Kia Soul EV Maxx is now eligible for the plug-in car grant

When we did a round-up of cars eligible for the government’s £2500 plug-in car grant there was one popular EV conspicuous in its absence: the Kia Soul EV. Now, Kia has introduced a new version which sneaks in underneath the £35,000 figure to qualify it for the discount and make it attainable for more people.

Kia’s Soul EV is the latest car that has been reduced in price to ensure that buyers benefit from the grant after it was reduced in scope to apply to cars under £35,000 only. Called the Kia Soul EV Maxx, it follows the Kia e-Niro in sneaking under that figure, retailing for a fiver under the cap and therefore getting a purchase price of £32,445.

The Maxx replaces the First Edition variant, which has been available since the Soul EV was launched in the UK, and which we awarded four out of five stars to when we tested it back in 2020.

In typically Kia style, the Maxx might be a base model but it comes well equipped. Black leather upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, plus sat-nav, DAB radio, connectivity through Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are all included. There’s a host of driving assistance systems, too, including driver attention warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning and avoidance, blind spot detection and a reversing camera with reversing sensors.

Styling-wise, the Soul EV has always been a quirky choice, but it’s by no means an unattractive car and that boxy styling means there’s plenty of room inside which can easily swallow tall adults in the rear seats for extended journeys. Boot space isn’t as good as the e-Niro with 315 litres to play with, though the split floor is a handy feature.

On the outside, there are two new paint options of single-tone snow white pearl and two-tone inferno red with a black roof. Standard 17 inch wheels plus a full complement of new Kia badges complete the look.

To top the Soul EV off as a great option at the sub-£35k price point is a powertrain that really delivers. A 64kWh battery combines with a 201bhp/291lb-ft motor for a realistic range of 280 miles and a decent amount of shove, covering 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds. Charging can be undertaken at up to 100kW which will juice the battery to 80 per cent in under an hour. Overnight charging on a domestic wall box is easily possible.

If you want a Kia Soul Maxx, you can order one now for that £32,445 with deliveries expected to start in autumn with none of the supply problems that blighted the Soul EV first time round. All cars will get Kia’s 100,000 mile/seven-year warranty.

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