2015 Kia Soul EV Review: My entertaining experience with an electric car

When I get contacted by Drive Shop to review a car, I get very, very excited. The car I drive is on its last leg, I mean wheel, and it is always great to drive a new car for a while. If I always drove a new car, then driving another car would be sort of "meh", but, since mine is old, it's definitely more "yeh". Although "yeh" is not a word, I do hope you'll look past that so that we can move on.

Actually, that's not true. If I had a new car and was asked to drive this electric KIA, I would still be excited. IT IS ELECTRIC. I know my boys were excited to drive a car that we had to plug in to charge. Now, before I go any further, I have to send out a big apology to KIA and to Drive Shop for JUST NOW reviewing this car. I DROVE IT LAST FALL. I'm a terrible person for just now reviewing the dern thing! This is not any reflection at all on the car itself, but more on my busy life. I vow to make more time for blogging and reviewing this year. I vow to better manage my part-time job so that I have more time at home to write things like this post right here. I really, really love writing and I love this blog. More than that, I love that you read it!

I also love Drive Shop. They have been nothing but good to me. This is the 6th car I have driven and reviewed for them. You can check out my other car review posts here.

Let's talk about this car now. I drove a 2015 Kia Soul + EV, so it's still very much a current car. Why don't you look at it for a second?

Second's up. This is the cute little thing parked at my older son's flag football practice. I was driving a Smurf and who doesn't love Smurfs? Every time I drive a new car for Drive Shop (Please call me again, Drive Shop! I'll do better!), I must deal with the "Did you get a new car?" questions umpteenth times in a row. People are always shocked to see me in anything other than the white 2008 Hyundai Veracruz that we used to drive my 8-year-old old home from the hospital as a newborn. That child is nearly 5 feet tall and we are still driving the same car around. I mean, goodness gracious, we can squeeze the life out of a vehicle. As a result, any new car I drive gets a lot of attention. I see that as a win-win for people who want me to review a car. [Insert a gigantic wink, wink here.]

My boys aren't small little things at all and they were able to get their long legs into that car pretty well. Could they put everything they ever owned into the back seat with them? Not really. That's why it's a good thing there was the cute little hatchback you see pictured below.

I think that this car would work really well for families who don't have two boys that both play baseball and flag football. We carry around a lot of equipment- folding chairs, a gigantic rolling baseball bag that fits bats, gloves, catcher's equipment and a tall palm tree inside, a smaller baseball bag and sometimes a pitching machine. With all of that stuff in the car, finding a place for the groceries can be challenging. Fortunately, Kia made a cute little hatchback shelf (can I please call it that?) that can hold some groceries and groceries can also be piled into the back seat and on top of your children. It can all be worked out.

That cord, though. Don't lose that electric cord. I can see my sons accidentally packing it into their baseball bags and then it accidentally getting lost at a park far, far away and the next thing you know, the whole family is running for miles and miles and miles back home like a small collection of Forrest Gumps. That would be a mess.

I didn't mention the folding SEATS up there that I like to carry around, too. FOR THE LOVE. See, it's folding chairs for the flag football game and folding seats for the baseball game bleachers. It's insanity. You can see that they fit nicely into the back, though. Nice and cozy. I have a friend who drives a similar size and style car. She has a son that plays baseball and she works it all out, so I know it can be done.

The electric side of this car was a new experience for sure. I must say that it made me a little nervous. If it ran out of charge, where would I go? You can't just pull into any old place and fill 'er up, you know? You have to plan ahead. Fortunately, there are all sorts of places where you can go charge your car (26,000 240-volt charging outlets available nationwide, per the website), but many of them require special passwords and payments plans and whatnot- all of which I would have if I drove this car regularly. In my case, though, I just needed to plug it in at home overnight. My boys competed over who would plug the car in first. Not sure how long that competition would last the longer I had the car, but I can assure you that they found it absolutely fascinating, as did my extended family. We drove it to family birthday party one night and I realized that I didn't have enough charge to really make it back home. I plugged it in to my parents' outlet in the garage. It was late already. We ended up spending the night, which actually was a great thing. More time with the family, right?

Let's talk about other features of this car. I know a back-up camera is common in new cars these days, but, hey, we don't have one in my 2008 Hyundai Veracruz, so let us enjoy the moment a little.

This car also comes with a steering wheel, which turned out to be a great thing. A steering wheel with a lot of buttons! Hello! You can manage all sorts of things without ever leaving your steering wheel.

This mass of matter is actually half car, half alien. It was sort of cool to put a little extraterrestrial into suburbia. The glowing blue alien lights let you know how charged your car is at that moment. All three glowing is what you are after. The white contraption near the headlight, of course, is the power cord. The shield to the left of it moves away so that you can plug it in. So nifty. According to Kia's website, "all Soul EVs come standard with the quickest available charge port, the DC Fast Charge, which supplies an 80% charge to an empty battery in about 30 minutes".

The MSRP on this car is $31,950. It gets 120 city and 92 highway miles per gallon equivalent. So, you can go pretty far on this thing before having to charge it back up. There are all sorts of technical questions asked and answered on the Kia website, if you are considering purchasing this car. I can tell you that it was a lot of fun to drive and that I think it would be the ideal car for many situations. I am a speech-language pathologist and do a lot of testing and driving between schools and hospitals. I could see this being an ideal work car for me, as an example.

Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment via this Facebook link to let us know what you think! If you drive an electric car, especially this one, it'd be great to hear about your experiences, too!