully topped up from empty in less than five hours on a 240-volt charge.
Kia has also partnered with Bosch to provide a complementary charging station and Enterprise for credits towards rental vehicles for new owners.
The Soul EV is available in EV (base) and EV Luxury trim.
The base model includes 16-inch alloy wheels, integrated charge port, LED daytime running lights, automatic headlights, LED tail lights, power heated and folding sideview mirrors with integrated turn signals, cruise control, electronic parking brake, driver-selectable steering weight, Eco driving mode, dash-top charge indication monitor, white high-gloss interior trim, dual 12-volt power outlets, 60/40 split folding rear seat, trip computer, leatherette instrument cluster trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, soft-touch interior trim, dual-zone climate control, bio-fabric cloth upholstery, tilt and telescoping steering column, proximity key with push-button start, eight-inch infotainment screen with navigation, AM/FM/MP3 and satellite radio, reverse camera, USB input, LED instrument cluster, and electronic parking brake.
The EV Luxury adds fog lights, aeroblade wipers, leatherette upholstery and door trim, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, front and rear parking sensors, cargo net, 480V DC fast-charging port, heat pump (EV range enhancing climate control), automatic folding side mirrors, 12-volt cargo area power outlet, and cargo cover.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed