Kia Jumps into Affordable Lease Fray with New Soul EV

Maker offers compact at prices comparable with competitors.

by on Sep.12, 2014

Kia announced pricing on its Soul EV, including a lease price of $249 a month for 36 months.

The war of “reasonably priced” electric vehicles just got a little more intense as Kia announced it will make its Soul EV available for a monthly lease price of just $249 a month for 36 months, which makes it among the most affordable EVs to lease.

Potential lessees will need to put down $1,995 to get that price, which is comparable to prices the Nissan Leaf at $199 per month with $1,999 due at signing, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV at $189 per month with $3,388 down, and the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, which is $199 per month with $1,493 down, according to Edmunds.com.

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Buyers aren’t left out of the “low-price” segment either, as the new Soul is among the cheapest of the new compact EVs as well with a price of $33,700, including destination charges. The Plus model is $35,700. Once buyers include the $7,500 federal tax credit for purchasing an EV, the prices come in at just more than $26,000 and $28,000 respectively. The Leaf is priced at $22,360.

While that seems kind of expensive – the conventional Soul starts at just under $16k – it’s cheaper than competitors in the segment. The Ford Focus electric starts at $35,170 and a Honda Fit EV at $36,625, according to Edmunds.com.

(Kia announces $1 billion assembly plant. For more, Click Here.)

“With our iconic urban passenger vehicle’s wildly popular style and functionality mated to eco-friendly electric-drive technology that delivers best-in-class range, we’re confident that the Soul EV represents a winning combination,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of sales and marketing, KMA, in a statement.

(Click Here for details on the Nevada’s $1.25 billion incentive package for Tesla.)

“And with a starting MSRP of less than $34,000 (not including federal tax rebate of $7,500) and an expected introductory lease price of $249 per month, it represents a compelling value as well.”

The value angle seems to be a hedge against the lower-priced Leaf. The Soul does have a better average range than the Leaf: 93 miles of range on a charge, compared with 84 miles. The Soul gets that boost, in part, because of a Hyundai Group-developed HVAC system that saves energy by directing all heating and cooling to the driver when no one else is in the car.

(To see more about GM’s plans to grow in India, and Mary Barra’s trip there, Click Here.)

The Soul’s list of standard features includes navigation, rear backup camera, Bluetooth, power windows, power driver’s seat, cruise control and a 6.6-kilowatt on-board charger. Also, every Soul EV comes standard with UVO EV Services, which provide real-time battery-level status, distance to empty and the ability to search for nearby charging stations.

It also has a smartphone app that allows owners to preset charging times and level ratios, as well as precondition the vehicle cabin with remote control of the HVAC presets.

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