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2017 Kia Soul EV Overview

James Flammang
Contributing Editor - March 2, 2017

Like other automakers that offer electric vehicles, Kia developed the battery-powered version of its popular little tall hatchback in part to meet rigorous emissions standards in certain states. Distinctively styled and cheery in character, the Soul is a logical candidate for electric-only propulsion, likely attracting customers who might not ordinarily lean toward EVs.

What's New for 2017

The fast charge system now provides greater energy (94 percent of charge). New remote climate logic pre-conditions the vehicles when it’s not grid-connected. A new Pedestrian Warning system alters the emitted sound and frequency, in accord with vehicle speed.

Base EV and EV+ models get new dark gray 16-inch wheel covers. A rear center armrest is now standard for the EV+ trim. A new EV-e audio head unit includes a standard rearview camera display. UVO Eco connectivity, standard in upper trim levels, adds features for 2017, including immediate climate control and on-demand vehicle diagnosis.

Kia Soul EV

Choosing your Kia Soul EV

In the Soul EV, a 27-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery provides juice for an electric motor that produces 109 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. The EPA estimates range on a full charge at 93 miles and Equivalent fuel economy at 105 miles per gallon equivalent in combined city and highway driving. Plugged into a 240-volt outlet, the battery can fully charge in about five hours. Kia’s FlexSteer system provides three modes: Normal, Comfort, and Sport.

Since its debut as a 2015 model, sale of Soul EVs has been limited to select Kia dealers in specified states, including California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland.

EV-e

Available only in California for $33,145 (destination charge included), EV-e trim is aimed at fleet buyers, The EV-e includes all basic Soul amenities, such as power windows, locks and mirrors, 16-inch wheels, and a height-adjustable driver's seat. A six-speaker audio system includes Bluetooth and USB and auxiliary inputs. Also included are keyless entry and start, a DC fast charger, heated front seats, and a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel. A rearview camera is integrated into a 5-inch display screen.

Base

Priced at $34,845, the base-model Soul EV adds several features above the limited-availability EV-e, led by an eight-inch touchscreen navigation system with integrated rearview camera and Kia's UVO Eco telematics. The UVO system can search for charging stations and check the car's battery level using a smartphone app.

Plus

For $36,845, the top Soul EV gets amenities such as ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, leather upholstery, front/rear parking sensors, and power-folding mirrors. An optional $1,100 Sun and Fun Package adds a panoramic sunroof and LED interior lighting.

CarsDirect Tip

Even Californians are probably better off skipping the EV-e model, paying $1,700 more to get the UVO Eco telematics, including navigation. Another $2,000 buys some tempting creature comforts in the Plus edition. Note that state and federal tax incentives, including a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, are available to EV buyers. Depending on your circumstances, leasing might be the best bet.

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