Kia Soul EV Review 2024

Kia Soul EV 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.

New prices start from £34,295

Kia and sister brand Hyundai have form with electric cars. The Kia Niro EV and Hyundai Kona Electric are two of the most in-demand EVs thanks to their long ranges (up to 280 miles) and relatively affordable price tags. The Soul EV takes the same approach and offers a city-friendly compact size allied to good road manners when you head further afield. Read on for our full review of the Kia Soul EV.

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 Kia Niro EV, travelling 280 miles from a charge, or you can choose the 39kWh version with a range of 171 miles. 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.

Priced from around £33,000, the biggest issue the Kia Soul faces is whether people can justify spending that kind of money on a small electric car. But it's not something that's hampered sales of the e-Niro or the likes of the Peugeot e-208, and when you start to factor fuel savings into monthly payments it can make a lot of sense.

Looking for a second opinion? Why not read heycar's Kia Soul EV review.

Ask Honest John

My EV gives an indicated range that is less than the claimed maximum, should I be concerned?

"I have just bought a Kia Soul EV 2021 with a stated max range of 280 miles. I have done several long journeys and charged to 100% (normally charge to 80% when using it locally) When at 100% it gives approx 240 as max range, and only producing approx 220 miles. I have owned an EV prior for 2 years and understand warm weather range and winter range. So far it has not been cold, and I do not do long journeys at night(no headlights required) My previous car when fully charged always declared the max range. I am concerned that there is an issue. Should I be ? "
Just as with official combined fuel consumption figures, the claimed maximum range and the indicated range available are intended as a guide rather than absolute fact. As you mention, there are a large number of variables that can affect energy consumption when driving, which causes the range to fall. Tyre pressures, ambient temperature, vehicle load, driving style, speed, vehicle mode, use of ancillaries and so on. In addition, because your Soul is two years old it is likely to have experience a little battery degradation, although we would expect this to be only a few percent at most. If you are getting an indicated 240 miles and can achieve 220 miles from a single charge then this would suggest that the indicated range is quite accurate. Although your previous car always indicated the maximum range, it is not necessarily the case that this was accurate. If you are concerned about the condition of your car, we would suggest visiting a Kia dealer or independent EV specialist for a battery health check.
Answered by David Ross

Which electric car is right for me?

"I have a BMW X1 automatic on a lease that expires this November. I would like to replace it with an electric car, which needs to be large enough to transport golf clubs and trolley, or take 3 passengers and have a range of 200+ miles. The car needs to be stylish. My husband says we should wait for at least a year to buy an electric car but I then have the problem of what to do when my lease ends. Any advice please including cars I should consider? I do not want a large car, something slightly smaller than the X1 would be preferable."
A Volkswagen ID.3 should have enough range and a big enough boot for your needs, also worth giving the larger ID.4 a look – it more closely matches the size of your X1. I'd also recommend the Kia Soul EV and the Hyundai Kona EV. Most small EVs – cars like the Mini Electric and the Honda e – won't have the boot space or range you need, however, it's worth checking out the Peugeot e-208, which has a long range for a small EV, though can't guarantee your kit will fit.
Answered by Russell Campbell

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
More Questions

What does a Kia Soul EV cost?