Kia’s all-electric 2015 Soul EV — the one currently being advertised by Kia’s human-sized funky furry friends — has received its official fuel economy ratings by the EPA. At 93 miles per charge and available from just $33,700 before incentives, the trendy urban CUV is an exciting entrant into the mid-priced electric car market.
Looking at the figures, it’s obvious that there’s not much between the newcomer and more established brands like the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Spark EV in terms of combined cycle range. (The Spark EV manages a combined range of 82 miles per charge, while the 2015 Nissan LEAF manages 84 and limited-market Fiat 500e manages 87 miles per charge.)
Look at the city-only range, and the Kia soul comes head and shoulders above the rest, managing 103.6 miles on the urban cycle per charge versus 92 miles from the Nissan LEAF and 87.8 miles from the Chevrolet Spark.
As we’ve said in the past, real-world ranges will vary from car to car and person to person, but the high urban range achieved in the EPA test isn’t exactly all that surprising: with a larger battery pack than the Nissan LEAF and a shape better suited to round-town functionality than efficient highway cruising, it makes sense the Kia Soul EV is more at home in the urban jungle than the open freeway.
While it’s certainly the longest mid-priced EV on the market, the Kia Soul EV won’t be winning any awards for fuel efficiency: at 105 MPGe or 32 kWh per 100 miles, you’ll find your electricity bill for driving 100 miles a fair bit higher than it would be in the super-efficient BMW i3.
The Kia Soul will go on sale this fall in the U.S. in two different guises: the 2015 Kia Soul EV Base and Kia Soul EV Plus. At $33,700 before incentives and mandatory $800 shipping and handling fee, the Kia Soul EV comes with remote telematics as standard, along with CHAdeMO quick charge capability and on-board 6.6 kilowatt on-board charger. Full satellite navigation is also included as standard, along with dual-zone smart climate control.
If buying outright isn’t your thing, there’s also an introductory lease deal based on $1,999 at signing, plus $249 per month for 36 months.
Opt for the Kia Soul EV Plus, and you’ll find yourself paying another $2,000 on top of the base price, for which you’ll get three-stage heated leather seats front and back, fog lights, and power folding rear view mirrors.
Sadly, to get a Kia Soul EV this fall, you’ll need to live in one of the very limited California launch markets. Strictly a compliance car — built to satisfy Californian ZEV vehicle mandates — Kia is reluctant to talk about sales elsewhere in the U.S., although we’d expect other ZEV-following states like Washington, Oregon, New Jersey and New York to get the Kia Soul at some point in the future.
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