Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2016 Kia Soul EV OVERVIEW
The Kia Soul EV is yet another contender in the we-had-to-because-California-made-us class of electric vehicles. But as far as these cars created to meet zero-emissions regulations in various states go, the Soul EV is an effective transformation of the popular tall hatchback -- and one that may give EV doubters something to think about.
What's New for 2016
For 2016, the Soul EV gets a new base trim called the EV-e, which starts at $31,950 before state and federal tax incentives. Available only in California, it's aimed mostly at fleet buyers.
The Plus trim level gets a Sun & Fun Package, which bundles a panoramic sunroof and the Soul's trademark LED interior lighting that adapts to whatever music you're listening to.
Choosing your Kia Soul EV
The Soul EV uses a 109-horsepower electric motor powered by a 27-kWh lithium-ion battery, with a substantial 210 pound-feet of torque. Kia says the range on a full charge is 93 miles.
Fuel economy is rated at 105 MPGe according to the EPA, and a 240-volt outlet will charge the battery from flat in about five hours.
The Soul EV is only for sale at select Kia dealers in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey and Maryland.
It's probably worth skipping the EV-e model to get a good amount of creature comforts in the Soul EV. Depending where you live, consider leasing one over buying one, as the incentives tend to lower the cost of ownership significantly if you go for a 36-month plan.