2017 Kia Soul EV vs. Its Competition

2017 Kia Soul EV

Last year, the Soul EV was close to the top of the range rankings for affordable electric cars, slightly below the Nissan Leaf in real-world range.

That's all changed this year, with the phased arrival of the Chevrolet Bolt EV, with an EPA-rated 238 miles of range and a price below $40,000—or half of what you previously had to pay for a Tesla to get that range.

The Bolt EV will sell in higher numbers than the electric Soul, and has astounding interior room in its tall-hatchback body, eliminating both of the Soul's main selling points.

The Leaf is still an odd-looking design, it's now toward the bottom of the pack on range at 107 miles, and the interior is plain and old.

It's ripe for replacement, which should happen next year.

Two more conventional battery-electric hatchbacks are the VW e-Golf and the Ford Focus Electric, with range upgrades taking them to 124 miles and 115 miles respectively.

Like the Soul EV, each is available in limited regions.

Finally, the Tesla Model S is far more expensive and a different type of car altogether, but it's on sale in more places than the electric Soul—though we suspect the Soul EV would be more likely to join a Model S in the driveway than substitute for it.

2017 Kia Soul EV2017 Kia Soul EV
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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
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2017 Ford Focus Electric2017 Ford Focus Electric
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2017 Nissan Leaf  2017 Nissan Leaf
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2017 Volkswagen e-Golf2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
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2013 Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, Marin County, CA, Nov 20122016 Ford C-Max Energi
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Quick Specs
7.2
The 2017 Kia Soul EV offers more space for people and cargo than many other small battery-electric cars, but you can only buy it in limited regions and it's no longer top of the non-Tesla range list.
7.4
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV could become the first mainstream electric car, with a 238-mile range and a base price in the high $30,000s before incentives.
6.3
The fun-to-drive 2017 Ford Focus Electric finally gets the range boost and DC fast-charging it's needed for years, but Ford's sole electric car is still only available in a few markets.
5.8
Eclipsed by the Chevrolet Bolt EV's 200-mile-plus range, the Nissan Leaf is best enjoyed with the substantial discounts dealers are eager to offer.
6.4
The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf is a Golf that happens to run only on electricity, but its range is now sub-par.
MSRP From     
$32,250$36,620N/A$30,680$30,495$31,770
Gas Mileage     
40 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy
Engine     
ElectricElectricN/AElectricElectricGas/Electric I-4
EPA Class     
Small Station WagonSmall Station WagonN/AMid-Size CarsCompact CarsMid-Size Cars
Style Name     
EV-e Automatic5-Door HB LTN/AS Hatchback4-Door SEEnergi 5-Door HB SEL
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront wheel driveN/AFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
55N/A555
Passenger Doors     
N/A4N/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
HatchbackHatchbackN/AHatchbackHatchbackHatchback
Transmission     
AutomaticNAN/AAutomaticAutomaticCVT w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2017 Kia Soul EV vs. 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV2017 Kia Soul EV vs. 2017 Ford Focus Electric2017 Kia Soul EV vs. 2017 Nissan Leaf2017 Kia Soul EV vs. 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf2017 Kia Soul EV vs. 2016 Ford C-Max Energi