One-week vehicle loan was provided for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
|Type: Electric Vehicle
Fuel Efficiency: 120 city/92 hwy (MPGe)
|Best Suited For: Short commute, families, green-conscious
Notable Features: All-electric, looks normal, has DC port is standard for fast charging, UL validated, quiet with no buzzing.
Links: Official site
Finally, an electric vehicle that isn’t an eyesore or a tin can! Based on the popular and trendy design of the Soul, the 2015 Kia Soul EV is a welcome addition to their line of cars. These come in four colors – all white, all blue, blue and white, and red and black. All of them look snazzy.
2015 Kia Soul EV Review
The 2015 Kia Soul EV gets about 102 mpg on one charge. Sweet, right? Power is steady and the ride is quiet. There’s plenty of room for five, though the back passengers will have to be on the smaller side. Cargo space is decent and what you’d expect from a compact 5-door. With the cover off, Speckles (our medium-sized dog) can actually fit back there and can even turn around (very carefully). I love, love the cubbie found on the side of the front passenger seat – perfect for your mobile phone!
The dash area is a little plain and feels hard but the dual-colored piping on the interior makes up for it. I guess there’s only so much you can do when the cockpit is made up mostly of bio-based materials like corn and sugar. At least that resulted in the first UL validation for a car company (for 10%). The instrument cluster, however, is modern and all digital.
2015 Kia Soul EV: Performance and Features
The Soul EV is easy to drive and performs well like a normal car, less the gas thing. Compared to other electric vehicles I’ve driven, this one feels more substantial and provides a solid ride versus a quirky green experiment. At first I was put off by the unfamiliar grill but my opinion changed as soon as I realized it was the housing for the charging ports.
DC connections come standard and can give a full charge in 30 minutes. A typical household charge of 110V will take some 24 hours though. Built into the Soul EV is an electric station locator.
I was surprised the higher trim still had manual seat adjustments but I guess that’s a way to save more electricity. Another energy-efficient feature is the ability to switch the ventilation system to “driver only,” which shuts off all the other vents. The navigation system (which comes at a perfect viewing angle), UVO settings, bluetooth options, and heated/ventilated seats are fully functional and make this car a convenient and comfortable ride. You can even schedule times for the car to charge and to turn on to heat or cool.
Oh, and the Infinity sound system help up the “wow” factor with quality audio. You can really appreciate it since the car itself is extremely quiet and with almost no buzzing from the battery. There are no multi-colored lights around the speakers like there are in the gas-powered Soul. As a safety precaution, the car does beep when in reverse to warn unsuspecting passersby. The rear camera includes a view of the bumper so you can get pretty stinkin’ close to things and still not hit them when backing up.
2015 Kia Soul EV Ideal for Short Commutes & City Driving
To test the waters, this model is only available in certain markets but as demand grows, so will the markets it’s offered in. Driving an all-electric vehicle over long distances still makes me nervous. Unless you have a super fast charger and a few hours to spare, it’s not as convenient as it is to just pop into a station and grab a few gallons to get home. For mostly city use and commute with a charging station on-site, I definitely recommend the 2015 Kia Soul EV as an investment that will pay for itself in no time.