All-new 2020 Kia Soul EV combines Soul-Ful vibe with all-electric buzz
By: +David Herron; Date: November 28, 2018
- Next-generation uber-popular urban runabout again available with battery-only power
- Powered by a state-of-the-art liquid-cooled lithium ion polymer 64 kWh battery
- Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast-charge is standard equipment1
- 201-horsepower electric motor with 291 lb.-ft. of torque
LOS ANGELES, November 28, 2018 – Today Kia Motors America (KMA) introduced the 2020 Soul, a completely new version of Kia’s beloved, award-winning and unconventional compact utility vehicle. In conjunction with that world-debut, the all-electric, battery-powered Soul EV was also unveiled. Just as quirky, fun-loving and crowd-pleasing, the Soul EV provides the opportunity for lovers of the Soul to drive without ever stopping for gas.
A Much Better Battery
The new Soul EV has a new state-of-the-art liquid-cooled lithium ion polymer 64 kWh battery which is expected to mean much less need for daily charging, and with Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast-charge2 as standard equipment, battery refills should be brief so road trip fun can happily continue after only a short break.
The new battery is currently being tested to ascertain precise EPA-estimated range. Results are expected early in 2019 and will be announced at a later date.
Driving Dynamics – The Soul EV is More Fun Than Ever
The Soul EV has always provided a bit of a magic carpet ride, whisking along silently with seemingly effortless pull. Now, with 201 horsepower and 291 lb.-ft. of torque (way up from 210 lb.-ft. in the outgoing model), drivers will feel like a virtual Aladdin. Handling and driving dynamics are also much improved, thanks to the addition of independent rear suspension. The new Soul EV also provides plenty of tools for drivers to customize their driving experience and their battery usage, including:
- Four drive modes – Eco, Comfort, Sport and Eco+ – that automatically adjust power output to the traction motor, regenerative braking, air conditioning and heating settings, and set speed limits to help manage operating efficiency3 depending on driving conditions
- Smart regenerative braking operated via paddle shifters provides drivers the ability to slow the car and capture kinetic energy, adding extra range. Drivers can choose from four regen braking levels (0 to 3) depending on desired driving smoothness, enjoyment and efficiency
- Brake and Hold System feature allows regen paddle shifter to bring the car to a full stop4
- Smart Regen System adjusts the regenerative braking level based on a vehicle being detected in front of the Soul EV and creates smoother coast-down driving, especially when descending a steep road5
- Smart Eco Pedal Guide display on the instrument cluster keeps the driver aware of real-time battery usage based on accelerator pedal input
HIGHLIGHT –SOUL AND SOUL EV– WHAT’S THE DIFF?
The 2020 Soul is all-new with a refreshed exterior that stays true to its boxy origins – a distinctive look beloved by legions of fans. The new Soul EV is built with the same architecture, but imbued with unique styling that provides the car a flair of its own:
- Restyled front and rear bumper fascias
- Solid front grille insert with charging door conveniently located on driver’s side
- LED headlamps strikingly integrated into upper cross-car brow
- Unique fog lamps
- Exclusive EV five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels
Technology Befitting a Thoroughly Modern Vehicle
The Soul EV comes equipped with a long list of state-of-the-art features to help enhance safety, improve the driving experience and provide ease of operation and ownership. Kia engineers and designers have thought of everything. Every Soul EV includes a suite of “Kia Drive Wise” Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems, and a long list of standard and optional equipment, highlights of which are listed below.
- High-tech rotary shifter (shift-by-wire)
- 10.25-inch color touchscreen6 with rear view monitor7 and parking guidance
- 6-speaker audio system (AM/FM/SiriusXM)8 with USB input
- Steering wheel-mounted audio controls
- Apple CarPlay9 and Android Auto10
- Bluetooth11 wireless connectivity with voice recognition
- 7 airbags12 (dual front advanced air bags, dual front seat-mounted side air bags, side curtain air bags with rollover sensor, driver's side knee air bag)
- Vehicle Safety Systems13
- Antilock braking
- Traction control
- Electronic stability control
- Hill-start assist control
- Tire pressure monitoring system
- Pedestrian warning system
- “Kia Drive Wise” Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS)14
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
- Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
- Driver Attention Warning (DAW)15
- Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go
- Blind Spot Collision Warning (BSW) (available)
- Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (available)
- Parking Distance Warning – Reverse only (available)
New for Soul EV is a revamped UVO16 telematics system that allows owners to monitor and control a long list of vehicle operations, including:
- Notifications of battery and charging status
- Real-time charging station update
- Scheduled charging
- Panic notifications – the vehicle will send a notification to the server if the panic alarm is triggered and the system dials 911 emergency services, provides the car position via GPS, and opens a live microphone so that emergency workers can communicate with the vehicle occupants
- “Send2Car” points of interest (POI) and waypoints — owners will be able to plan a road trip with waypoints and send it to the vehicles’ navigation system
Made in Korea and One Soul with a Whole Lot More
Built at the Gwangju plant in Korea, the Soul EV is expected to go on sale next year. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date. Buyers can choose from two trims, the Soul EV and the Soul EV Designer Collection. Supporting its super-fancy sounding name, the Designer Collection model gets all the Soul EV goodies, plus a whole lot more, including:
- Two-tone paint: Gravity Grey with a Platinum Gold roof; Cherry Black with an Inferno Red roof;and Neptune Blue with a Cherry Black roof
- Power-folding gloss-black heated, power-adjustable outside mirrors with signal repeater
- 10-speaker Harman/Kardon17 premium audio with external amplifier
- Wireless phone charger18
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Heated front seats with SofinoÒ premium non-animal seating upholstery
- Auto-dimming rear view mirror
About Kia Motors America
Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia Motors America continues to top quality surveys and is recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands and 50 Best Global Green Brands by Interbrand. Kia serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA and offers a complete range of vehicles sold through a network of nearly 800 dealers in the U.S., including cars and SUVs proudly built in West Point, Georgia.*
For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com. To receive custom email notifications for press releases the moment they are published, subscribe at www.kiamedia.com/us/en/newsalert.
- The Sorento and Optima GDI (S, EX, SX and certain LX Trims only) are assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.
1 Frequent use of DC fast charging can negatively impact battery performance and durability, and Kia recommends minimizing use of DC fast charging.
2 Frequent use of DC fast charging can negatively impact battery performance and durability, and Kia recommends minimizing use of DC fast charging.
3 Actual range will vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits, vehicle maintenance, charging practice, battery age, weather, temperature and your vehicle’s condition. Battery capacity will decrease with time and use. For more information on range, please see www.fueleconomy.gov.
4 The Brake and Hold system is not a substitute for safe driving. Do not solely rely on the system to stop the vehicle or avoid collisions. Always drive safely and use caution.
5 The Smart Regeneration system is not a substitute for safe driving, and may not detect all objects in front of the vehicle. Do not solely rely on this system to stop the vehicle or avoid collisions. Always drive safely and use caution.
6 Distracted driving can result in a loss of vehicle control. When operating a vehicle, never use a vehicle system that takes your focus away from safe vehicle operation.
7 Rear View Monitor is not a substitute for safe driving, and may not display all objects behind the vehicle. Always drive safely and use caution.
8 SiriusXM audio and data services each require a subscription sold separately, or as a package, by Sirius XM Radio Inc., after 3-month trial included with vehicle purchase. If you decide to continue service after your trial, the subscription plan you choose will automatically renew thereafter and you will be charged according to your chosen payment method at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. Please see the SiriusXM Customer Agreement at www.siriusxm.com for complete terms and how to cancel, which includes calling SiriusXM at 1-866-635-2349. All fees and programming are subject to change. Traffic information not available in all markets. SiriusXM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc.
9 Apple CarPlay™ is a trademark of Apple Inc. Requires a compatible Apple device sold separately. Apple CarPlay™ runs on your smartphone cellular data service. Data plan rates apply.
10 Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android™ 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.
11 The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG Inc., and any use of such marks by Kia is pursuant to license. A Bluetooth® enabled device is required to use Bluetooth® wireless technology.
12 For maximum protection, always wear your seat belt.
13 No system, no matter how advanced, can compensate for all driver error and/or driving conditions. Always drive safely.
14 These features are not substitutes for safe driving, and may not detect all objects surrounding vehicle. Always drive safely and use caution.
15 Driver Attention Warning is not a substitute for safe driving and may not detect all instances of driver fatigue or inattentive driving practices. Failure to pay attention to travel conditions and vehicle operation could result in loss of vehicle control. Always drive safely and use caution.
17 Harman/Kardon is a registered trademark of Harman International Industries, Inc.
18 Charging system only works with select devices. Refer to the vehicle's Owner's Manual for warnings and instructions.