Kia Soul 39kWh Urban 2023 UK first drive

On a functionality level, though, the cabin’s utility credentials and the room afforded to occupants belie the Soul’s compact footprint, benefiting from a Peugeot 2008-matching 2600mm between the axles (30mm up on the previous Soul EV) and a straight-backed silhouette that maximises head room and boot space – a useful 315 litres, since you ask.  

Easy to see out of, a cinch to park and pleasantly manoeuvrable around town – it might be a townie at heart, but there’s nothing to suggest the Soul Urban couldn’t also find favour with buyers in rural areas with longer slogs to cover on a regular basis: the seats are comfortable, the leg room generous and the ride (while slightly fussy on really rough patches at low speeds) remarkably composed.

Plus, we drove exuberantly – predominantly on fast, winding roads – for 60 miles and averaged 4.1kWh, translating to a range of 161 miles, which means more judicious applications of the throttle could net you 200 miles fairly easily. And if you think that’s still not enough, the ability to fast charge at 100kW means top-ups needn’t be an arduous and painstakingly planned affair. 

Not that you’d be particularly minded to empty the battery as quickly as possible all the time: the Soul remains an agreeable steer with predictable and nicely weighted steering, together with minimal body roll and decent response, but there’s not a lot of feedback through the wheel and putting the power on mid-bend can send the front tyres scrabbling for grip. The Urban is the more agile of the Soul duo, mind, with the smaller battery accounting for a substantial 140kg saving.

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