Kia Soul EV (2020) Review

Looking for a Kia Soul EV (2020 on)?
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Kia Soul EV (2020) At A Glance


+280-mile range is impressive. Spacious cabin. Long warranty.

-Bold looks won't be for everyone. Interior could be plusher. Cheaper electric cars are available.

Insurance Group 34

Kia and sister brand Hyundai have form with electric cars. The Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric are two of the most in-demand EVs thanks to their long ranges (up to 282 miles) and relatively affordable price tags.

So confident is Kia that electric cars are the future, the Soul is now sold exclusively as an electric vehicle. It uses the same 204PS electric motor and 64kWh battery pack as the e-Niro, travelling 280 miles from a charge. While other recent electric cars like the Honda E and MINI Electric will struggle to cover more than 100 miles between top-ups, the Soul's range makes it a realistic proposition for all but the most high-mileage of drivers.

It's also useable in terms of space. This isn't a small electric city car, it's a family car that could replace a Ford Focus or even a Nissan Qashqai on your driveway. The Soul's boxy dimensions means there's comfortably space for a pair of adults in the rear, although the 315-litre boot is a little disappointing compared to the e-Niro's 451 litres.

While the interior is functional, it's not particularly interesting. There are lots of dark, drab colours and lots of buttons dotted around the dash, although the standard 10.25-inch navigation system is clear and easy to use.

Kia's initially offering the Soul EV in one First Edition trim level. This is very well equipped, with the aforementioned navigation system as well as a Harmon/Kardon sound system, a seven-inch digital display behind the steering wheel, heated leather seats and a reversing camera amongst its long list of standard equipment.

Priced from around £34,000 after the Government's plug-in car grant, the biggest issue the Kia Soul faces is whether people can justify spending that kind of money on an electric car. But it's not something that's hampered sales of the e-Niro, and when you start to factor fuel savings into monthly payments it starts to make a lot of sense.

Looking for a Kia Soul EV (2020 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

We want to swap the old diesel car we use for local trips to an electric car. What do you suggest?
"We have a diesel 2004 Skoda Fabia Estate, which still has only 91k miles on the clock. It's a second car and is only used locally for shopping trips, transporting bags of compost and garden waste to our allotment, and taking rubbish to our local recycling centre. It's still in great condition and just keeps going on and on but I'm thinking that given its use - a swap to a used plug-in electric car would be sensible. But what do we go for? I appreciate that the Skoda has very little part exchange value, but what car would you suggest? Also, what sort of budget for a 3-4-year-old car that we expect to keep for a long time would you expect?"
A Kia Soul EV could work. The original model arrived in 2014 with a fairly limited range but quirky looks and a fairly accommodating boot. A 2017/18 example can be picked up for around £15,000 and it'll still have the remainder of its transferable manufacturer warranty remaining. Alternatively, take a look at the new MG 5. It's fresh to the market but it sounds ideal for what you need and it's a relatively affordable choice. An as-new example can be picked up for less than £20,000.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Should I buy a service plan for my new electric car?
"I bought a new Kia Soul EV in March 2020. Is it worth buying a service plan (two years £239, three years £529, five years £759)?"
There's not much that's actually changed in an electric car service (there's no engine oil, for example) so EV servicing is usually cheaper than servicing a petrol car. You'll still need to get the car serviced regularly to avoid invalidating the warranty, although you might find a local garage willing to do it for less. That said, those prices don't sound unreasonable and you'll have the peace of mind of having your car checked regularly by a main dealer.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you suggest a reliable family car replacement for our 15 year old Honda Jazz?
"We're looking to replace a 15 year old Honda Jazz - which we bought on your recommendation and it has been perfect for us. But, sadly, it will need a lot of money spent on it to pass this year’s MOT. We do a lot of very short trips, about a mile or less, but also need to drive 30-40 miles at weekends and occasionally go further to visit family. We do need space for 2 growing boys (14 & 11 years old). We're happy to buy secondhand and have a budget of about £15,000. Reliability is important to us, and a few modern touches like Apple CarPlay would be great. My wife would love keyless entry! With short journeys, should we look for a hybrid? The annual mileage will probably be about 6000 miles. What would you recommend? Many thanks."
Can you charge a car at home? If so, an electric car might work for you... it'd certainly be well suited to your regular short journeys. Consider a Nissan Leaf, BMW i3 or Kia Soul EV. All three would make a good introduction to EVs and should be practical enough for your needs. If you can't charge a car at home, it sounds like a hybrid would work well. We'd recommend a Hyundai Ioniq – it's a bit bigger than your Jazz and your budget will get a 2018 model with the remainder of its five-year manufacturer warranty. Consider a Kia Niro, too, particularly if a crossover SUV body shape appeals.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the best used, small hatchback for low mileage use?
"We are both recently retired and found that having just one car (the brilliant Volvo XC40 T3) is proving inconvenient, so we want a small used car for running around and short trips. Current thoughts are Audi A1, Fiat 500 or MINI. Prices seem fairly equal for recent models and running costs about even, but it's difficult to find information on reliability. It will probably only be doing 5000 miles per year. From those above, what would be the least likely to cause problems and prove not overly expensive? What other makes/models would you suggest in 3 to 4-year-old cars? Thanks in anticipation."
Our Satisfaction Index is a good indicator of reliability: As a guideline, Audi owners are generally fairly satisfied. MINI and Fiat actually perform pretty poorly. We also list common issues under the 'good/bad' section in our reviews. Have you considered an electric vehicle? If you can charge a car at home, it sounds like one would suit your requirements well. Something like a Volkswagen e-Golf, Hyundai Ioniq or Kia Soul EV could be a good option. A little more expensive to buy but you'll save money in running costs. If you'd prefer to stick to petrol, consider a Ford Fiesta Vignale. It's essentially a posh Fiesta with a luxurious interior but low running costs.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Kia Soul EV (2020) cost?