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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20, Zoe Z.E.50 GT Line
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some vague thoughts....

I'm currently without my e-Niro due to the PTC heater failure. I've spent the last two months with a Niro hybrid and now have a 2020 Soul EV.

Some thoughts. Firstly I really like my e-Niro, in which I covered just over 2000 miles before the heating failed. Having now done a couple of thousand miles in a hybrid Niro I'm deeply unimpressed and it shows the electric drive train is really what makes the car. The Niro hybrid is... fine. Entirely unremarkable, like white goods. Providing it does the job you don't care about it at all. There's nothing about it that would make me want to buy one. Also I've averaged 54mpg from the hybrid Niro over mostly long runs. That's not very good. Albeit a lighter car, but also an older hybrid drive train, my Yaris averages 62mpg... Poor showing from the Niro.

Getting into the Soul is really interesting. It feels smaller than I expected, which I like, and is a more van-like driving experience looking down the bonnet. I'm amazed how different it feels. Seems more nimble and I'd say it handles better than the Niro.

The Soul Interior doesn't feel as well appointed, the e-Niro feels more high end. I'm surprised at the difference in control surfaces. Steering wheel controls are different, there's a load of LTE signal strength information on the top right of the Soul's screen that the e-Niro doesn't have. The binnacle display is also slightly different - I think I prefer the Soul, looks slightly more modern with a digital speedo.

I can't say the Soul's Harmon Kardon speaker system is noticeably better than the JBL in the e-Niro (why are these things different?). I finally found the button for the HUD and I was underwhelmed... but I was on the driveway, so I need to drive the car for a bit and see how I get on with it.

Overall I'm surprised how different these cars are, given they share a platform (I believe) and have similar spec. Some of the differences don't make sense to me at all.
 

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Kia Soul EV 2020 64KWh
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Interesting initial thoughts. Have you got any further ones now you have (probably) driven it a bit.

I find it interesting about your thoughts that the Soul interior is not as well appointed. I thought the opposite, although that was comparing it only to the first edition e-niro. I suspect the later higher model trims like the 4+ are ahead of the Soul. The only thing I dont like about the interior of the soul is the very plasticky looking HVAC control section.

Sound system - well I am a little too mutton in one ear to class myself as an audiophile, but I do like my music loud (when in the car on my own) and the Harmon Kardon system is superb in my opinion. I couldn't say how it compares to the JBL in the e-niro but it is strange as you say that they should be different.

I have had a HUD in previous cars and liked the concept and the one in the Soul is acceptably on a par with others I have used. It was one of the things that I preferred over the niro spec as, coming from a Pug 3008, where the instruments are seen over the top of the steering wheel rather than through it, I now prefer that. I do look on though in envy at the system in the ID.3 - that looks next generation and one feature where the ID.3 wins over the Soul. In all other respects though, I am happy I have a Soul not the ID.3. Make sure you fiddle with the steering wheel options to change the display to your liking.

My drives this weekend have been rewarding as, with the weather now much better, I have been able to drive with the HVAC completely off and have been returning over 4.5 - first time I have seen it over 4 since the start of December 馃榿
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20, Zoe Z.E.50 GT Line
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In fairness I haven鈥檛 covered enough miles to have much further opinion. I suspect you鈥檙e right that the Kia interiors have moved on quite quickly. My e-Niro4 is nicer than the Niro2 I initially had as a loaner. I think what they鈥檝e got smarter at is using nice materials where it matters.

The hvac controls are interesting. Definitely prefer the Niro layout, it鈥檚 interesting on the Niro it鈥檚 integrated with the main display whereas the Soul has a separate little hvac status display, low down but very clear.

the Harmon Kardon audio system has some clever signal processing options which are quite effective at making things a bit more immersive. That said my personal preference is to turn such things off as I tend to find it annoying over time. The JBL setup in the Niro4 is also excellent but perhaps slightly less forward bass.

I did decide I don鈥檛 really like the HUD and switched that off.
 

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Ioniq 5 Ultimate
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I wasnt that impressed with the HUD at first but changed the changed the colour of the speed digits to green and found it easier to glance at to get your current speed. I think its because no other info is in green so it is more noticeable to the eye. Quite why the HUD goes down when you turn the car off and raised when you next start is odd to me. Its just using the motor each time and a point of failure surely.
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20, Zoe Z.E.50 GT Line
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That鈥檚 interesting. Might try that. Mind you, my car doesn鈥檛 have this so don鈥檛 want to get too used to it.
My first choice would probably have been the Soul but my wife was far less keen on the look and then the dealer didn鈥檛 have one to test drive which sort of clinched it. I鈥檇 certainly be happy if it鈥檚 what I鈥檇 bought to start with.
 

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That鈥檚 interesting. Might try that. Mind you, my car doesn鈥檛 have this so don鈥檛 want to get too used to it.
My first choice would probably have been the Soul but my wife was far less keen on the look and then the dealer didn鈥檛 have one to test drive which sort of clinched it. I鈥檇 certainly be happy if it鈥檚 what I鈥檇 bought to start with.
Umm... looks. I like the look of the Souls, like something a bit different. I have noticed the 2 EVs that are always mentioned as Marmite on here seem to be the Soul and Teslas !!
 

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Kia Soul EV 2020
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To be honest, I went for the 2020 Soul mostly because the e-Niro test drive did not impress me. It might have been a FE as the e-Niro test drive was probably a year before I considered the Soul.

The test drive of the Soul EV was much better and I like the looks. :giggle:

And I wasn't getting a car without a HUD, that was probably the second most important feature.

I test drove the Kona as well, and the drive was really nice but the Soul was cheaper.
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20, Zoe Z.E.50 GT Line
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The Soul is also cheaper than the Niro and has cross traffic/blind spot alert which the Niro 4 does not. Because it was, for us, such a significant financial commitment and my wife really had quite a strong negative reaction to the idea of the Soul, once the dealer couldn't provide us with a test drive it was an easy choice to opt for the Niro. Been really interesting to drive both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Got back in my own car today. Stand by my assessment the Soul's handling feels better, the Niro's interior feels better. One thing I wasn't sure about, but can confirm, the VESS volume of the Soul, at least the one I was driving, was much quieter than the Niro. Not sure why that should be.
 

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KIA Soul EV 64kWh
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Got back in my own car today. Stand by my assessment the Soul's handling feels better, the Niro's interior feels better. One thing I wasn't sure about, but can confirm, the VESS volume of the Soul, at least the one I was driving, was much quieter than the Niro. Not sure why that should be.
I have the Soul and still have not heard the VESS!
 

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Kia Soul EV 2020 64KWh
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Got back in my own car today. Stand by my assessment the Soul's handling feels better, the Niro's interior feels better. One thing I wasn't sure about, but can confirm, the VESS volume of the Soul, at least the one I was driving, was much quieter than the Niro. Not sure why that should be.
Hope your problems are resolved now. (y)
 

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The Soul is also cheaper than the Niro and has cross traffic/blind spot alert which the Niro 4 does not. Because it was, for us, such a significant financial commitment and my wife really had quite a strong negative reaction to the idea of the Soul, once the dealer couldn't provide us with a test drive it was an easy choice to opt for the Niro. Been really interesting to drive both.
Ive just moved to somewhere where i have to reverse off my drive (well only 'have to" because i choose to drive in frontwards) and although theres not much cross traffic, there is a bit, plus pedestrians, got to say the cross traffic detectionsis fantastic, picking up cars and pedestrians that are out of my eye line before i see them.

p.s. Ive had people stand outside my car just to check,because I cant hear the VESS, and they cant either, If it is on which I'm doubting. I certainly cant hear it from inside. I will not be raising this as an issue with the garage :)
 

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I am intrigued as to whether the ride in the Soul is as firm as the Niro? The Niro's failing for me is that it is too firm and can't soak up the potholes as well as one would hope.

As for the JBL labelled sound system in the Niro 4, this is something I can speak to. Delightfully, it is not too bad - for a car. It has been set up to be surprisingly flat. The bass is lousy but then cars always are and the Niro is at least not as resonant as many. The woofer in the boot gives it something in the lower mid range - the term 'woofer' is, as so often, highly optimistic. There is some response into the higher frequencies and there, at least, resonance is reasonably controlled. The system's flatness and general good behaviour in the mid-high frequencies favours speech. The additional front middle speaker reinforces this (figuratively but also literally of course). Music is not too bad either if you accept the lack of any lower registers - which in a car is an inevitable reality. For music, the centre speaker does help broaden the sound stage or rather smoothes it out so that you get something more than a locational mush with an occasional extreme left or right contribution. The Niro cuts off above the best and does lose it rather easily if you try to push any bass through the system. Keep in mind that few people prefer well controlled and flat bass as most have never had the chance to experience it (which of us are luck enough to have spent time in one of the few listening rooms that are flat down to true bass frequencies) and opt instead for the familiar rising lower-mid response ending in their chosen level of resonating upper-bass. Like all such systems, adjustable equalisation is provided but as the system has been set up to be pretty flat to start with, is largely only there to allow people to match their memories of poorly balanced systems. The absence of engine noise cannot be left out of the analysis and cruising at very low speeds makes for particularly good listening. While the car does not have limousine levels of sound proofing, the generally lower noise levels of EVs has here prompted some focus on suppression meaning that for the class of car it is (class, not price), sound is better controlled than most.
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20, Zoe Z.E.50 GT Line
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I never expect that much from a car sound system because of physics. However I quite like the JBL offering in the Niro. It avoids being to harsh at the top end, which is the failing of many.

The Niro is a bit on the firm side. I think the tyres have a lot to do with that and running them softer does help a bit, depends whether efficiency vs a bit more comfort is more important.
 

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Kia E Niro 4
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Listening to my sound files on a USB stick that I had in my Mercedes, I noticed more detail in the sound than I had in the C Class, so My guess is the JBL system is pretty good. To be honest listening to music in a car is not going to be a HiFi experience no matter how good the system, but certainly adequate to relieve the boredom of a long journey.
 

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Soul 64 previously Golf GTE
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I wasnt that impressed with the HUD at first but changed the changed the colour of the speed digits to green and found it easier to glance at to get your current speed. I think its because no other info is in green so it is more noticeable to the eye. Quite why the HUD goes down when you turn the car off and raised when you next start is odd to me. Its just using the motor each time and a point of failure surely.
Daft question how do i change the HUD speed to green? Found rotation, height, icon display etc but cannot find anything in the menu to change the current white colour, My wife is fully aware of my searching abilities generally so for all i know it could be right in front of me and i wouldnt see it....
 
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