LOOKING for an electric car with a bit of character and soul?
Well, maybe Kia has got the very thing, and appropriately, it's called the Soul EV, a rather oddly styled, boxy family hatch that boasts decent real-life range, generous accommodation and rather good dynamics.
Given, it doesn't look exactly sporty but with punchy acceleration and a linear torque available, it can show a clean set of tyres to the average warm hatch thanks to a zesty 0 to 62mph acceleration time of under eight seconds.
Of course, sprightly performance isn't exactly what this sort of motor is about. But it's always a bonus to know the car you're driving can respond well to a stab of the loud pedal when required.
Just the EV version is now available and it comes with loads of goodies including 10.25-inch touchscreen, leather seating, LED headlights, rear view camera, parking sensors and smart alloy wheels.
At around the Â£35,000 mark, it isn't cheap but, as with all Kia models, it gets a seven year/100,000 mile warranty.
The cabin is roomy enough for four large adults and headroom is no problem for six-footers. The boot, however only holds 315litres of luggage, noticeably smaller than most rivals. It is well-shaped and usable and has variable floor level to make loading easier and the rear seats fold down to expand the luggage area.
With an upright seating position, tall stance and relatively slender pillars, visibility from the Soul is excellent which allows you to exploit the car's good handling qualities.
A driving range of 280 miles from the 201bhp motor is better than many competitors and will suit those committed to longer journeys. The not inconsiderable power is directed to the front wheels and can provoke some wheel spin or torque steer in greasy or slippery conditions.
The amount of battery regeneration can be controlled by paddles on the steering wheel so you make the most of the charge.
The ride, though fluent enough over smooth surfaces, can become choppy on undulating roads are badly scarred Tarmac.