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2017 Kia Soul EV Review

By Matt Zimmerman


Updated on


2017 Kia Soul EV

The Kia Soul was already earning nicely for the Kia. But still, Kia wanted to develop something for North America. Actually, in that time the electronic vehicle’s market was shaping up in North America. And was getting a good response from the consumers. It was a golden chance for all those automobile manufacturers who had the skills for developing an EV.

Well, Kia stepped in, reshaped the Soul and presented it as Kia Soul EV. Actually, the body style remained almost the same but the mechanics were improvised to the electric level. The process of development began in 2013.

While in the next year, Kia displayed the Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show. And in the same year, the car was launched in the market as a model for the year 2015. Well, Kia had been pretty slow in supplying this vehicle. During the time of its initial launch in the North America, the car was just made available in California. Even now, the Kia Soul EV is not available in the whole North American market. There are just a few states that can get this car.

Kia has limited the EV-e trim level to the Californian market. Besides this vehicle is not available anywhere else. Well, EV-e is certainly the base model of the Soul EV. The EV and EV+ are the next trim levels available for the United States, but their sales are even limited. While in Canada you don’t get any EV-e. You just get the EV, EV Luxury, and EV Luxury Sunroof. And Europe just gets the EV.

Not to forget, this car recorded its highest sales in Europe rather than North America. The lowest MSRP on Soul EV is $32,250. While the widely available trim begins from $33,950.


81.4 kWESM109 hp210 lb – ft
0 – 62 MPHTop SpeedBody StyleMPG
9.7s92 mphSUV120 city/ 92 highway


Hood of 2017 Kia Soul EV

Well, Kia brought in the hamsters to dance over the Animals from Maroon-V, for the Soul EV. Though it’s pointless in a number of ways, which even include the performance of this car.

It has the 81.4 kW Permanent Magnet AC Synchronous motor. The motor is paired with the 30.5 kW-h lithium ion polymer battery which offers 27 kW-h of electricity to be used. Well, this powertrain drives the Soul EV. Further, this powertrain delivers 109 hp making 210 lb – ft of torque.

Indeed, pretty decent power is offered by the Soul EV, but that is the range that matters in electric vehicles. The Kia Soul EV can travel up to 93 miles (government suggested), which is way lesser than its competitors. The American and German competitors of Soul EV are far beyond this range. The average distance they could travel lies amid 170 – 200 miles.

Well of course after learning about the capability of Kia Soul EV we really understood that why is it marketed to only a limited states.

We conducted a mixed terrain test for the Soul EV. In our tests, this car took 9.7 seconds to reach the 0 – 62 mph mark. Further, the track best for Soul EV is 92 mph. But, we just got 91 miles range in the first test when the batteries drained out. And in the second we came across 90.5 miles.

We believe that Kia is aware of this all. And that is why the drivetrain has been upgraded for the year 2018. We hope that we could get past 100 miles with the refreshed Soul EV.

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2017 Kia Soul EV Exterior

The Kia Soul EV wears the same clothes that the standard Soul wears. It has been designed using the body styling of the second generation Kia Soul. It is subcompact crossover SUV which looks much like a humped hatchback.

The front grille has been replaced with the charging bay. The bay has the moveable body covering over the charging port. The entry level Soul EV has the 16-inch 5-spoke alloy wheel. The upper trim levels get the same wheel but in a different design.

Rest of its design is same to the Kia Soul.

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Interior of 2017 Kia Soul EV

A pretty basic type of environment is contained inside the Soul EV. Biofabric and heated seats, biofabric interior trim, leather wrapped steering wheel and soft touch dash is available in Soul EV.

Well, the Soul EV has featured the BioFabric trim design. Certainly, Kia has not just eliminated the fossil fuel engine, but it even has said Bye to the petroleum generated trim materials. Instead of petroleum polyester or other petrol-generated materials, Kia has utilized Biofabric. This is actually the combination of the corn and sugar cane extracts. Well, Kia states that 80% of the biofabric trim has been installed in Soul EV.

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Features of 2017 Kia Soul EV

The entry level Soul EV comes with the 5-inch touchscreen music system. While the expensive models of the Soul EV series enjoy the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Navigation, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and SiriusXM® Multimedia are available on the upper trim levels.

A 3.5-inch driver’s display cluster is also available in the Soul EV. It is a handy tool available in this car. It displays the battery status, obviously speeds and acceleration and even the drive mode.

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2017 Kia Soul EV Safety

The Kia Soul series has sufficient amount of safety equipment available for the occupants. The Soul EV gets the same. The active safety includes electronic stability of the car, braking assistance, tire pressure monitoring and some other features like these.

Well, the main concern in electric vehicles is of batteries. They are considered to be the most vulnerable aspect of electricity based cars. While Kia has installed the batteries pretty well, as we haven’t heard of any mishap until now.


Honda Clarity

The Kia has to definitely improve the drivetrain of Soul EV. Otherwise, it would be hard for Kia to get any good for this car. The 174 hp Honda Clarity is certainly the closest competitor of the Soul EV. Clarity is powerful but it has almost the same range that the Soul EV has.

Before opting the Kia Soul EV, do study the other EVs in the market. The Chevrolet Bolt EV offers a lot of range and tech, but it bears almost the same price tag as the Kia Soul EV bears.



About Matt Zimmerman

Matt is no stranger to the automotive world, writing about cars since 2008 as a contributor for several huge automotive websites such as Car and Driver, AutoEvolution, Motor1, CarAdvice or MotorTrend. A true fan of everything with wheels, his garage includes a dozen of different cars, including an old BMW M3 and a Tesla Model S. Learn more about GCB's Editorial Process.

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