Kia adds a single option to the Soul EV for 2016 in the form of a panoramic sunroof that can be had on the upscale Luxury trim level. Otherwise, this all-electric compact wagon, which is Kia's first crack at the EV market, is unchanged.
Based, naturally, on the standard, gasoline-powered Soul, the EV model is distinguished only by trim elements, like a solid grille insert that hides the car's charging port. So while the Soul's styling still stands out, this is an attractive vehicle for EV drivers not necessarily keen on advertising their electric intentions the way a Nissan Leaf does.
If you can get around the Soul EV's limited driving range, this is the best version of this compact Kia, with a quiet ride nearly devoid of mechanical sounds. Kia has also managed to package the battery so that it doesn't intrude on interior space. Taken all together, this is an impressive first foray into the nascent market for electric vehicles.
The electric motor makes 109 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque, which goes to the road through a single-speed transmission. The base model can be charged via 120- and 240-volt outlets, but the Luxury trim adds a 480-volt fast-charge port. Kia cites a maximum driving range of 149 km, and Natural Resources Canada's power consumption estimates are 2.0/2.6 Le/100 km (city/highway).
Base equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED accent lighting, air conditioning with dual-zone automatic climate control, six-speaker stereo with navigation and multimedia interface, Bluetooth, intelligent keyless entry with push-button start, tilt-and-telescopic steering column, heated front seats and steering wheel, cruise control and backup camera.
Luxury trim adds fog lights, power-folding side mirrors, a heat pump (Kia says it provides more efficient climate control), auto-dimming rearview mirror, cargo privacy cover, synthetic leather upholstery, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.
Pricing starts at $35,195; Luxury trim costs $38,195 and the sunroof option adds a further $800.
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