2020 Kia Soul EV

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in Wagons
2020 MODEL
$34,000
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2020 Kia Soul EV Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: January 7, 2020
Aaron Smith's image

Aaron Smith

Automotive Journalist

It wasn't much time earlier when the 2020 Kia Soul EV made its debut alongside the regular Kia Soul model at the Los Angeles Auto Show this year. The new Soul is powered by a bigger battery pack and comes with a dominant electric engine. The battery pack has been increased to 64 kWh, while the previous year model has a 39 kWh battery pack. With the front-mounted engine, the Kia Soul EV returns a maximum power of 201 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque.

Kia says the new battery is being tried by the EPA, with results expected in mid-2019. The Hyundai Kona Electric, with which the Soul shares its platform and powertrain, is evaluated by the EPA at 258 miles of range. The current Soul EV is evaluated at 111 miles, making it one of the as of now accessible electric vehicles with the poorest range, so any enhancement will be appreciated.

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Pros

Admirable electric range

Spacious interior

Fun to drive

Cons

Excessive wind noise on freeways

Pricier than rivals

Below average interior quality

What's New?

A next-generation system with improved operating efficiency

New LED headlights and fog lights

New rotary shifter dial and steering-wheel-mounted regenerative braking paddles

Improved cargo space with dual-level cargo board

Designer Collection with new two-tone colorways


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$34000

bodystyle

4dr Wagon

passenger capacity

5

engine type

horsepower

201 hp

torque

291 lbs.-ft.

transmission

1 Speed direct drive

chassis

frame type

Unibody

performance

zero to 60 mph

12.5 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

19/21/24 mpg


Pictures

Exterior
Interior

Ratings

Interior

8.6

Safety

9.8

9.2

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2020 Kia Soul EV Base

Base

power
N/A
fuel
N/A
mpg
52 combined

$34,000


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Wagon (electric DD) Starting at $34,000 MSRP (12/52/101) electric,
1-Speed Dual Clutch front wheel drive 5

Expert Review

9.2

Overall Rating


The Soul EV has four driving modes—Eco, Eco+, Comfort, and Sport—that alter the powertrain power and reaction, the HVAC system, and more to suit driving conditions and enhance efficiency. The regenerative-braking system comes with four settings that are controlled with paddle shifters, yet they're additionally is a Smart setting that consequently changes the regen dependent on the vehicle before the Soul.The automaker has tried to bring more value to the Soul Ev by adding an ample amount of active driver aid and features in the car.

The classy looking Wagon by Kia could be a perfect challenger against the competitors like the Volkswagon e-Golf SE, Nissan Leaf S, and Fiat 500e. The Soul EV offers great value for money features and technology, from the base-model Kia Soul EV Wagon to the fully loaded turbocharged Kia Soul Wagon EV Plus.

2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon Front View
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon Rear view

 
 
 

8.6/10
Interior

 
 

9.8/10
Safety

 
 
 

2020 Kia Soul EV Features

The 2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon is offered in Soul EV, Soul EV-E, Soul Wagon EV Plus with a single-speed automatic transmission. Though it’s a zero-emission vehicle Kia markets the Soul EV for its space-age look and comfort. All three trims are powered by a 30-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery and blessed with a rich standard equipment list. As you climb up the trim ladder you will get valuable additions to your basic Soul.

Trim

EV-e

EV

EV Plus(+)

MSRP

$32,250

$33,950

$35,950

Key

Features

DC fast-charging port

16-inch wheels

Foglights

 

16-inch alloy wheels

Mirror turn-signal indicators

Power-folding mirrors

 

automatic headlights

HD radio

 Faux-leather-trimmed dash

 

LED running lights

3G Wi-Fi and Uvo Eco services

Auto-dimming rearview mirror

 

Heated mirror

8-inch touchscreen interface

Three-level heated and ventilated front seats

 

Rear privacy glass

 

Heated outboard rear seats and leather upholstery

 

Keyless ignition and entry

   
 

Automatic climate control

   
 

Pedestrian warning system

   
 

Multiple steering modes (Normal, Comfort and Sport)

   
 

 Height-adjustable driver seat

   
 

Two-level heated front seats

   
 

Cloth upholstery

   
 

Heated leather-wrapped steering wheel

   
 

60/40-split-folding back seat

   

We Recommend

We would suggest you go with the Soul EV Plus as it offers almost all the features that the base variant and the mid variant of the Kia Soul Wagon offers. 

2020 Kia Soul EV Engine and Performance

The base variant of the Kia Soul EV-E Wagon offers a 109-hp electric engine mated to a single-speed automatic transmission. The car comes with other features like battery heat monitoring system. The front-wheel-drive system is the only way to go about the Kia Soul EV. The 30-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pumps out 109 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque.

The battery’s power is led to the front wheels of the car. However, it’s disappointing to know its top speed is limited to 90 mpg. Like most of the EV vehicles, the major part of its weight is locked in the chassis giving it a central balance and easy modulation.

Models

Kia Soul EV

Nissan Leaf S

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Fiat 500e

MSRP

$32,250

$28,412

$29,500

$32,995

Engine

Electric

Electric

Electric

Electric

Transmission

Automatic

Single Speed Reducer

Single Speed Reduction

Single Speed

Horsepower

109 hp @ 8000 rpm

145 hp @ 3282 rpm

118 hp @ 4500 rpm

111 hp @ 4300 rpm

Torque

210 lb-ft @ 2730 rpm

 236 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm

 218 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm

147 lb-ft @ 2700 rpm

The Soul EV is on the wrong side of the affordable plane, the competitors are priced lesser than this hatch while delivering more power and torque output. The Nissan Leaf S inspires the segment with more 140 hp power. The Fiat 500e features a similarly powered engine, on the other hand, Ioniq is powered with 9 more ponies.

Acceleration

The 2017 Kia Soul EV Wagon engine loses the competition with a score of 9.7 seconds to reach 0-60 MPH. The hatch doesn’t yank forward as you nail the accelerator down but give it a few seconds and it will show you power.  To hit the quarter-mile light the Soul took 17.4 seconds. It's fair but not quite there yet, the competition is much quicker in the race.

Models

Kia Soul-EV

Nissan Leaf S

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Fiat 500e

0-60 MPH

9.5 sec

7.4 seconds

7.5 second

8.8 second

Quarter mile

17.4 sec

 15.8 seconds

16.1 second

16.8 seconds

Engine

5.7L

5.7L

5.0L

5.7L

Emission

(Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

       

The Soul EV lacks the necessary kick while accelerating, the Nissan Lead S is much faster with 7.4 seconds. The Hyundai Ioniq shows a similar performance with is 7.5-second acceleration. Similar specs followed the quarter-mile run.

Ride and Handling

The riding experience with the Soul EV Wagon is very good and better in some cases in what the other competitors offer. The car is smooth and steady on the spot while driving. The steering is very smooth and responsive which gives it easy to go experience. Though the Kia Wagon offers an electric engine, it is always ready to generate all the power you want. The engine is smooth and silent even when the car hits the 60 MPH. The Kia Soul Wagon's offers Normal Drive and Sports Drive.

The only thing great about the EV is its chassis calibrated for comfort and the regenerative braking doing much of the work for you. The tall SUV like the body can make cornering fun and is ideal for city driving. The front visibility and all the viewing angles while driving are very good. The Kia MDPS steering is very is light, accurate, and comfortable. The reverse parking sensors on the car are quite useful with a rear parking system.

Braking

The Kia Soul EV Wagon packs a much bigger than what competitors offer. The Kia Soul EV Wagon comes with 11.8-inch disk brakes. Inside the cabin, the brake pedal is devoid of any feelings and it’s not that easy to modulate too. The benefit which the chassis infused and put the Active daily driver tag is now questionable with such poor braking. In the panic brake test, the car halts form 70 mph to a standstill by taking 186 feet of the total distance to stop.

Model

Kia Soul-EV

Nissan Leaf S

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Fiat 500e

Brake Front (in.)

11.8

11.1

11

11

Brake Rear (in.)

11.1

11.5

11.2

9.4

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3289

3433

3164

2980

70-0 MPH (ft.)

186 feet

192 feet

177 feet

192 feet

The Kia Soul EV Wagon loses in the braking department with a stopping distance of 140 feet followed by Nissan Leaf S with a stopping distance of 129 feet from 60-0 MPH. The Volkswagon e-Golf SE offers 11.3-inch brakes and wins the competition in the brakes regime with a stopping distance of 122 feet. In the second spot, we have the Nissan Leaf S which offer a bigger 11.0-inch braking system and stops at a disappointing 127 feet. 

2020 Kia Soul EV Fuel Economy

Electric Vehicles are all about range and this year’s EV gets a major upgrade. The variant had a maximum range of 93 miles, however, the folks from Kia were able to stretch it to 111 miles this year. In the city the Soul- EV features an economy of 124 mpg, furthermore, this number dropped to 93 mpg on the highway. Combined you get a total of 108 mpg on the Soul EV, which is good but its undermining for the class delivering much higher.

Model

Kia Soul-EV

Nissan Leaf S

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Fiat 500e

MPG (city)

124

125

150

121

MPG (highway)

93

100

122

103

MPG (combined)

108

112

136

112

Kia might have increased its range but doesn’t contribute to its economy. The Soul EV is still the last car when it comes to mileage. On the other hand, Hyundai tops the list with its 136 mpge. Other cars deliver much less but they are better than the Soul EV.

2020 Kia Soul EV Interior

8.6/10

Kia Soul is inspired by the SUV design, the seats sit high from the ground but it’s not that difficult to get in or out from the cabin like SUVs. Inside the cabin, all features are in the driver’s reach and the infotainment is ok-ish for a car priced around $ 30K. However, you won't find a lot of quality on the dash or any other element in the interior. Courtesy of the tall body, the Soul-EV get big windows which enhance the visibility, but the big pillar hinders the cross-view and impairs the parking ability of the car.

The Kia Soul EV Wagon is in the second spot with available front headroom, shoulder room, and legroom are 39.6,55.5,40.9 in the front respectively. There is a decent amount of headroom and an unparalleled amount of shoulder and legroom in the back with 39.5, 54.7, and 36.0respectively. The boxy roofline delivers 39.5 inches of front headroom and a similar rear headroom. The battery might take up space and cut down legroom space, but surprisingly there is not much compromise here, instead, it offers more legroom than some of its rivals. 

Model

Kia Soul-EV

Nissan Leaf S

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Fiat 500e

Passenger capacity

5

5

4

4

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.5/55.5/40.9

41.2/54.3/42.1

39.1/56.1/42.2

38.9/49.4/40.7

Rear (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.5/54.7/36

37.3/52.5/33.5

37.8/55/35.7

35.5/46.4/27.6

Kia’s roomy cabin delivers a lot of headroom and legroom space. However, the competitors deliver a similar cabin space. The 2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon and Nissan Leaf S allow up to 5 people to be seated at once. While the Fiat can harbour only 4 people at once. The cabin is very spacious and designed with the best in class high-quality premium materials.

Interior Features

  • Parking Assist w/ Front and Rear sensors
  • Speaker Lights
  • Tilt and Telescopic Steering Column
  • FlexSteer
  • Active Eco System
  • Heat Pump Heating and Air Conditioning System
  • Air Induction Control w/ Auto Defog System (ADS)
  • 6-Way Adjustable Driver's Seat
  • 60/40 Split-Folding Rear Seat
  • Supervision Meter Cluster w/ 3.5" Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) Color Display

Infotainment

The latest model of the Soul EV Wagon features an 8-inch touchscreen centre stacked infotainment display for navigation. Controls on the steering wheel include buttons to interact with the infotainment system in the car. The Steering-Wheel-Mounted Audio Control Buttons and the cruise control buttons are quick and carved of good quality. The placement of the infotainment screen is smart and within the drivers reach. It’s a UVO3 8- inch infotainment screen with every menu and audio feature simplified to its core, but menus are left with loose ends. Other features like remote vehicle control, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto are standard features on the base trim. However, there is just one USB port and wireless charging is absent for the Soul EV lineup.

  • UVO eco w/ Navigation, 8" Color Touch-Screen Display, SiriusXM Traffic, and HD Radio
  • Android Auto
  • Apply CarPlay
  • Rear-Camera Display
  • BLUETOOTH Wireless Technology Hands-Free Connectivity w/ Steering-Wheel-Mounted Controls
  • 6 Speakers w/ Dash-Mounted Tweeters

Cargo Capacity

Generally, Electric vehicles suffer from deprived cargo volume because of the extra batteries, but that ’s not the case with the Soul. The large portion of its cabin is used for delivering a roomy cabin, so at first, the buyers might seem a little disappointed with the 18.8 cubic feet of boot space. But pull down the second row and the 49.5 cubics of cargo bay opens up to become the class leader. Its competitors either don’t have the foldable second-row option or they don’t deliver much.

Model

Kia Soul-EV

Nissan Leaf S

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Fiat 500e

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

18.8

23.6

23

22.8

The Kia Soul EV Wagon  loses the competition in the cargo space with 18.8 cubic-feet. Whereas the other competitors of the EV Soul Wagon, like the Nissan Leaf S, and the Fiat 500e offer 22.8 cubic feet, 23.6 cubic feet, and 15.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity respectively.

2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon Front Seats
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon Infotainment
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon Gear
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon glove box
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon Instrument cluster

2020 Kia Soul EV Exterior

In comparison to the regular Soul, the EV has its own front and back bumpers, a charging port and an increasingly cut off the grille, LED lights in the chrome front unibrow, and efficiently styled 17-inch wheels. The SUV like shape makes it the tallest car in the lot with its 63 inches of total height. Talking about the weight, the huge chunk of the Soul EV’s weight comes from its chassis, the car weighs 3289 pounds in total. The seat sits high from the ground due to its class-leading 5.9 ground clearance. The shorter wheelbase gives it a smaller turning radius better than some competitors.

Those who think style and practicality are two ends of a river can stay quiet, the engineers at Kia says otherwise. The boxy design adds a respectable amount of headroom space. While you get a number of colour options on the base trim, it’s the glossy black and red combo on the Plus trim which wins the customer over.

Model

Kia Soul-EV

Nissan Leaf S

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Fiat 500e

Curb weight (lbs.)

3289

3433

3164

2880

Length(in)

163

176.4

176

142.1

Width(in)

70.9

70.5

71.7

64.1

Height(in)

63

61.4

57.1

60.1

Ground clearance (in)

5.9

N/A

5.5

4.5

Wheelbase (in)

101.2

106.3

106

90.6

Track width (in) F/R

62/62.4

60.6/61.2

N/A

55.4/55

The revamped Nissan Leaf S is the longest EV in the lot along with the Hyundai Ioniq. The Soul EV’s SUV like structure gives it’s a 63 inches height, inches taller than its adversaries. The Fiat 500e gets the smallest wheelbase giving it better manoeuvrability. Other than that, all cars are equally matched with minor differences.

Exterior Features

The  Kia Soul EV Wagon is a good-looking and a classy styled car from every angle. The car comes with projector beam lights with auto light control beside the LED daytime running lights. The car features Privacy Glass and Solar Control Glass. The car uses a 16-inch alloy wheel as standard.

  • Body-Color Bumpers w/ Contrasting Color Accents
  • Body-Color Front Grille Charge Port Door
  • Mirror-Mounted LED Turn Signal Indicators
  • Dual Body-Color, Heated Power Mirrors
  • Heated Rear Glass w/ Timer
  • Variable Intermittent Windshield Wipers
  • Power-Folding Outside Mirrors
  • Projector Beam Headlights
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon
2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon

2020 Kia Soul EV Safety

9.8/10

Every Kia Soul EV comes with standard active-safety features, many of which are available as optional on the standard version. The optional features include Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, and the automated emergency braking are all included; blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors.

  • Front Seat-Belt Pretensioners
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/ Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Pedestrian Warning System (PWS)
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • Brake Assist System (BAS)
  • Tire-Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • Hill Start Assist Control (HAC)
  • Front and Rear Crumple Zones
  • Side-Impact Door Beams

2020 Kia Soul EV Competition

Kia Soul EV vs Nissan Leaf S

Unlike Kia, Nissan made major changes in the Leaf’s design. To a point, it looks like a completely different car. However, it’s the same car under the hood. The strong point for Nissan is its nominal sticker price and more horsepower. Nissan also features better fuel economy numbers which is a savvy point for EV buyers. Kia’s story is practical with more cargo space and a roomy cabin. While the Soul EV’s looks like an ideal option, it is deprived of power, acceleration, and drivability, everything served just right by the Nissan Leaf S.

2020 Nissan Leaf

Kia Soul EV vs Hyundai Ioniq Electric

The Hyundai Ioniq is one of the most ideal electric hatches in the segment. It's affordable, packed with more power, and for obvious reasons crowned the most efficient electric car of the year. However, the back seats are congested, unlike the Soul EV’s roomy cabin. But still, the Ioniq features a number of driver-assist features that the Soul EV doesn’t have. Overall from the price perspective and overall offer the Ioniq is the better car to buy.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Kia Soul EV vs Fiat 500e

The Fiat 500 e is the closest competitor to the Kia Soul EV. Both are evenly priced and crank out a similar power. The point of difference comes with the economy, the Fiat’s 84 miles range is its kryptonite against Kia’s 111 miles. You don’t get a lot of drivers to assist features as well. The handling is responsive and better than that of the Soul EV. Between the two the Soul Ev is the better choice.

2020 Fiat 500e

 

2020 Kia Soul EV Final Verdict

The 2020 Kia Soul EV Wagon is a great car with best in class electric engine specifications, stunning exterior and interior look with a large cabin and an advanced infotainment system. A lot of the EV buyers suffer from range anxiety which was earlier hounding the older Soul which couldn’t make up to the 100 miles mark. The engineers took a not and stretched the range to 111 miles which are its true marketing point. 

Soul has a long way to go before it catches up with the leaders like Volkswagon e-Golf SE in the segment. If you like something a little more fabulous, go for the Volkswagon e-Golf SE followed by Nissan Leaf S. The Volkswagon e-Golf SE and the Nissan Leaf S are cheaper than the Soul EV Wagon but it's what you pay for.