Autocar First Drive: Redesigned, Euro-Spec Kia Soul EV

Will the redesigned Kia Soul EV work to impress European buyers?

We recently shared Autocar’s first drive of the all-new Kia Soul EV. However, that drive took place in South Korea. Now, the publication has access to a Euro-spec model and provides initial insight.

The gas-powered Soul is a popular vehicle in the U.S. due to its low price and considerable versatility. However, Autocar points out that it’s not nearly as sought-after in Europe. Kia is moving to change that by offering a completely redesigned all-electric Soul with a 64-kWh battery pack and plenty of range. In addition, while the new, gas-powered Soul will still be sold in the U.S., European customers will only be able to buy the battery-electric variant.

The Soul EV uses the same powertrain as the Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric. The Soul is a touch smaller than the Niro, but less aerodynamic. This means that its WLTP range is 280 miles on a charge, compared to the Niro’s 282. Based on official EPA estimates, the Soul EV travels an impressive 243 miles. This is a massive improvement from the outgoing Soul EV’s 111-mile range, especially when considering that the redesigned Soul is larger than the previous generation.

Autocar says that while Kia’s e-Niro may be more practical due to its greater cargo capacity, the Soul has an edge when it comes to its interior, and it’s performance is about equal to that of the Niro EV. The Soul boasts an expansive cabin, a 10.3-inch touch-screen interface with smartphone app integration, and a whole set of active safety features. It also provides an app that keeps owners apprised of the car’s battery status and allows remote features.

Performance-wise, it’s reasonably quick from zero-to-60 mph and it fares well even when it’s near its top speed. Moreover, the Soul EV is surprisingly agile and responsive while providing a smooth ride. Autocar appreciates the Soul EV’s multiple driving modes, as well as the fact that its regen system allows user customization.

In the end, Autocar recommends the Soul EV as a good choice, although the final decision will come down to price for many people. Check out Autocar’s full review at the source link below.

Let us know your thoughts on the upcoming, redesigned Kia Soul EV.

Source: Autocar

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Author: Steven Loveday

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