Kia e-Niro review
The Kia e-Niro is the best do-it-all EV in its class, with practicality, performance and range all in its favour
The Kia e-Niro is one of the very best electric cars on sale, combining impressive range, strong performance and decent levels of comfort and refinement. Kia claims a range of 282 miles – something that should be achievable with a light foot.
The Hyundai Kona Electric runs the e-Niro close thanks to its near-identical underpinnings and arguably more interesting design, but the Kia is more practical, with a big boot and lots of space for passengers. For many, the e-Niro could easily replace a small family SUV powered by a traditional internal combustion engine – there are almost no drawbacks for lower-mileage users.
The Kia Niro is a small family SUV that’s always been all about electrification. The Niro Self-Charging Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid use a combination of petrol power and electric motors to cut emissions and running costs, but it’s the all-electric e-Niro that’s the real star of the range when it comes to efficiency.
Kia designed the Niro to accept an EV drivetrain from the outset, which means the e-Niro is a well resolved proposition. Its large battery sits under the floor so not to reduce boot space, the car handles very well and is one of the most comfortable in its class, regardless of powertrain.
Kia offers two battery options for the e-Niro, each powering a single electric motor. The entry-level 39kWh version produces 134bhp, with a range of 180 miles, while the 64kWh variant delivers 201bhp and manages to return a claimed range of 282 miles from a single charge. Both batteries can be charged in six hours and 10 minutes via a 7.2kW on-board charger.
Performance is great: the most powerful e-Niro takes 7.5 seconds from 0-62mph and top speed is 104mph, but it’s the electric motor’s instant torque that impresses most, making short work of overtakes and slip-road acceleration.
There’s no compromise on practicality. Room for passengers is more than adequate, with plenty of legroom and headroom for rear-seat occupants. There’s lots of interior storage space and the boot itself is a generous 451 litres.
The Kia e-Niro offers fantastic value for money in comparison to other mid-size electric cars like the BMW i3, Hyundai Kona Electric and the Nissan Leaf. Standard equipment includes leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control, heated seats, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity and wireless phone charging, plus a host of active safety systems. Most rivals – including the barely cheaper Kona Electric – can’t match the Kia for standard kit.
The e-Niro can also be considered as a very viable alternative to the most frugal conventionally powered family SUVs, such is the level of usability granted by its excellent range.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Kia e-Niro is the best do-it-all EV in its class, with practicality, performance and range all in its favour
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe e-Niro is good to drive and surprisingly fast for a car of this type
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsFew moving parts and an efficient electric powertrain make for very low running costs
- 4Interior, design and technologyIt’s not exciting to look at but the e-Niro is well built, sensibly designed and gets good in-car tech
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceUnlike some electric cars, the Kia e-Niro is more practical than its hybrid siblings thanks to clever packaging
- 6Reliability and SafetyGreat build, happy owners and an industry-leading warranty all bode well for the e-Niro