fanbanlo
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:34 pm

So I just test drove a 2015 Kia Soul EV

Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:41 pm

After months of wait, I finally tracked down a Kia Soul EV and went for a test drive. It was a base model in black/red, my least favorite color. The seat surface feels like an Ikea cloth sofa. I turned off the radio, lower the AC, turn off ECO, set steering effort to standard. I can tell it's brand new off the lot because many things on dash are still warped in clear plastic, some with label sticker with text written in Korean. Everything do seems to be where they should be, and the car was ~50% with ~90km range left, everything's good, let's go!

2015 Soul EV (base model)

- The steering wheel feels cheap, compare to Honda and Mazda.
- Throttle mapping is mostly tuned for efficiency. With ECO mode off, it took 40% to get power and ~50% to get any good acceleration from a stop.
- Torque is not as instant as expected. It's there but they programmed it in a way that the car feels quite slow.
- Together with the throttle mapping, the Soul EV just not that fun to drive.
- acceleration to highway speed with 100% throttle is adequate, but not satisfying. No insane mode. :)
- cornering feels stable and flat.
- engine whines is non-existence. Much better than the Leaf.
- cannot hear any beeping that were meant to alert other road users from the cabin. The beeps when the car reverses are louder than when the car is moving forward.
- road noise isolation is pretty good. I'd say it's better than most Honda's.
- suspension works pretty well in absorbing road imperfections.
- regen @ B mode is quite aggressive. Once I went off the gas, it dragged immediately and I will be pissed if I am a passenger and a driver does that to me.
- regen @ D mode is comparable to any regular AT car. I wish it would just have 0 regen and let me cruse...
- great visibility throughout, with very practical size for a family of 4.
- didn't spend much time playing with the infotainment system, but the screen looks great. It's bright and high res.
- gentle driving without much acceleration does give a sort-of luxury feel. No vibration at idle is sweet.

At this point, I've pretty much given up on my pursuit for a Soul EV. Unless I'm super eco-minded, I find the car quite numb and boring to drive. Overall, I am not satisfied with the Soul EV.

P.s. The 2016's are coming in and they will have a sunroof, finally.
Last edited by fanbanlo on Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mtndrew1
Posts: 296
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:06 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: So I just test drove a 2015 Kia Soul EV

Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:03 pm

I don't find the Soul exciting, just extremely competent. I agree with most of your review but the "+" trim really dresses up the car as far as premium feel goes. The leather, contrasted piping, ventilated seats, heated rear seats, fog lights, parking sensors, and additional soft-touch interior materials with a padded, stitched dash hood made the + feel quite a bit nicer to me than base. Felt like a great value.

I wish they had a sunroof when I got mine :-/

Good luck on your search for your ideal EV! The revised '16 Leaf with a 25% larger battery will be here in 90 days or so, maybe they will revise other parts of the car to make it to your liking.

jvmoore1
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:18 am

Re: So I just test drove a 2015 Kia Soul EV

Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:35 pm

wish i had not just read this. i was just about to pull the trigger on a +.
when are the 2016's coming out? would love to have a sunroof.

iletric
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:07 am

Re: So I just test drove a 2015 Kia Soul EV

Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:57 pm

jvmoore1 wrote:when are the 2016's coming out?
The usual. Late in the year :lol:

The original poster is missing the point why we drive electrics. This is not about how great the cornering is, etc. It's about the privilege of moving your body at highway speed without a drop of Russian, Venezuelan, and Saudi oil. AND making 0 contribution to smog, CO2 and so on.

It's costly to own these cars. I'm paying 600 bucks a month for the privilege (leasing 2 cars). What I'm doing and hopefully the rest of you as well, is putting my money where my mouth is with regard to the above, thus not contributing to melting Arctic ice when I drive places. That's what it's about, not the cornering and lagging gas pedal.

I do have a wish list for Kia. But the car being a 100-mile EV trumps it all.

irfca
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:14 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: So I just test drove a 2015 Kia Soul EV

Fri Jun 05, 2015 6:28 am

Yes, green, both being green, and saving green, is important to me too.

When I did a total cost of ownership, comparing the Soul EV to a similarly equipped Soul (SX Lux), I found an average savings of approx $1,190 cnd/yr, even taking into account driving the EV more than 2x the distance I would drive a gas powered Soul (21,000 km vs 10,000km annually) ... I carpool to work - with the EV, we always drive it, but with a gas vehicle we would have continued to alternate ... so even with that imbalance, the EV wins.

I considered as many aspects as I could come up with, including purchase price, car loan interest, fuel costs ($1.10/L or $0.0847 per km @ 7.7L/100km vs $0.0229 per km), oil changes, tune ups, muffler replacement @ 8yrs, and brakes @ 40,000km for gas, 60,000km for EV. One could consider carbon offsets too, but it is not something we're paying for yet. The $$ savings were my main attraction to the EV ... with environmental aspects being a slightly lower attraction.

As for is the Soul EV fun to drive? I like it better than most other mid-range compact vehicles I've driven ... mostly Toyotas.
Kia Soul EV Luxury Onyx/Inferno Red Pearl 2-Tone.
Ordered: 16-Oct-2014 - Delivered: 16-Mar-2015

tractioninc
Posts: 202
Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 6:53 am
Location: Atlanta, GA USA

Re: So I just test drove a 2015 Kia Soul EV

Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:13 am

fanbanlo wrote:At this point, I've pretty much given up on my pursuit for a Soul EV. Unless I'm super eco-minded, I find the car quite numb and boring to drive. Overall, I am not satisfied with the Soul EV.


Numb and boring to drive... compared to what, exactly? In my area, the only comparable EVs on the market are the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Electric. In my opinion, the Focus is very slightly more engaging to drive than the Soul, which is more engaging to drive than the Leaf... but none of these EVs are performance cars, or even 'sporty' cars. For example, the Focus Electric has none of the visceral driving experience of the turbocharged Focus ST, but nor was it designed to.

That said, I live in an area with lots of elevation change and our roads have many corners. Driving my Soul EV aggressively in these conditions has revealed the car to be surprisingly more fun than I expected from an EV. Slow in a straight line, yes, but not frustratingly so.

I routinely drive my Soul EV with the steering set to Sport and with ECO mode turned off. Switch off the traction control and throw it into a corner and it really can be entertaining. I would like to autocross the car at least once to better explore how the car behaves at the limit.

A BMW i3 would be much quicker and more fun, but the car is also smaller and less practical, and for me, the lease+insurance expenses for an i3 would be 50%-75% higher than for my Soul. My estimated expenses for a Tesla Model S would be equivalent to an additional rent or mortgage payment each month.
Kia Soul EV+, Porsche 928

fanbanlo
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:34 pm

Re: So I just test drove a 2015 Kia Soul EV

Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:39 pm

I was just bumped out mostly by the throttle mapping. It feels very weird to step so deep onto the throttle before getting any decent acceleration. I guess I had high expectation of the term "instant torque" that gets throw around in many reviews of EV's in general. Somehow I thought the LEAF was slightly more fun to drive. The Leaf drives more like a car with its lower center of gravity, but its engine whines is annoying and the dash design is worse.

I wish the 2016's are here and all the color choices they promised. Looks like they are not ready to scale up its production and/or not that confident in the Canadian market.

fanbanlo
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:34 pm

Re: So I just test drove a 2015 Kia Soul EV

Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:32 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZdV3ujD9so

Look, the even when floored, power/torque is only on full after 50km/h. Where's the instant low-end torque that it promises? That's worse than turbo lag.

Even with traction control off

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjEOKSOBakY?t=44s

notfred
Posts: 541
Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 2:28 pm

Re: So I just test drove a 2015 Kia Soul EV

Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:02 am

I think you are looking for a Tesla :)

I can understand the limiting of power below 50kph, the Soul EV has super low rolling resistance tyres so why give full power when it is just going to result in wheel spin. Are you sure that turning off Vehicle Stability Control fully disables Traction Control? Or does it just disable the VSC and leave TC still enabled?

fanbanlo
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:34 pm

Re: So I just test drove a 2015 Kia Soul EV

Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:40 am

notfred wrote:I think you are looking for a Tesla :)


Who isn't? ;)

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