Our test drive

Kia Soul EV Forum

Help Support Kia Soul EV Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


New member
Oct 11, 2014
Well my wife and I went on a test drive of the Kia Soul EV this morning. We currently have a Honda FIT EV and are looking towards the future.

We were called yesterday by Capitol Kia and they had 3 delivered late this week and 1 was sold but they were giving test drives with the remaining 2. All of them were the medium blue with the white top.

My observation, Very comfortable inside compared to the FIT. Much more room, as expected. Sound system is much better, NAV seems better, although too short a test to be sure. I like the visibility from the drivers seat. While I am at it the seats themselves are much more comfortable.

Straight line performance is lower than the FIT, but again I was expecting that. I normally drive the FIT in normal mode and it is nice and responsive. The Soul is more sedate, yeah that's the word. It isn't too slow but it isn't going to snap your head back either. I wasn't disappointed and it more than kept up with Saturday morning traffic.

Rider accommodations seemed very good for both of us. I am 5'7" and my wife is 6' tall with real long legs. This was the higher tiered model and seemed quite nice. Did I say the seats were more comfortable. ;) I liked the fact that the driver's seat can be adjusted up and down, even if it tilts back a little when going up. It allowed me to adjust the seat to steering wheel and seat to floor/controls perfectly.

We also tested the heated and cooled seats. That was the first time for me to experience cooled seats. That was real nice. During the week I often have to go out to the field and climb on roofs and during the summer that is extremely hot. I can really see how the cooled seat would be VERY nice. The temperature controls for the seats are three way adjustable, low, medium and high. Functional and I think very useful.

We charged it on the CHaDeMO charger before we left just to see how that went. Very cool, to watch it charge from 53% to 80% in just a few minutes while we looked over the controls. The general layout of the controls seemed to be good, I didn't mess with them while I was driving but as a passenger a song came on that we all liked and it was very intuitive to optimize the sound system for the song(no manual with us). The NAV system was easy to set an address for the destination and it all worked very well.

Our test drive was about 11 miles long with an empty parking lot in the middle for turning testing, I drove out and my wife drove back. The battery consumption was very low, we got up to freeway speeds and the on-ramp was uphill. For those of you that know the San Jose area we got onto 87 south at Capitol Expressway. When we got to the top we were doing 55 and I accelerated easily to 65 to merge from there. Never floored it and didn't use any more pedal than I would expect. Mid-range acceleration seems better than the 0 to 60 number would indicate, electric motors are nice in that way. Coming back we took 85 to 87 and had no problems with the uphill interchange and the sound was very acceptable. For those that don't know this interchange has the concrete grooved and produces a lot of tire noise. It comes in from every car. The Kia managed it adequately.

From the beginning to the end a very good experience. I have a couple of nits, not with the car so much but rather the sales guy and the lease arrangements. Kia has published a $249/Mo. and $1995 down lease. Well for this dealership and car it was going to be over $400 per month. I don't think so, not for us anyway. The salesman that we were talking to was nice enough, but not incredibly knowledgeable about the Soul EV or electric cars in general. However, the Sales Manager was fairly well educated and could answer several of my questions. Although the technical questions were beyond her. I don't expect her to be a technical genius and she answered all of the typical feature questions easily. I almost think she was considering getting the EV for herself by the way she was talking.

Overall for a compliance car(only in California now) it was very good. The 90+ mile range makes it better than other cars in its price range. I drove the I3 last Thursday and I like the Kia better. The I3 has better pickup but that is the only thing in its favor over the Kia. The Kia performance is adequate so not many points for the BMW. I still need to drive the Mercedes but so far I like the Kia Soul EV the best of all the electric vehicles I have driven. Now mind you I want a Tesla S85D so bad I can taste it. In fact I refuse to test drive it as it would likely be the end of my marriage as I have yet to fulfill the requirements my wife has set for us to get one. So I won't drive one until I can afford it. :)