2015 Kia Soul EV+ Electric Vehicle – Review and Test Drive

By Paul Riegler on 6 October 2015
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The Kia Soul EV sneaks up on you, quite literally. Like other electric vehicles, it moves quietly. Indeed, there’s something to be said about the strong but silent type, and that description fits the Kia to a T.

The Soul EV is extremely quiet as it glides by, and there’s a distinct lack of powertrain noise or engine vibration when behind the wheel. With an 81.4kW AC synchronous permanent magnet motor developing 109 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque, it isn’t going to set any speed records and it lacks the go cart-like slam of a BMW i3, but it does give the distinct feeling of going faster than it actually is, getting to 60 mph (96 km/h) from a standstill in about 12 seconds.

The only thing you may hear from it is the Pedestrian Warning System, which softly beeps when in reverse or at speeds of 12 mph (19.3 km/h) or below and who drives that slowly anyway?

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The Soul EV wears 302 pounds (137 kilograms) more than the petrol variant, in part due to a 620-pound (281-kilogram) battery pack under the floor. It has a single-speed transmission that connects the motor with the front wheels and it can deliver all 210 pound-feet of torque from a standstill, the calling card of all electric vehicles. Kia said it modified the Soul’s suspension to allow for the increase in weight and change in weight distribution for the EV powertrain.

Compared to the gasser, it feels more responsive despite the extra weight (indeed, the battery pack significantly lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity, contributing to that feeling).

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