Big Boost in Battery, Power & Range
Kia was making electric news at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. First, they debuted the all-new 2019 Niro EV, and then the next-generation 2020 Kia Soul EV crossover covered here. Clean Fleet Report reviewed the Soul EV when it first came out in 2016 and were big fans from day one. Now, Kia has revamped the Soul EV with a bigger battery, faster charging, more performance, and a restyled exterior and interior.
Described by Kia as “quirky, fun-loving and crowd-pleasing,” the 2020 Kia Soul EV is powered by a 64-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery, with 201 horsepower and 291 pounds-feet of torque coming from the single electric motor. The EPA has not finished with its testing, but the 2016 Soul EV was rated at 93 miles range, which was increased to 111 miles in 2018. Clean Fleet Report anticipates a much further driving range for the 2020 Soul EV, possibly twice the 2018 number. With the regenerative braking system and the standard DC fast charging capability, replenishing the battery will be easy and faster than in previous generations.
The 2020 Soul EV will have four driving modes of Eco, Comfort, Sport and Eco+ that automatically adjust the car for performance and efficiency. New for 2020 is an independent rear suspension for improved driving dynamics.
Past Predicts a Good Future for the Kia Soul EV
When Clean Fleet Report reviewed the 2016 Soul EV, we found the low battery placement was a big factor in dropping the center of gravity, resulting in tight and spirited handling. The standard infotainment (information and entertainment) set-up with AM/FM/SiriusXM, will offer a 10.25-inch color touchscreen with rear view monitors and parking guidance. The six-speaker sound system, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, has Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition. Kia’s UVO telematics system is included, offering battery and charging status. A Harmon/Kardon premium audio system, with an external amplifier, is available as are a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats with non-animal upholstery and a wireless phone charger.
Along with a long list of advanced driver systems, including forward collision and lane departure warning, the 2020 Soul EV will be equipped with Kia’s pedestrian warning system to give those on foot, bicycles and skateboards a heads-up when they are being approached from behind.
The boxy hatchback 2020 Soul EV is expected to be in dealers in Q2 2019. Look for a full Road Test review on Clean Fleet Report in the coming months.
Related Stories You Might Enjoy—Kia Soul EV History at Clean Fleet Report
Road Test: 2016 Kia Soul EV
First Drive: 2015 Kia Soul EV