There’s plenty of extra tech, too. Adaptive cruise control and lane following afford a useful amount of autonomy in heavy traffic, there’s an extensive suite of electronic safety systems, a head-up display and various features designed to maximise the battery pack.
These include cooling and heating the 64kW battery with liquid rather than air, while a button enables you to control heat or chill only the driver’s portion of the cabin if you’re one-up and need to eke. An in-built heat pump recovers waste heat from the coolant, while driving modes that include Eco and Eco Plus help, as do four levels of brake regeneration, these altered via paddle shifts as per the e-Niro.
What's it like?
It looks bigger and it feels more grown-up, especially inside where the cabin takes on a new level of sophistication and convenience. But the biggest difference will be in your mind, because like the e-Niro, this is an EV in which that 'will-I-make-it' anxiety can largely be forgotten.
The Soul’s new TFT instrument cluster displays your range in fairly big digits, and in contrast to older EVs, they tumble at a considerably slower rate, and sometimes more slowly than the rate at which miles are covered. It’s also much easier to slow the decline with careful driving.
You enjoy the near-noiseless propulsion of an EV, of course, but more compelling are the urgent surges of power to be enjoyed at low to middling speeds. This is an urban crossover that really is suited to an urban world. It will quickly dart into gaps, it will sludge through jams with minimal semi-autonomous effort and do all this without fuming the streets. And all of this can be enjoyed in a fair degree of comfort.
This is not an especially luxurious car, but it’s well-equipped, restfully quiet and rides adequately. It’s also spacious, back-benchers enjoying the space to slump quite extravagantly. As with every EV the battery pack’s mass can produce resolute thumping over bumps, but the Soul’s ride rarely turns uncomfortable.
You do sense its heft, though – this is a 1682kg machine – and the urge to fling it about is somewhat tempered by steering that feels too lightly disconnected in all modes other than sport, in which it turns springily resistant. Which is better, but not great. That’s a shame, because the Soul’s low centre of gravity and contained roll allow moderately ambitious, fluent cornering. Couple that to its surprisingly brisk 7.9sec 0-62mph time – the same as the more potent Nissan Leaf scores – and it’s easier to understand Kia’s desire to make this car look slightly more sporty.