Kia Soul has a maximum range of 450 kilometers on a single charge.
It gets four drive modes - Normal, Eco, Eco+ and Sports.
Kia has equipped Soul EV with a plethora of comfort and safety features.
Kia on Wednesday raced to the podium of awards with two big honours at the 15th World Car Awards with its Telluride SUV winning the World Car of the Year award and Soul EV bagging the Urban Car of the Year award which had a total of either contenders. The World Car Awards usually take place with New York Auto Show but since the event was cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic, the award ceremony was held online.
World Car Awards were inaugurated in 2003, and officially launched in January 2004, to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognize, reward and inspire excellence, leadership and innovation in a rapidly changing automotive industry.
While the Telluride has been raved about for some time now and has already managed to win several other prestigious awards, the Urban Car of the Year award for Soul EV would be a massive shot in the arm for Kia because it stamps the presence of the South Korean car maker in the electric mobility sphere which has otherwise been dominated by Teslas and the Nissan Leaf. "Everyone at Kia is truly honored to receive not just one, but two awards from the World Car of the Year judging panel," said Thomas Schemera, Executive Vice President and Head of Product Division at Kia Motors Corporation. “This is one of the hardest-fought competitions in the global automotive industry, proving that the Telluride and Soul EV are both truly outstanding vehicles. These accolades are testament to the talents and efforts of a worldwide team, who all strive to create desirable, high-quality and practical cars that drivers love."
Powered by a 64 kWh Lithium-ion polymer battery pack, the Soul EV packs a decent punch with a maximum range of 280 miles (450 kilometers) on a single charge. It comes with Kia's e-Soul heat pump system which helps to save energy and increases the range by using recovered waste heat emitted from the coolant water for the electric powertrain. It also has selectable air conditioning system which means if only a driver is in the car, the cooling will only be around him or her. This further helps save energy and increase driving range.
Additionally, there is a battery-heating system that warms the battery floor in colder regions for a smoother motor start. This can be programmed from before.
Kia claims that the car does not sacrifice performance in any way and can go from stationary to 100 kmph in 7.6 seconds and has a maximum speed of 167 kmph.
The charging of the car can also be scheduled for duration as well as timings. This is a feature given to help those customers in countries where electricity tariff differ at different times of the day. The battery itself can be powered to 50% in 30 minutes in fast-charge mode while it takes 9.5 hours for it to power up to 95% using the normal charge mode. The smaller battery pack - 39.2 kWh - can be charged to 95% in 6.5 hours using normal charge mode but this, quite obviously, offers a lesser overall range.
In terms of looks, the Kia Soul EV is quite pleasing although not overly striking. The dual high and low-beam LED headlamps blend into the front profile and the LED DRLs come as standard. The car stands on 17-inch alloys and the rear profile is highlighted by futuristic-looking wrap-around LED rear lamps, surrounding the vertical tailgate.
The car is offered in seven single-tone and seven dual-tone colour options.
On the inside, the Soul EV gets a plethora of features which include black or grey upholstery in either leather or fabric depending on the variant, a 7-inch OLED display for the driver, a 10.25-inch TFT infotainment unit, drive mode dial to switch between Normal, Eco, Eco+ and Sport, mood lighting, wireless phone charging and heated and ventilated front seats.
There are also several safety features including Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW), Smart Cruise Control (SCC), Lane Keep Assist (LKA) and Lane Follow Assist (LFA).
At a time when the world is increasingly looking at electric mobility as the future, Kia Soul EV brings a lot to the plate. Here in India, the car could taste massive success as well even if the EV scene remains rather muted here. Kia, however, have announced no plans yet of getting its EVs to India and is currently looking at SUVs to drive up sales numbers.
(Note: All specifications and feature/safety list mentioned above are for Kia Soul EV in the international market.)