2019 Kia Soul EV Review

Pros & Cons

  • Plenty of cabin and cargo space given its size
  • Abundant standard equipment
  • Tall seating position is reminiscent of a small SUV
  • Max driving range is far less than what other EVs offer
  • Limited availability
  • Excessive wind noise at highway speeds
Other years
Kia Soul EV for Sale
List Price Estimate
$21,262 - $24,261

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Which Soul EV does Edmunds recommend?

It'd be a little tough to recommend the top-of-the-line trim, what with it being more expensive than a fully loaded Nissan Leaf with considerably less range. So we recommend the base EV, which isn't lacking for features or creature comforts.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

When the Kia Soul EV was introduced in 2014, 100 miles of electric range was respectable, but the idea of an EV being anything other than a second or third family car seemed pretty distant. Fast-forward four years and a whole lot of advancement in battery and recharging technology, and now anything under 125 miles seems inadequate.

So while the 2019 Kia Soul EV, as well equipped as it is, soldiers on for another year, it does so with one of the shortest range limits of any mass-market electric vehicle on sale today. And that's not just comparing it to the significantly more expensive Tesla lineup. The Chevrolet Bolt and all-new Hyundai Kona Electric offer more than double the range for not much more money, while the revitalized Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen e-Golf offer excellent road manners. There's even a rival within Kia's own lineup: the all-new Niro EV, which should provide about 240 miles of range.

But if your electric car won't be asked to do more than local commuting and city driving, the Kia Soul EV still has a lot to offer. The Soul's upright, compact SUV body style provides good visibility and practicality. The ride is also improved over the gasoline-powered Soul, which is a boon when driving over broken city streets. And there's still a wealth of standard features for the price.

Even though time and technology have marched on, the 2019 Kia Soul EV could still be worth considering.

2019 Kia Soul EV models

The 2019 Kia Soul EV is, as the name suggests, the all-electric version of the Soul. Though not marketed as such, that car is similar in size and concept to subcompact SUVs. So is the EV. There are two trim levels: the base EV and EV Plus (+). Both come with generous standard equipment, though the top trim adds some luxurious extras. All use the same 30-kWh battery pack and an electric motor that produces 109 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque.

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The base EV comes standard with a DC fast-charging port, 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights, a heated mirror, rear privacy glass, keyless ignition and entry, automatic climate control, a pedestrian warning system, multiple steering modes, a height-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, cloth upholstery, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and a 60/40-split folding back seat. Also standard is a rearview camera, Bluetooth, one USB port, Kia's newest infotainment system (Uvo 5.0) with an 8-inch touchscreen, navigation, and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio.

The EV Plus (+) adds front and rear parking sensors, foglights, power-folding mirrors, a faux leather-trimmed dash, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a cargo cover, heated and ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats and leather upholstery. Exclusive to the Plus is the Sun and Fun package, which adds a panoramic sunroof, LED interior lighting and speaker lights.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of theKia Soul EV Plus (+).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2015, the current Soul EV has received some revisions, including an increase in range and the addition of a standard 8-inch center screen and an available panoramic sunroof. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Kia Soul EV.

Driving

The Soul EV displays run-of-the-mill electric vehicle driving dynamics. That's disappointing compared to the gas-powered Soul, which has surprisingly adept handling, braking and acceleration. On the other hand, the Soul EV delivers silent, torque-rich power and aggressive regenerative braking.

Acceleration

Abundant low-end torque makes the Soul EV feel spritely pulling away from a light, but this eagerness peters out as speeds rise. In Edmunds testing, the Soul EV covered 0-60 mph in 9.5 seconds, which is behind the leading all-electric competitors.

Braking

In traffic, the Soul EV's brake pedal isn't particularly responsive or easy to modulate. But aggressive regenerative braking is available, and it is a bonus once you get used to it. The Soul EV's panic-stop distance of 125 feet from 60 mph is about average for the class.

Steering

The steering response is slow without much feedback regardless of the weight dialed in through the driver-adjustable steering system. Of Normal, Comfort and Sport settings, Sport gives the most everyday steering feel.

Handling

The EV isn't the surprisingly keen handler that the regular Soul is. The suspension favors comfort, limits are low, and grip is unimpressive. Most EV competitors, especially the Chevrolet Bolt and the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, are sharper to drive.

Drivability

Slotting the shifter to B engages aggressive regenerative braking. It feels unusual at first, but you'll quickly learn to love the car doing much of the braking for you, especially in stop-and-go traffic. The Soul EV is otherwise simple and easy to drive.

Comfort

Without the gasoline Soul's raspy engine churning under the hood, the Soul EV is a quiet car to spend time in, even with the elevated wind noise caused by its boxy shape. Ride comfort is average. The seats are comfortable and supportive.

Seat comfort

The EV Plus' firm, leather-covered seats with an elevated placement are supportive and comfortable during longer drives (limited by range, of course). They are better than what you'll find in most small cars.

Ride comfort

The added weight of the batteries, smaller wheels and increased tire sidewall result in an improved ride compared to the rather jiggly and sometimes harsh ride of the gasoline-powered Soul. Ride comfort is about average for the small-EV segment.

Noise & vibration

The Soul EV's boxy shape creates more wind noise than is typical, and the lack of engine noise exacerbates it. You pretty much just hear the wind. Still, the lack of engine noise is welcome.

Interior

For the most part, the Soul EV's interior is user-friendly. It has a likable touchscreen that's relatively easy to use, as well as easy entry and exit. Materials quality isn't as good as we'd like for the price, but it's not a deal-breaker.

Ease of use

All dashboard controls are placed within easy reach. The large touchscreen is generally a model of simplicity for its audio controls, with big icons and logical menus. But swiping to scroll phone numbers or track lists often results in errant selections.

Getting in/getting out

The seats are placed higher than in your average car, making climbing in and sitting down easy. You don't "fall-in" as in a car or "climb up" as in most SUVs. There's near-perfect step-in height. The wide door openings help as well.

Roominess

The battery placement raises the rear floor a few inches, reducing rear legroom and comfort compared with the gasoline-powered Soul. Still, high-mounted seats in all positions yield good room for a vehicle of this size. It's a bit bigger than most subcompact SUVs.

Visibility

The boxy shape makes it easy to know where the vehicle's corners are. The tall windows make the view forward clear, but thick rear-quarter pillars restrict the view while reversing. A rearview camera is standard on the Soul EV, and the Plus comes with front and rear parking sensors.

Quality

We gave the regular Soul a higher score in this category for its abundant soft-touch points and above-average materials and switchgear. However, it costs much less than the EV. The Soul EV is well-built, but in the price range, interior quality is a bit subpar.

Utility

Some EVs suffer a reduction in cargo space due to their extra batteries, but the Soul EV does not. In terms of passenger and cargo room, it lines up more with the new batch of subcompact SUVs rather than compact hatchbacks.

Technology

The Soul EV comes with an easy-to-use 8-inch touchscreen, remote vehicle controls, Wi-Fi and integrated navigation. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and wireless charging are not available. There's one USB port.

Consumer reviews

There are no consumer reviews for the Used 2019 Kia Soul EV.


Safety

Our experts like the Soul EV models:

Pedestrian Warning System
Alerts pedestrians of the quiet Soul EV's approach with a soft, artificial noise at 12 mph and under.
Front and Rear Parking Sensors
Warns you if the car's bumpers are approaching exterior objects such as walls or other vehicles.
Uvo Connectivity
Allows owners to set parameters for secondary drivers such as geo-fencing, curfew alert and speed alert.

More about the 2019 Kia Soul EV

Used 2019 Kia Soul EV Overview

The Used 2019 Kia Soul EV is offered in the following submodels: Soul EV Wagon. Available styles include 4dr Wagon (electric DD), and + 4dr Wagon (electric DD).

What's a good price on a Used 2019 Kia Soul EV?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2019 Kia Soul EVS are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2019 Kia Soul EV for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2019 Kia Soul EV.

Can't find a used 2019 Kia Soul EVs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Kia Soul EV for sale - 9 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $22,869.

Find a used Kia for sale - 3 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $16,103.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia Soul EV for sale - 2 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $18,087.

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Should I lease or buy a 2019 Kia Soul EV?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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