More Electric Cars Than Ever, Still Not Available Everywhere

Where the electric cars are

As more manufacturers introduce electric cars, these battery-powered vehicles are becoming something people see on the road every day. At least in some parts of the country, they are.

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The number of purely electric vehicles offered in the U.S. will grow to a dozen by the end of this year. Many of those EVs are available only in a small number of states, however, with California being the epicenter of electric-car sales.

By Rick Popely | March 11, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Kia Soul: Car Seat Check

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Kia's boxy compact hatchback isn't just for hamsters. Small families will find a lot to like about its wide, flat backseat. The Kia Soul was redesigned for 2014, and exposed Latch anchors, along with surprising amounts of head- and legroom for a compact car, helped this little hatchback earn good grades in our Car Seat Check.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Jennifer Geiger | February 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Kia Soul EV Video

Kia's boxy hatchback was redesigned for 2014, and the automaker is adding an electric model to the lineup for 2015. Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays took a close look at the Soul EV after its debut last week at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show.

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Kia says plant-based plastic was used in 19 items in the car and that drivers can expect about 80 to 100 miles of range from the EV. The 2015 Soul EV goes on sale this summer in California and other select states. Watch the video for more.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 10, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Kia Soul EV Photo Gallery (30 Photos)

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You don't have to live in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey or Maryland to get a look at the 2015 Kia Soul EV, the Korean automaker's first foray into the all-electric-vehicle market. While those coastal states will be the only places you can buy one when it first goes on sale in limited quantities this summer, the zero-emissions hatchback is making its debut this week at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. Truth be told, it doesn't look drastically different — inside or out — from the standard Soul, save for a blocked-out grille opening where charging ports are hidden, 16-inch wheels and a Mini Cooper-esque two-tone paint scheme, as well as handful of EV-specific interior flourishes.

More 2014 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Under the hood, however, the Soul EV couldn't be more different. It runs on an 81.4-kilowatt, 109-horsepower electric motor that drives the front wheels through a single-speed transmission. The battery is a 27-kilowatt-hour, air-cooled lithium-ion battery pack that provides 80 to 100 miles of range under normal conditions and powers the vehicle from zero to 60 mph in less than 12 seconds on its way to a top speed of 90 mph.

Check out the gallery below. Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | February 6, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Kia Soul EV at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show

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Competes with: Chevrolet Spark EV, Fiat 500e, Nissan Leaf, Smart ForTwo ED
Looks like: A new Kia Soul with fewer body openings
Powertrain: An electric motor making 109 hp and 210 pounds-feet of torque, single- speed transmission and 27-kwh lithium-ion battery pack; Kia says range is 80-100 miles
Hits dealerships: Summer 2014, limited to coastal states

Kia unveiled its first-ever all-electric vehicle at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show this week, the 2014 Kia Soul EV. Based off the recently redesigned front-wheel-drive Soul subcompact, the new Soul EV will join the growing list of small battery-electric vehicles on sale primarily in the coastal states in order to comply with increasingly stringent zero-emissions mandates that require a percentage of an automaker's sales to bezero-emissions vehicles.

More 2014 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Exterior

The new Soul EV doesn't look much different from the standard Soul, which already received a 2014 update inside and out to incorporate cues from Kia's popular Track'ster concept car. The main visual differences between the conventional gasoline-powered car and the EV are in external trim — the EV has a blocked-out grille opening where the charging ports are hidden, 16-inch wheels with a design borrowed from the Optima Hybrid and a two-tone paint scheme that looks positively Mini Cooperish. Three colors will be offered: white with blue roof, blue with white roof or silver with white roof.

By Aaron Bragman | February 6, 2014 | Comments (4)

2014 Kia Soul: Real-World Mileage

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It's always nice to take a few weeks off around the holidays for a vacation. There's time to spend with family and friends and for automotive journalists to test cars over an extended period of time.

Full Cars.com 2014 Kia Soul Review

I spent 12 days around Christmas ferrying my wife and two children — ages 4 and 5 — in a fully loaded 2014 Kia Soul. The small, square economy car promises a low entry price and decent gas mileage. During my test neither one was apparent.

By David Thomas | January 8, 2014 | Comments (12)

Kia Charges Into 2014 With Soul EV

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Kia says its Soul is electrified. The automaker today announced that the Soul EV — its first all-electric, zero-emissions vehicle marketed outside Korea — will go on sale next year in the U.S. It will use the second-generation 2014 Soul's platform and have a target range of 120 miles on a full charge of its 27 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery pack. Kia said the single-speed, front-wheel-drive car's electric motor will be good for 109 horsepower and 210 pounds-feet of torque, with a zero-to-60-mph time of less than 12 seconds and a top speed of about 90 mph.

The automaker says the new efficiency won’t come at the sacrifice of practicality or driving fun. "Although it is Kia’s first globally sold all-electric vehicle, the Soul EV is our second-generation battery electric vehicle and significantly benefits from the in-depth knowledge gained during development of the Ray EV sold in Korea," said Orth Hedrick, Kia’s executive director of product planning, in a statement.

By Matt Schmitz | November 12, 2013 | Comments (2)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

2014MercedesBenzCLAClass

After making No. 1 its "entry level" on our list of most-read reviews last week, Mercedes-Benz's new entry-level luxury sedan, the 2014 CLA-Class, returns to the top spot this week. The CLA-Class' encore is followed by two 2014 debuts in the Mazda3 compact car and Kia Soul hatchback, bowing at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. Meanwhile, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe crossover rejoins the list at No. 5. Check out what else was popular:

1. 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class
2. 2014 Mazda3
3. 2014 Kia Soul
4. 2014 Subaru Forester
5. 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
6. 2014 Jeep Cherokee
7. 2013 Toyota RAV4
8. 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

9. 2013 BMW 328i
10. 2014 Nissan Versa Note

Editor's note: This post was updated on Oct. 14 with the correct photo of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class.

By Matt Schmitz | October 13, 2013 | Comments (1)

Cars.com Reviews the 2014 Kia Soul

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With an effective, if overdue, redesign, Kia has, if you will, saved its Soul. Cars.com reviewer Kristin Varela wasn't exactly in love with the previous generation, but improvements to the 2014 Kia Soul have addressed many of its shortcomings, smoothing out a once-harsh ride, tastefully updating the interior and offering impressive features. The youth-marketed hatchback, Varela says, has grown up a bit without losing its offbeat attitude. Read the review below and decide if you could give your heart to the Soul.

2014 Kia Soul Review

By Matt Schmitz | October 8, 2013 | Comments (2)

2014 Kia Soul Starts at $15,495

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The second generation of Kia's boxy hatchback gets longer and wider for 2014; its price also grows slightly. When the new Soul goes on sale this fall, it'll start at $15,495, a slight increase over the 2013 model's base price of $15,200 (all prices include the destination fee). 

Base, Plus and Exclaim versions carryover. Base versions use a 130-horsepower, 1.6-liter four cylinder and standard six-speed manual transmission; a six-speed automatic is optional. Plus models get a 164-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to the standard manual or optional automatic; prices start at $18,995. Topline Exclaim versions (thankfully Kia ditched the + and ! designations this year) use the same engine and a standard six-speed automatic transmission and start at $21,095.

By Jennifer Geiger | August 29, 2013 | Comments (0)

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