Posted on November 15, 2020
Unusually for an affordable compact SUV, the Kia Soul is available in both gasoline and EV powertrain versions. Which one is right for you? Read on to find out.
For a small car, the Soul's gas powertrains are respectably powered. The base model offers a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine producing 147 horsepower, with a meatier 1.6L turbo option pushing the ponies up to 201hp.
The Soul EV similarly has two offerings. The base level offers an output of 134 horsepower and range of up to 250km, while higher trims offer 201 horsepower and 383km.
In terms of raw horsepower, there's not a lot to choose from between gas and electric, with both offering options suitable for most tastes and circumstances.
Where the EV really shines though is in the torque department. As an electric, the torque is instantly available with a flat response throughout the range, making acceleration noticeably more responsive and the drive more satisfying.
Couple this with the low centre of gravity provided by the hefty battery weight, and the Soul EV offers much zippier handling, especially when the Sport mode is selected.
This isn't to say that the gas Soul is a poor performer. For general city driving it can more than hold its own, but for highway passing and merging it lacks the immediate response of the EV.
With a full tank of gas, you can expect to get around 675km of driving out of the gasoline Soul. This gives it a clear range advantage over the EV versions which offer 250km or 383km on a full charge. The advantage is only increased considering the ease and speed of filling a tank compared to charging on the road.
However, the Kia EV technology allows a fast charge in roughly the time it takes for a coffee break, adding around 100km in the process to reduce the level of range anxiety always present in an EV with today's technology.
But while longer journeys may take some planning, if your typical daily driving needs are below the EV range, an overnight charge will be more than enough to keep you on the road without hitches.
With the entry level EV Soul coming in at roughly $40,000, twice that of the lowest-cost gas version, it may seem that investing in EV leaves you out of pocket from the start. However, bring government incentives into the picture and the final prices are a lot closer.
There's a federal grant worth $5,000 available across Canada, while many provinces offer additional rebates. The Alberta incentive could be worth up to $5,000 against the cost of a new Kia Soul, cutting the gas vs EV price difference in half. Add to this the lower running costs every electric vehicle offers, and going EV won't be as costly as you might think.
Both the Soul versions have their place. If you regularly make long journeys of 300km or more, then you may be tempted to stick with the gas version until the next generation of EV technology removes any worries over range.
But if you're looking for agile performance, great economy, and a car that's a responsive pleasure to drive, the Kia Soul EV powertrain has the definite edge.
Categories: KIA Soul Gas, Soul Gas Vs EV