The Kia Soul EV will have a price of $33,700 – excluding shipping and government incentives – when the South Korean carmaker rolls out the vehicle in the United States this fall. This means that the Soul EV will have a net price of above $27,000 once an $875 destination fee and a $7,500 federal tax credit for EV buyers is taken into account.
However, the Soul EV is still $5,000 pricier than the Nissan Leaf, which sports a starting price of $22,360 (destination fee and incentives factored in). But Kia is hoping that its offering’s styling, interior space, range and standard navigation system would attract buyers.
In terms of range, the Soul EV’s 93 miles per charge is better than the Leaf’s 84 miles per charge, partly thanks to an HVAC system that conserves energy by directing all heating and cooling to the driver when the car has no passengers.
Michael Sprague, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Kia Motors America, said in a statement that the Soul EV represents “a winning combination.” In the US, Kia is planning to market the Soul EV mainly in California, which regulations compel carmakers to offer zero-emission vehicles.
The South Korean carmaker is also planning to offer a lease on the Soul EV – mulling a 36-month lease starting at $249 monthly, with a down payment of $1,999 to be made at signing. The carmaker said it will disclose a final lease offer once the Soul EV arrives in dealerships.
Rival EVs also offer competitive pricing for 36-month leases. Lease offer for the Leaf this month is $199 monthly with $1,999 due at signing, while terms for the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is $189 per month with $3,388 down.
The bold Soul exterior styling runs through the EV. From the floating roof to the greenhouse resembling wraparound sunglasses, the EV's appearance draws inspiration from the 2012 Track'ster concept vehicle and keeps the original Soul’s classic squared-shoulder wide poise. At first, the Soul EV will come with three colour options: Pearl White lower body with Electronic Blue roof, Caribbean Blue lower body with Clear White roof, and Bright Silver with Clear White roof.
The hallmark two-toned paint motif is limited to the EV, inspired by a comparable treatment to the Track'ster. The exclusively EV front fascia uses a bigger grille to allow for charger ports, and other limited exterior Soul EV design touches include colour accented trims in front and rear fascia, projector headlamps, positioning LEDs, and LED tail lamps. The Eco-Electric fender emblems takes the place of the "Soul" fender adornment of the petrol-powered vehicle, and the Soul EV has its own distinct set of 16” alloy wheels encased with specially designed Super Low Rolling Resistance (SLRR) tyres offering 10% less resistance compared to standard low rolling resistance tyres, improving range.
When unveiled in 2014, the new Soul received acclaim for its superior interior and considerably lower NVH levels. The Soul EV will be immediately identifiable for these exact qualities. Comparable to its petrol-powered relative, a rounded motif permeates the interior, a pleasant contrast to the attractively angular exterior.
Inside, the Soul EV separates itself from its petrol-powered counterpart with trims accented in bright white along the central console and instrument and door panels, creating an airy and contemporary feeling in the passenger room. Standing apart by Kia’s most broad use of eco-friendly materials, the Soul EV received UL's first validation of automotive environmental claim for its 10.9 lbs. eco-friendly organic content of the plastic in the interior. At the centre is the BTX-free paint used on the audio system surrounds, vent bezels, and the floor consoles.