4.1 out of 5 4.1
Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Super cool electric SUV with excellent performance and range

Kia Soul SUV (19 on) - rated 4.1 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £37,545 - £37,545
Lease from new From £473 p/m View lease deals
Used price £22,090 - £30,105
Used monthly cost From £551 per month
Fuel Economy 4.0 miles/kWh
Insurance group 34 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Great design inside and out
  • More power than before
  • Improved ride and handling
  • Realistically usable range

CONS

  • Only one trim level
  • Cramped boot
  • Rather bland and claustrophobic interior
  • More expensive than Kia e-Niro

Kia Soul SUV rivals

Written by Tom Wiltshire on

Kia might be one of the more ‘sensible’ car brands around, but the Soul is pitched as more of an emotive purchase. It’s a boxy SUV-style vehicle, but one that’s boldly styled and packed with quirky features – aimed at those who are willing to sacrifice a bit of interior room for the perk of standing out.

This time around, though, the third-generation Soul’s a bit different to its predecessors. That’s because it’s offered (in Europe, at least) exclusively as an electric vehicle. This is because the last Soul EV – based on the second-generation car – was a bit of a surprise hit for Kia, especially in Europe. This time around, the brand’s not bothering to bring combustion engines to our shores at all.

We think the EV drivetrain suits the Kia’s futuristic styling well, though, so being electric-only is no real hardship. Particularly when the change comes with a boost in power, which makes it so easy to live with. The difficult thing for the Soul is how much competition it now has – from in-house rivals such as its excellent e-Niro sister car, the closely-related sibling, the brilliant Hyundai Kona Electric, or EV mainstays like the Nissan Leaf or BMW i3.

Impressive range and performance

The Soul uses the same powertrain as its sister car, the Kia e-Niro – one of our favourite EVs. That means you get a powerful, 204hp electric motor paired up with a battery that’s 64kWh in capacity. What this hulking great power supply and motor gives you is excellent performance - the Soul will accelerate from 0-62mph in just 7.9 seconds and go for a claimed 280 miles on a single charge. These are very impressive figures for an affordable electric car.

This powerful motor – and the nature of an electric vehicle, namely full torque available from a standstill – means the Soul EV is a brilliant city car, perfect for zipping in and around traffic in serene silence, while also being fast enough to embarrass plenty of big, powerful cars at the lights.

The Soul EV is good to drive, too, even outside the confines of city streets. It handles well and is even enjoyable to chuck down a fast A-road – it’s far more agile than its boxy looks would suggest.

One well-equipped trim level

To go along with its sole powertrain choice, Kia’s offering the Soul EV in the UK in just one (albeit very well-specified) trim level. While this is a little bit of a shame – it means you can’t opt for a lower-spec model to save some cash – it’s difficult to argue with the level of equipment provided.

The dashboard is dominated by a large, 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen. It’s wide enough to display two sets of information at once, and is provided with live sat-nav as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. It’s mated to a good-sounding 10-speaker JBL sound system as well, so your tunes should have plenty of beef to them.

You also get leather upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, a reversing camera and LED lights front and rear, as well as a whole raft of safety equipment.

Not as spacious as its rivals

One thing the Soul does lack is practicality. You pay a steep price for that funky shape – the Soul’s boot is smaller than most superminis, at just 315 litres compared with over 450-litres for its sister car, the e-Niro.

There’s also less room in the back seats, though this isn’t such a big problem as they’re still upright and relatively spacious.

What’s more concerning is that the Soul EV works out to be significantly more expensive than its more practical sibling. While the cash price is slightly lower, monthly payments are higher – and the difference is even more stark compared to rivals such as the slightly older Nissan Leaf.

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the Kia Soul including its practicality, how much it costs to run, what it's like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

Kia Soul SUV rivals

Other Kia Soul models: