When the 2015 Kia Soul EV (electric vehicle) went on sale as a California-exclusive in late-2014, we, like many other Soul-loving Oregonians, were eagerly awaiting the day when one of Kia’s best-selling and most-beloved vehicles would make its way into the great Northwest. Well, the wait is finally over, and we at Butler Kia were fortunate enough to be some of the first people in Southern Oregon to take the electric Soul for a spin.
One of the most remarkable things about this car is immediately apparent: it looks like a regular car, albeit an especially handsome one. Whereas a Prius still looks like a car that wants to set itself apart from traditional vehicles physically, the Kia Soul EV doesn’t sacrifice any style in the name of appearing innovative.
The same rings true for the interior; this is not a car that takes any special training or preparation to feel at home in, something which can’t be said for some electric cars. The sleek console is tastefully high-tech, and the interior has enough room to comfortably seat five, or adjust to fit 61.3 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats folded; that’s a whole lot of groceries, sporting equipment, or pet beds!
As beautiful and functional a car as the ’16 Soul EV is, the fun really began when we started driving. The Soul can switch between Standard, Comfort, and Sport mode, and we decided to try out the Sport setting. We were absolutely blown away by this car’s zip. Some critics have balked at Kia’s claim that the Soul EV can go from 0-60 in 12 seconds, and in a way they should: it’s more like 10 seconds (don’t ask how we found this out…) While the ability to safely and easily reach highway speeds is great, the Soul EV’s transmission also allows you to switch into “B”, which enables maximum regeneration when braking.
The Soul EV was virtually silent at both road and highway speeds, which was in a way fitting, because driving it left us speechless. We cannot recommend this car highly enough; it puts almost every electric car on the market to shame. Butler Kia currently only has two in stock, so come in, take a look, and sit behind the wheel! You’ll be glad you did.