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So I have had my Kia Soul EV for a month now and thought it might be good to post my initial experience.

I think it is a wonderful car, definitely the best car I have owned. I'm warming to the looks, it's certainly quite distinctive. :)

It is very easy to drive. You can essentially just drive it as an automatic. Very quick in a straight line when you put your foot down. Intially I played around with the braking regen paddles and driving modes alot, but then I realised the brakes also regen automatically, so now I'm just setting to level 3 in town, level 1 or 2 in surburbia, and level 0 on the motorway.

There is a huge amount of tech onboard. But it's not always easy to find what you are looking for at first, a fair bit of menu diving. Eventually you work out where things are and then it's great. The stereo is great, I like the HUD, the finish is nice, comfortable leather seats. Good visibility. The rear camera is good, a shame it doesn't have forward sensors as I am still overestimating how much room I need parking in front.

The boot size is not an issue for us as there are only 2 of us. I've gone with the 2 level set up since buying a boot liner and that works well. You can actually stash quite alot of stuff on the bottom level, whilst looking neat and tidy on the top level.

The electronic engine noise is annoying - loud enough to be heard in the cabin, but not really loud enough for pedestrians, so I tend to turn that off. I always turn off the lane assist, and I am scared witless if I forget and it starts bleeping when I go over a line somewhere. I also generally put the automatic hold button on to stop the creep when you take your foot off the brake at a junction.

I don't really trust the adaptive cruise control at speed, although it certainly works, but it is excellent when you are in a queue of slow moving traffic. On Friday we got caught on the M25 with half of the country it seemed, so I just set it to adaptive cruise control and it made it so much less tiring and less stressful. Alot of my friends were asking if that ruins the range as it would with petrol, so they were happy to hear it is the reverse - we got 4.4 miles/kwh on the trip.

Charging is straightforward. I had an EO Mini installed, charging at night when needed with Octopus Go. I have the charging time set through the EO app, and that works well.

This weekend I took it for its first long trip - from the South Coast up to Newmarket and back. We charged at the Swarco E.Connect in Newmarket. It took me a bit of time to work out how to use the charger (wasn't sure if I needed to download the app), but it worked fine. 30 minute charge while we got some shopping in town. Then we went back via Braintree to check out Gridserve. We didn't need to, but I wanted to see it! Never been so excited to go to a service station :). Dead easy there, charged back to 80% in under 20 mins, and we got back with 100 miles spare.

We are leasing the car. When I work out the cost, compared to my 10 year old Volvo S40 petrol with everything included - petrol, road tax, depreciation, servicing, it works out the same cost. So that would be my advice, work out all your costs, not just the headline cost for the car. For me, a brand new car for the same cost as my 10 year old runner, and the happy feeling that I am not belching CO2 and particulate crud every time we drive. Can't argue with that.
 

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We got our new Soul EV in April and did our first longish trip last weekend.
Set off with full 100% charge, then drove to T4 Heathrow, then back home, a total of 246 miles without charging. We could have stopped at Fleet services to top up charge, but I haven’t bothered to sign up to any charging companies yet, so we didn’t bother.

Had A/C on for about 25 minutes total and of course the radio.
Had regen on for A & B roads, (approx 84 miles) but not on motorway and didn’t bother with cruise control on motorways. M27, M3, M4.
We got back without any orange tortoise on the dash either.
Forgot to check what % was left in battery, as it was late when we finally got home. 😟
Happy days. 🤗
 

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It takes a while to get used to (and trust) the adaptive cruise, but it works incredibly well and makes long motorway hauls very relaxing - do use it, it’s faultless on motorways - less so on minor a roads where parked cars can confuse it a bit...
 

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As 90% of our driving is on A, B & C roads I won’t bother with CC and on motorways I prefer to drive without it thanks. 👌
 

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It’s interesting reading other people’s views on the new Kia Soul. I’ve had mine about 6 weeks now and like most other people, I love it. A few things I noted:

I got a really good package from the dealer, I think I bought it at just the right time. Looking at other EVs, it probably represents the best balance of range, price, spec, reliability and fun. I am biased though.

I like the way it looks, it’s a bit ‘alternative’. My kids aren’t sure, my daughter says it looks like an orthopaedic shoe and calls it an iKia. Now she’s driven it, she loves it! My son in-law still thinks Kia’s are cheap and made of cardboard.

I’ve owned quite a few Mercedes and enjoyed them all but now I default to the Kia. Electric cars just feel better, more intuitive and logical. It is stupidly cheap to run.

I shop at Tesco’s and always take advantage of the free charging. Problem is, we take our time to maximise the charge and my wife likes to look in other shops on the same site. So the dress or top she buys probably negates any savings we make!

I’ve tried to resist the miles per kWh obsession that seems to be a common problem and I’m having counselling for it at the moment. The Kia is very efficient though.

The dealer credited me with the price of a 7kw charger installation but so far I don’t feel any need to install one. Because of smart meter installation issues, I’m still on an economy 7 rate but I find that the approx 60 miles of range it gives me overnight is fine.

I do wish I could lift the interior a little. It’s smart but boringly black which is a shame. I’m wondering about different coloured floor mats or maybe I’ll just wear an Hawaiian shirt!

There are a few niggles (no front parking sensors, lane follow assist etc) but they are just minor and for someone like me who generally has a short span of attention with cars, I’m mightily impressed.
 

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It’s interesting reading other people’s views on the new Kia Soul. I’ve had mine about 6 weeks now and like most other people, I love it. A few things I noted:

I got a really good package from the dealer, I think I bought it at just the right time. Looking at other EVs, it probably represents the best balance of range, price, spec, reliability and fun. I am biased though.

I like the way it looks, it’s a bit ‘alternative’. My kids aren’t sure, my daughter says it looks like an orthopaedic shoe and calls it an iKia. Now she’s driven it, she loves it! My son in-law still thinks Kia’s are cheap and made of cardboard.

I’ve owned quite a few Mercedes and enjoyed them all but now I default to the Kia. Electric cars just feel better, more intuitive and logical. It is stupidly cheap to run.

I shop at Tesco’s and always take advantage of the free charging. Problem is, we take our time to maximise the charge and my wife likes to look in other shops on the same site. So the dress or top she buys probably negates any savings we make!

I’ve tried to resist the miles per kWh obsession that seems to be a common problem and I’m having counselling for it at the moment. The Kia is very efficient though.

The dealer credited me with the price of a 7kw charger installation but so far I don’t feel any need to install one. Because of smart meter installation issues, I’m still on an economy 7 rate but I find that the approx 60 miles of range it gives me overnight is fine.

I do wish I could lift the interior a little. It’s smart but boringly black which is a shame. I’m wondering about different coloured floor mats or maybe I’ll just wear an Hawaiian shirt!

There are a few niggles (no front parking sensors, lane follow assist etc) but they are just minor and for someone like me who generally has a short span of attention with cars, I’m mightily impressed.
I actually like the shape, it’s certainly different from the crowd, that’s for sure.
Things I miss are front sensors, centre arm rest and a cup holder in the rear, rear A/C vents.
But apart from that, I’m happy.

As for Miles per KWH, well, I’m too old to worry about that and at 5p per KWh, we are quids in compared to our 7 seater 5008 petrol car which usually cost us about £70 a week.
Our 3 year old. diesel car only uses £10 per week, as it just sits on the drive 6 days out of 7. But it’s only done 9.5k, so we’ll keep it for another year, then change it for a second EV, probably a new Kia EV or similar.
I prefer EV’s with a long range, rather that a lot of models that have much smaller batteries.
 

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As 90% of our driving is on A, B & C roads I won’t bother with CC and on motorways I prefer to drive without it thanks. 👌
Your choice, but on the motorway the ACC is just sublime, I cannot imagine why you wouldn’t use it - I did Bristol to Malvern the other week without touching accelerator or brake once! Bliss.
 

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Your choice, but on the motorway the ACC is just sublime, I cannot imagine why you wouldn’t use it - I did Bristol to Malvern the other week without touching accelerator or brake once! Bliss.
I’m glad that you enjoyed your trip using ACC, but as you said “your choice”. 👌 🤗
 

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Can I ask why you wouldn’t use it in the environment it works best in though? It’s like having air con, but preferring to be uncomfortably hot!
 

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Can I ask why you wouldn’t use it in the environment it works best in though? It’s like having air con, but preferring to be uncomfortably hot!
It’s simple, on motorways I prefer to drive without it. I’m not against technology and use many systems installed on the car, however there are some systems on the Soul I don’t use, Bloody Lane keep assist on A, B and C roads is one of them. Or should I put up with how badly that works at times, just because it’s fitted to the car?
I use A/C because it’s the only way to cool the car on a sunny day without opening windows, so that’s a no brainer, but I can drive a car on the motorway quite happily using either my driving skills or using ACC, I happily choose the former, because I enjoy driving that way.
Call me old fashioned, but as I said before, it’s down to choice. 👌
 

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Absolutely, and I agree, lane assist is awful on A roads and below, especially if you do as I do and if the road is 100% clear, clip or even cross the centre line to smooth out the line for the car and passengers.

I do like cruise on a motorway though, I find keeping my foot in one position for 2hrs straight gives me a sore ankle and cruise prevents that - agree that’s personal choice though - where cruise does gain is often people not using it speed up and slow down a lot more than they realise even by only 1 or 2 mph - in heavy traffic that gets magnified down the line so you get these “surges” on the motorway where traffic suddenly slows to 50 or 60 then speeds back up again for no obvious reason - if everyone was on cruise it wouldn’t happen, traffic would flow far better and so on - even more so on so called smart motorways at say 50.
 

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Absolutely, and I agree, lane assist is awful on A roads and below, especially if you do as I do and if the road is 100% clear, clip or even cross the centre line to smooth out the line for the car and passengers.
Well, then if you deliberately and willfully break the law, is it the car's fault for pointing it out to you? ;)

I see a lot of people getting annoyed at the automated car safety systems for pointing out their personal deficiencies at driving a car.:eek:
 

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Um...

1) why is crossing a dotted white line “breaking the law”.
2) why is driving in line with the teachings of “Roadcraft” the advanced drivers bible and the polices advanced drivers rulebook a “personal deficiency at driving”?

By taking a straighter line through a corner you put less stress on passengers, tyres, suspension etc. Whilst you shouldn’t brake in a corner, if you have no choice, if the car is cornering more smoothly and at lower slip angles on the tyres, you can apply significantly more braking force than you could if cornering “normally” whilst keeping the car stable.

I did say only when the road was 100% clear if you read my post.

Suggest you buy a copy of this book if you want to understand being a better driver


 

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Well, then if you deliberately and willfully break the law, is it the car's fault for pointing it out to you? ;)

I see a lot of people getting annoyed at the automated car safety systems for pointing out their personal deficiencies at driving a car.:eek:
That would be true if the system never makes mistakes, but anyone with a brain know they often do and sound a bleep or turn the wheel for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
 

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The most annoying is the warning you are about to crash when approaching a car parked on your side and oncoming traffic - although I brake quite gently and leave room, it still warns me I am about to run into the obstruction!
 

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@SoulGW No, thanks, I am good enough driver, that I don't get annoyed when the car points out a mistake to me.

@KDon The chance of an automated system making a mistake are roughly an order of magnitude lower that a human mistake. I would call it "never", with the stipulation that automated system mistakes only happen because of one reason: the "defective keyboard controller". :eek:
 

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@SoulGW No, thanks, I am good enough driver, that I don't get annoyed when the car points out a mistake to me.

@KDon The chance of an automated system making a mistake are roughly an order of magnitude lower that a human mistake. I would call it "never", with the stipulation that automated system mistakes only happen because of one reason: the "defective keyboard controller". :eek:
🤣🤣🤣🤣🥸
 

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@SoulGW No, thanks, I am good enough driver, that I don't get annoyed when the car points out a mistake to me.

@KDon The chance of an automated system making a mistake are roughly an order of magnitude lower that a human mistake. I would call it "never", with the stipulation that automated system mistakes only happen because of one reason: the


"defective keyboard controller". :eek:
I could say the same about your post ^
If you truly believe these systems never make a mistake, then with respect, I feel you have strayed into the realms of fantasy. 🤪
 

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I could say the same about your post ^
If you truly believe these systems never make a mistake, then with respect, I feel you have strayed into the realms of fantasy. 🤪
Ok, as long as we are taking this lightly, can you prove me wrong? Give me an example of your current car's automated safety systems making a mistake? And just so that we are clear, these are not counted as mistakes:
  • you failed to anticipate car's actions;
  • you got annoyed at your car's actions;
  • you got scared by your car's actions;
  • you did not like your car's actions;
  • you or your passengers did not put your seatbelts;
  • etc, (hope you get my point).

I'm listening?
 

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@SoulGW 's point about taking a straight line on empty rural twisties is valid though. Very often there is absolutely no need to slavishly follow many of those roads completely inside your own lane. As an ex motorcyclist I know that it is safer to approach a left hand bend from the centre to right so that the sight lines are opened early. And when possible that reduces tyre wear and 'straight lining' can prevent throwing passengers around for no good reason. Obviously, the actual situation and traffic density dictates where this is safe but to throw a car left and right to stay inside a white central line is not defined as good driving by pros.
 
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