Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5
  • Clutter-free design
  • Well-screwed together
  • Uninspiring and dark to sit in

The Soul EV’s cabin is one of Kia’s sharpest designs yet – it’s wraparound in its design, featuring a high-set circular element containing the infotainment screen and bookended by silver plastic flashes surrounding each door handle.

It’s a shame, then, that the vast majority of the materials are black plastic – making for quite a dark and monotonous ambiance, and helping the cabin feel smaller than it is. While some markets get a vast array of funky ambient lighting to help fix this, including an optional system that pulses in time to your music, the UK won’t enjoy this. Other markets also get a lighter-coloured two-tone dashboard, but again, we miss out. It’s a massive disappointment that the Soul’s cabin isn’t as funky as its exterior design.

Infotainment

Dominating the dashboard is Kia’s latest 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen. It’s an ultra-wide aspect screen that’s both high-resolution and responsive to touch – it’s a big mark in the Soul EV’s favour, especially when rivals such as the Nissan Leaf offer such comparatively below-par screens.

The Soul’s system has a funky 3D navigation function that’s connected enough to offer live traffic and other updates – this should make it more accurate than many built-in systems. However, both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality are standard too, so you’re able to plug your phone in and use the navigation app of your choice.

It’s a shame, however, that when using one of these functions they don’t fill the entire screen – they operate in a small window with a section of Kia’s interface still visible. It’s lazy and ugly.

The 7.0-inch panel in front of the driver is also excellent, with digital dials that change depending on what mode you’re in. Crucially, it makes it really easy to see your speed and how many miles remain in the battery at a glance.

Comfort

  • Quiet electric drivetrain
  • Ride is still slightly firm
  • Wind noise at speed

The Soul EV does a decent job of isolating its occupants from the outside world, helped by the refinement inherent in all electric cars as well as a sophisticated rear suspension system aimed at ironing out road bumps.

The powertrain is almost silent, with only a faint whirring sound at speed. This does, however, highlight the fact that the Soul suffers from wind noise – you can blame that squared-off profile for that. It’s a big improvement over its predecessor, with attention paid to soundproofing throughout, but even the cleverest aerodynamics can’t hide it completely.

The Soul EV also suffers from poor ride quality at lower speeds, mainly due to its large alloy wheels which patter over rougher surfaces. It’s far from a deal-breaker, and most electric cars suffer the same issue, but it’s worth noting.

However, the Soul EV’s ride calms down at higher speed, and the seats are comfortable and adjustable enough that all shapes and sizes of driver should be able to find a position that suits them.