Kia’s small and outlandish Soul crossover has that ”love it or hate it” wagonish look from its very beginning. However, regardless of the oppugning styling which we personally love, the boxy little “fellow” delivers impressive performance ever since the automaker introduced the successor in form of the 2020 Kia Soul EV. The all-electric Soul literally knocked out the biggest competitors in the first round, treating to become the most affordable model in its segment.
The new Kia Soul EV comes coupled with a 64-kWh battery, which is great in comparison to the predecessor that had a 30-kWh unit. The new battery provides an impressive driving range of around 243 miles. It feeds a front-mounted permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor that produces a whopping output of 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels only. The grunt is immediately available, though the car’s maximum power is delivered between 3800 and 8000 rpm. In contrast to the sluggish predecessor that needed 9.7 seconds to reach 60 mph, the 2020 Soul EV achieves the speed in just 7 seconds. By using a common 240-volt charger the crossover needs five to six hours to fill up its battery; the time can be drastically reduced via CCS that tops up the battery from 20 to 80 percent in 42 minutes.
The third-generation of the Kia Soul keeps the same weight and height as the outgoing model. On the other hand, the new crossover gets additional 2.2 inches in length and 1.2 inches between wheels, which makes the cabin quite roomy, both for the front- and rear seat passengers; plus the SUV delivers enough cargo space that’s, by the way, variable. The driver’s seat is quite high, so the driver gets pretty good overall visibility. The car delivers pretty comfortable drive thanks to responsive steering, though things are sharpening a little bit with the available Sport mode.
The automaker hooked the car with a new UVO infotainment system. The multimedia displays everything on a 10.3-inch touchscreen that can work as standard, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. As for the instrument cluster, this one is TFT, while the automaker offers an optional head-up display. List of standard features for the new Soul EV is quite impressive. The car comes fitted with LEDs; it rides on standard 17inch wheels and provides forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and a driver attention monitor. There’s even a hi-res rear camera that shows an overhead view. Available features are a blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and audible rear parking help. Though, the most impressive Designer Collection model adds a Qi wireless phone charger, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, gloss-black power folding mirrors, and heated front seats. The topper also sports two-tone paint and leather-wrapped steering wheel.
According to our insiders, when the sale begins later this year, the 2020 Kia Soul EV will be priced exactly $36,800.