Practicality and Boot Space
The Soul isn’t much bigger than a hatchback like the Vauxhall Corsa in terms of the space it takes up on the road, but it is unusually tall and boxy. As a result the seats inside are more upright too but it feels very spacious.
Even tall adults will be able to feel comfortable, with plenty of head and elbow room. Three big adults might start to complain if they have to go long distances in the back, but it’s no worse than in some bigger cars and is actually a big more spacious than the bigger Kia e-Niro.
The same can’t be said of the boot though. At 315 litres it’s a disappointment, being smaller than cars like the Nissan Leaf and is only slightly bigger than a supermini like the Corsa. It’s tall and narrow in shape though, which makes it easier to load everyday items like carry-on suitcases and pushchairs.
There’s currently only one Soul EV model available currently, and as Kia is trying to cash in on the demand for this car it has made it a very high-level version which is rammed full of gadgets and kit. Standard equipment list includes two screens, including one which is an iPad-sized 10.25 inches. To go with the Soul’s music theme there’s a Harmon-Kardon branded 10-speaker sound system, and you can even have an interior light show which follows the beat of your music.
To help keep your sounds playing, there’s wireless mobile phone charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Your smartphone can also be used to control and connect to the e-Niro remotely via a special Kia app. In addition to checking the state of battery charge, it allows you to turn on the heating from the comfort of your bed to defrost the car on a cold day using mains power rather than precious battery charge.
Once you’ve finished playing with all of that and started driving, the Soul uses radar sensing cruise control to sense other vehicles moving in front of you and adjust the speed to maintain a gap.
The independent testing organisation EuroNCAP hasn’t actually tested this latest version of the Soul EV, but gave the last model a four-star rating in 2014. The loss of a star was mainly due to the lack of standard safety technology, but the new Soul EV has a full list of crash-preventing gadgets so it is safe to assume it would do better if tested today.
The electronics fitted to the Soul EV which will keep you out of trouble include lane departure warning and a Forward Collision Avoidance system with pedestrian and cyclist detection, which sounds an alarm and eventually applies the brakes if the driver fails to react to a potential accident. There’s a rear-view camera and parking sensors too, saving you from low-speed scrapes. If you do have an accident, the occupants are protected by seven airbags in total, including one to cushion the driver's knees from the steering column.