Review: 2015 Kia Soul EV US-spec

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When I was told the 2015 Kia Soul EV was going to be my next car to drive for a week I was excited because its my first full Electric Vehicle but at the same time I was a little bit worried because that meant I had to control the miles I drive plus a place where to charge the car because I dont live at a house anymore and was told we can’t use extension cords to charge it.

The 2015 Kia Soul EV takes the same new design as the Gasoline only version with few changes on the outside like both front grills honeycombs are gone with the top grill having a sliding door for the charging ports, dual projectors at the headlights and new  badges.

The Soul EV comes in 3 new colors only available for the EV, in this opportunity we got the beautiful Caribbean blue with white roof and side mirrors. The interior is white with light blue accents.

This color definitely pops and it grabs people’s attention immediately but in a good way, because with the new redesign the Soul became more popular than before and it’s definitely one of the best souls yet to be made.

Driving the Soul EV has definitely been fun but also a learning experience, not only because its an EV car but finding out what’s in my city. Hunting for those charging station has to be one of the most challenge situations in my case, since I live in apartments and I could not charge the soul there so I always had to seek for a charging station. Thanks to ChargePoint android app and Kia’s acct, most charging stations were free. The only down side is i had to leave the car to fully charge the battery and that means my wife had to pick me up and drop me off but using the UVO EV app, I’ll talk more about the app later, kept me from guessing when the car was ready and fully charged.

Driving the Soul EV had to be one of the most pleasant experience, for sure this is a very heavy Soul with the new 81.4 kW electric motor and the 27 kilowatt hour lithion battery pack adding a total weight of 3,289 pounds and thats 410 pounds more than the Gasoline version. Even with all the added weight the Soul doesnt feel heavy thanks to the instant torque from the electric engine, you’ll be surprise how easy it can be to make those tires scream from a dead stop. To me the best part of all is the moment you press the On button and listen…. and its just silent and for the obvious reason, there is no gasoline engine. It didn’t took long until I got used to it, in fact I started loving it more since the gasoline version made some great improvements on noise reduction, with the EV you can only worry about the wind and a mild road noise.

The majority of my driving was in the streets and i loved how the car felt, going through curves i really liked the suspension on this Soul plus the added weight from the battery packs, the car felt more closer to the ground hugging some corners really well but the tires could only take me so far, im sure with better tires the handling would improve but of course this Soul is not meant for that, is all about those extra miles.

The Soul navigation system has an app call Eco in which gives you more details of how the Soul is performing. It also shows you how Eco you are driving by levels, 8 been the higher level. Since all my daily drive was in the streets my level was always 8, at the beginning I was taken it easy but later I didn’t care much of the consumption.

On the weekend i decided to give the Soul more miles on the highway compare to my week days. The first drive was to my parents house, about 16 miles from my apartment which was not a problem for the total of 93 miles range when the Soul is fully charge.

We stayed over the night at my parents place but with the wife we decided to take a challenge driving the Soul to my brother’s place. Thankfully nearby my parents house i found a charging station nearby the lake, i’ve seen that place before but completly forgot until i open the application searching for a charging station. Getting to my brother’s place will take about 33 from the parents house and another 27 miles to reach my apartment.

I was a little scared because of all the driving i was about to do but mainly because when using the a/c your miles drops to 87 miles and all of this is explained in the Eco App at the Navigation system. One of the things that helped a little was the option to just use the a/c for the driver only so i could direct the driver vent towards me and the middle to the back where my wife and baby were seating.

The interior of the Kia Soul which is almost identical to the gasoline version, is very roomy which is an advantage from other car manufactures that has to reduce their space for their battery packs but with the soul we find the battery pack underneath leaving a lot of room for my baby gear on the back.

At the drivers view we find a new cluster, replacing the RPMs gauge, is the total range of miles in the middle and a range of Charge, Eco Guide and Power, which indicates when the battery is charging (by pressing the brakes), the best spot for eco consumption when pressing the accelerator pedal and getting the extra power when flooring the pedal, and to the right we have another gauge with the speedometer and between both guages a screen on the middle with different details. The interior of this soul is very stylish with the speakers in top of the a/c vents just like a tower and the seats are very comfortable plus having the ventilated seats is even better.

In my week of testing the Soul I drove a total of 240 miles driving to work, visiting my parents and my brother. i had to fully charge the car 3 times which i think is not that bad, considering that sometimes i was not driving as Eco as I should.

One last thing i would like to mention is the UVO EV app, this is for sure one app you’ll be glad to have on your phone. i had to talk to Kia in order to make it work with a simple registration needed. This application is basically a notification of your car and even remotely turn on your car with a climate control set at your desire temperature. For me the most useful part of the app is keeping up with the total level charged since i had to drop the car for charging.

2016 Soul EV

Photo Credit : Kia Media

The price for this Soul is 36,626.00 including freight and handling but thanks to federal tax break we get a 7,500 discount drop the price to the 20k+ and that a good price for what this Soul has to offer.

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