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Driving

What is it like to drive?

The Soul EV has no pretensions towards being a sporty car, but it drives very smoothly and with a decent ride. It comes with Sport, Normal, Eco and Eco+ drive modes to vary the accelerator and e-motor response. Sport weights up the steering too, but it’s largely a pointless endeavour because the car gets skittish and nervy as the power swamps the front wheels.

The 64kWh car has a 201bhp motor that makes 0–62mph in 7.9 seconds and goes on to 104mph, while the 39kWh entry car makes do with 134bhp for 0-62mph in 9.9s and top speed of 97mph.

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What's the handling like?

It's decent enough: the steering feels sharp geared, which means the Soul EV turns into corners quickly enough and feels wieldy around town. The smaller batteried car does feel noticeably lighter on the move, but there’s not enough else that it brings to the table to make that a definitive point of recommendation.

There’s also a little too much lean and not enough steering feel to make it a satisfying car to hustle along a B-road, but that would be missing the point of Kia’s usefully efficient powertrain. 

What’s the efficiency like on the Soul?

We drove both versions of the car in warm spring conditions and found that the official range figures for the car were surprisingly attainable. Obviously this will be different in extreme heat or the usual relentless chilliness of a British winter, but it’s a good start. It’s not too hard to get 4mi/kWh or above from the Soul EV. Official range for the 64kWh model is 280 miles, while the 39kWh car is rated at 171 miles.

There’s predictive regen available on the Kia, but we don’t really like that sort of thing on EVs, it makes the car ironically unpredictable to drive. The steering wheel paddles are pretty useful, though, with three levels of adjustment that offer flexibility. The Soul is missing a B mode for steep hills and the like, though. 

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