A little less than a year ago, the South Korean automaker Kia released the Soul EV. A purely electric car that received little media attention compared to other electric vehicles. But the Korean has to hide from his competitors?
In August alone, a total of 360 new registrations of the Kia Soul EV, the mini-van (as classified by the Federal Motor Transport Authority) were recorded. This clearly confirms that the solid electric car doesn’t have to hide. In terms of price, it starts at 30,790 euros (including VAT) and if you want the full equipment, you only pay 990 euros on top.
The electric motor has an output of 81.4 kW (110 hp) and sprints from 0 to 100 km / h in 11.2 seconds. The top speed is 145 km / h and a range of up to 212 kilometers should be achieved using the lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 27 kWh. The Soul EV is charged via type 2 in 5 hours if 6.6 kW is present or via the household socket in around 10 hours. CHAdeMO is available as a fast charging connection, via which it is charged to 80 percent of capacity in 30 minutes.
High-quality workmanship in the interior inspires
Compared to many other electric cars, we encounter a lot of plastic in the interior and sometimes a rather average workmanship. Now I’m 1.90 m tall in a car and I need space. As a driver, you don’t want to experience the feeling of distress and this is absolutely not the case in the Kia. Four full-grown men can sit in it without any problems. It offers space for a total of five people.
Once you get in, you feel overwhelmed by the many buttons. It starts with the steering wheel and continues through the automatic air conditioning to the infotainment system. Nevertheless, an elegant and high-quality workmanship awaits us here. The feel is inspiring, but attention was paid to bio-based plastics and solvent-free paints.
A very special look is given to the tweeters in connection with the ventilation nozzles, which form a unit. Reversing camera, navigation system, 8-inch touchscreen and digital radio are only a fraction of the features that the Kia Soul EV brings. The sound is acceptable and allows for a clear sound. The digital instrument panel is also impressive. Clear, clear and all important information is available. Some criticism applies here to the infotainment system, which needs some getting used to and whose menu structure is too branched out.
Range and driving experience surprisingly positive
When we hear a theoretical range of up to 212 km from an electric car, we smile at this at first. Happened to me every now and then, until I could convince myself otherwise and so something over 160 km was possible with a full charge. Unfortunately, in three days during the short test, I was only able to test route profiles between Alsfeld and Marburg and Alsfeld, Neustadt and then on to Marburg, as well as once from Alsfeld to Schwalmstadt. High proportion of country roads, a lot of rush hour traffic and no motorway. The remaining range in the display relates to the last 20 journeys, the current consumption and the road conditions when using the navigation. The remaining range display worked quite reliably and in the end I got further than I expected with the 160 km.
Because of the low center of gravity, it sits well on the road, but we find this in almost every electric car. Sporty driving styles are possible, but it lacks the “liveliness” that I find in the LEAF, for example.
The gear selector lever can be adjusted between D and B. With D we have the normal driving mode and with B recuperation is more effective. Unfortunately, with the Soul EV, I cannot simply rocker between these two levels, but have to literally “flip” the lever.
With the Kia Soul EV, the South Korean manufacturer has brought a solid electric car onto the market and the battery price is already included in the above price of 30,790 euros (including VAT). In addition, the manufacturer gives a full 7 year guarantee. Reliable in everyday life with sufficient range and space for me. Only when switching from D to B on the gear selector lever and an app for remote control do I currently see the greatest points of criticism. Otherwise, this electric car convinced me. This also applies to the heat pump system for heating the interior and the air conditioning in the driver’s area.
You can find more details and pictures of the test report at saving-volt.de, where you can download the PDF with prices, equipment details, assistance systems, colors and other features.
Note: Thanks go to the Auto Schubert dealership in Marburg, which made the Kia Soul EV available to us for three days. Unfortunately, Kia was unable to provide us with a test car.
Photos: Daniel Bönnighausen