Kia Soul EV or Nissan Leaf?

Kia has decided to offer the all-electric Soul EV in the UK. Recognisable by a blanked-off grille and unique 16” alloy wheels, its specification closely matches that of the rival Nissan Leaf.

Powering the five-door Soul EV is a 109 bhp (81 kW / 110 PS) motor which sits beneath the bonnet. Energy is supplied by an under-floor 192-cell lithium-ion polymer battery pack that features a dedicated heating and cooling system.

Unsurprisingly, numerous measures have been taken to maximise range. These include the fitment of low-rolling-resistance tyres, regenerative braking, various aerodynamic aids and a more efficient air conditioner.

Kia Soul EV (2015) Front Side

Kia Soul EV (2015) Dashboard

So how does the Soul EV measure up against the Leaf? Looking at the stats below, it seems that in terms of performance and range Kia’s engineers have made sure that their car just beats the Nissan (even if for some measures the advantage is negligible).

Conversely, the Leaf appears to be marginally quicker overall when it comes to battery replenishment, however an onboard 6.6 kW charger isn’t standard.

Unfortunately buyers of the Kia won’t have any choice as far as equipment levels and pricing are concerned. Yes, the Soul EV has a decent level of kit, but only one version is available. Four trim grades and the option to separately lease the battery should mean that Nissan’s electric hatchback continues to appeal to a broader budget spectrum.

Kia’s UK sales expectations for the Soul EV are modest, though. Thanks to production constraints, 200 units at most will be retailed during the model’s first year via a network of just thirteen selected dealers.

Model Soul EV Leaf Visia^ Leaf Tekna^
OTR price £29,995 £26,490 £30,590
Price net of Plug-in Car Grant £24,995 £21,490 £25,590
Technical specifications
Power 109 bhp (81 kW / 110 PS) 107 bhp (80 kW / 109 PS)
Torque 285 Nm (210 lb/ft) 254 Nm (187 lb/ft)
0-62 mph (100 km/h) 11.2 secs 11.5 secs
Top speed 90 mph (145 km/h) 87 mph (140 km/h) 89 mph (143 km/h)
Battery capacity 27 kWh 24 kWh
Maximum range 132 miles (212 km) 124 miles (199 km)
Recharge time
(domestic socket)
11 - 14 hours 12 hours
Recharge time
(dedicated wallbox)
4 - 5 hours 4 hours
Recharge time
(public rapid charger to 80% capacity)
33 minutes 30 minutes
Standard equipment
Onboard 6.6 kW charger Yes Optional*
Rapid charge socket Yes Yes Yes
Satellite navigation Yes No Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes Yes
DAB radio Yes No No
Cruise control Yes No Yes
Reversing camera Yes No Yes
Front parking sensors Yes No Yes**
Rear parking sensors Yes No Yes**
LED headlights No No Yes
Leather upholstery No No Yes
Heated front seats Yes No Yes
Heated steering wheel Yes No Yes
Air conditioning Yes Yes Yes
Climate control Yes No Yes
Power folding / heated door mirrors Yes No Yes
Rear privacy glass Yes No Yes
Keyless entry Yes Yes Yes
Metallic paint Yes Optional***
Alloy wheels Yes No Yes
Tyre pressure monitoring Yes Yes Yes
^ Nissan Leaf trim grades: Visia (£21,490), Visia+ (£22,590), Acenta (£23,590), Tekna (£25,590).
Purchase prices reduce by a further £5,000 under the Flex scheme, but then the battery pack must be leased separately for between £70 and £129 per month (actual payment depends on term and annual mileage).
* £1,150 option.
** 360° Around View Monitor.
*** £525 option.

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2015 Kia Sorento first view
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