Exclusive R.I.P. Kia Soul EV: Another Small Electric Car Bows Out

Another small electric car is set to leave the market. A week after General Motors announced it will cease production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV this fall, The Car Guide has exclusively learned from a Kia Canada representative that the Soul EV will be discontinued at the end of the 2023 model year. It has been absent in the U.S. since the second generation launched in 2020.

The conventionally powered Soul, which received cosmetic revisions and additional standard safety features for 2023, will remain in the lineup. Five trim levels are available including LX, EX, EX+, EX Premium and GT-Line Limited.

The Soul EV, meanwhile, offers Premium and Limited models starting at $43,095 and $52,095, respectively. The former impresses no one with 134 horsepower (though peak torque amounts to 291 lb-ft.) and a 39.2kWh battery allowing a range of just 248 km. The latter packs more power at 201 horsepower and can travel up to 383 km with a full charge of its 64kWh battery.

Photo: Kia

These numbers may be enough for some drivers, but they certainly don’t match those of the Kia EV6, a much more advanced, more sophisticated and roomier electric vehicle that’s built on Hyundai Motor Group’s e-GMP platform. With output levels of 168-577 hp and a range of 332-499 km depending on the model, not to mention the option of RWD or AWD, the EV6 has the edge on every front.

Of course, not everyone needs a crossover like the EV6, but don’t forget that Kia also has the Niro EV, which is completely redesigned for 2023. This glorified hatchback (FWD only) uses a 201-horsepower motor and a 64.8kWh battery enabling a range of 407 km. An optional heat pump and battery warmer maximize efficiency in cold temperatures, while the same vehicle-to-load functionality pioneered by the EV6 means you can charge or run various power devices that are plugged into the Niro EV.

Photo: Kia

Three trim levels (Premium, Premium+, Limited) are part of the lineup, and the price range of $44,995-$52,995 is extremely similar to that of the Soul EV. The Niro EV is therefore eligible to the same federal and provincial incentives totaling up to $12,000.

In our opinion, Kia is making a wise move by eliminating the less attractive of its two smaller EV models. And as you know, the EV6 will be joined by the three-row 2024 Kia EV9 this fall. A diminutive variant of the latter, called EV5, could debut in Canada not long after that.

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