Kia has updated the Soul EV electric hatchback for 2023, adding two new trim levels and a choice of two battery sizes. With prices starting at just under £33,000, the South Korean brand’s funky all-electric model is now available to order, and the first UK customers will get their cars in the final few months of 2022.
For the first time, the Soul EV will be available with a choice of two batteries, with the basic Urban models getting a 39.2 kWh unit. Explore models, meanwhile, will come with the larger 64 kWh battery, giving them greater range for long-distance driving.
Officially, the Urban versions will come with a range of up to 171 miles on the official efficiency test, but Kia claims that increases to 252 miles in city-centre conditions. Charging the battery from empty to 80 percent will take 54 minutes using an 80 kW rapid charger, while a 7.2 kW home charger will completely fill the battery in just over six hours.
That battery is paired with a 100 kW (134 bhp) electric motor that drives the front wheels via a single-speed transmission, allowing it to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 9.9 seconds. The top speed is 97 mph.
For customers who choose the Explore model, the performance is increased thanks to a 201 bhp electric motor. That gives the Soul EV a 104 mph top speed and a more competitive 0-62 mph time of 7.9 seconds.
The bigger battery also means a longer range of up to 280 miles on the official test, while Kia claims more than 400 miles in traffic. Charging the battery from an 80 kW rapid charger takes the same 54 minutes as in the Urban model, but charging at home takes significantly longer, at more than nine-and-a-half hours using a 7.2 kW wallbox. Use a three-pin plug and it’ll take 29 hours to completely fill the battery.
But the differences between the two versions run deeper than just the battery packs under the floor. The Urban is, unsurprisingly, the cheapest of the two, with prices starting at £32,795, but you get 17-inch alloy wheels, a touchscreen infotainment system and a reversing camera as standard. The car also comes with LED headlights and the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration technology, not to mention the automatic climate control and adaptive cruise control that maintains a safe distance to the car in front.
Explore models, meanwhile, start at £38,995, which pays for a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen and navigation system, as well as rear parking sensors, leather upholstery and heated front seats. The top-spec car also comes with a heated steering wheel, automatic windscreen wipers and some extra safety equipment.