Why the 2015 Kia Soul EV Matters:
Kia unveils its first all-electric car in the form of its popular Soul. The completely new 2015 Kia Soul EV keeps all that is good about the existing Soul and redesigns enough physical and technological changes to morph it into at least one of the best looking totally electric cars around. Although none of the key features necessarily best the Nissan LEAF, this vehicle goes a long way toward repairing Kia's tainted reputation for using highly toxic glues and materials in the past. In fact, the Soul EV has the distinction of being the first automotive vehicle to receive an approval by the UL - a group of scientists that was once called the Underwriters Laboratory - for its use of more than 20 bio-friendly materials used to create the interior of the vehicle.
What’s New for the 2015 Kia Soul EV
The first change you notice on the 2015 Kia Soul EV, is its two-toned color scheme that surprisingly upgrades the look of the car due to a "floating roof" of white above a blue body. A larger grille to accommodate the electronics under the hood and slick sliding door up front opens up the charge inputs. The car comes standard with both the 240v Level 1 charging outlet and the fast-charging 480v plug.
Kia is putting the range numbers from 80 - 100 miles per charge, but also claims its testing results exceeded 100 miles. These were the same numbers we heard on the Nissan Leaf and a more practical reality is more in the mid-seventies when interstate driving is involved. However, the new Soul EV gives you four different choices of regenerative driving modes, each with varying degrees of power usage.
Much like other EVs the horsepower is limited, with only 109 horsepower and 210 lb.-ft. of torque. The Soul is also not quite as quick off the mark. The time Kia is claiming is 0 - 60 in 12 seconds compared to Nissan's 0 - 60 for the Leaf at under 10 seconds.
2015 Kia Soul EV: What Autobytel Thinks
Although pricing has not been announced, it seems that Kia would have a distinct advantage over pricier EVS in the market. We won't know until the third quarter this year if they hit a sweet spot on price, but we like the Kia Soul as a gas-powered car and we'll probably like it as an EV. All signs point to a relative sales success.
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