Kia goes all-electric with the very funky e-Soul writes Geraldine Herbert
What is it? The funky styling of the Kia Soul is quirky enough to stand apart from rivals but now it is also available as a fully electric car with a very impressive range.
Who is it aimed at? With average commutes in Ireland around 318 km per week, the 452km range of the new e-Soul makes it suitable for just about anyone.
Styling? The boxy shape won’t appeal to everyone but its fun and retro styling make it a very funky SUV.
What about inside? Inside the funky body doesn’t compromise interior space and while not quite as radical as the exterior styling might suggest overall everything is well made and there are some really nice touches and details throughout. It has good room for its size but despite being billed as a five-seater family car you will struggle to fit three tall passengers in the rear comfortably.
Under the bonnet? You will be spending no time or importantly money at the fuel pumps as the e-Soul can go 400+ km on a single charge from a 64kw battery. But remember if you fancy yourself a contender at Mondello then the range will disappear accordingly.
On the Road? It cruises effortlessly and thanks to that instant surge of power you get from an electric car you can zip from a 0-100kmh in a hot hatch like 7.9 seconds. You can choose from ‘Normal’, ‘Eco’, Eco+’ and ‘Sport’ mode. Stick the e-Soul in Eco and it will maximise the range while Sport mode increases responses from the steering and electric motor to maximise the dynamic driving feel of the car.
Will it break the bank? The e-Soul comes in two flavours – (K2 and K3) and prices start at €35,995 and the K3 at €37,495 and those prices include VRT relief and government grants. Reassuringly like all Kia models, the e-Soul comes with a 7-Year, 150,000-kilometre warranty, which also covers the car’s electric motor and battery pack.
How easy is it to charge? The charging socket is nicely hidden behind a small panel at the front of the car and a Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast charger is fitted as standard so the e-Soul can be recharged from 20% up to 80% capacity in just 42 minutes from a 100 kW DC fast-charger.
What are my options? All e-Souls come with a 10.25” touchscreen AV/Nav display and 7” supervision cluster and safety features including Lane Keep Assist, Smart Cruise Control and Front Collison Avoidance. Additional features on the K3 include full leather trim, Harmon Kardon Sound System, Heads Up Display and Blind Spot Detection.
What it says about you? You like to do your bit for the planet without showing off too much about it.
Verdict? Overall, the e-Soul is a very likeable car, it’s fun, practical and distinctive. So while upfront costs are high compared to non-Evs it is cheap to run and maintain and with a 450 range, it comes anxiety free.
Why you’ll buy one? Reliable, Excellent Range, Low Running Costs
Why you won’t? It doesn’t come cheap, styling won’t be to everyone’s taste
Engine: Electric – range 452 km 150 kW (204 PS)
Max speed: 167 kph
0-100 kph: 7.9 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax): 0 (€120)
Model price range: €35,995 – 37,495
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP : 5 stars
Fuel type: Electric
Range: 452 km
Boot Capacity Seats up(down): 324 (1322)
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
7th August, 2019